Saturday, March 12, 2011

Porterfield is wrong

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The LBW law is way too complicated. Just consider the data points to gather for anyone entrusted with making a decision.

The Line of the ball - did it pitch outside the line of the leg stump,

The Height - would it have missed the top of the stump,

The Point of impact - when the ball did hit the batsman? Did it hit he batsman in the line of the stumps,

What was the batsman doing - was the batsman offering a shot.

The Length - How far down the pitch was the batsman

Where did the ball hit? The bat, the pad, both and if so; what was the sequence

Man or machine, adulterated or not, this is bloody too complicated a law to enforce without letting a few slip through. Its also a law that has to be enforced fairly quickly. And I am fairly certain, I have missed at least a few dozen data points that need to be assessed.

Now, of all the data points,  I used to think that it is fairly easy to determine if the batsman attempted to play the shot or not. It seems fairly straight forward.

Until yesterday...

Gary Wilson playing for a fighting Ireland seemed to attempt to run a ball delivered by West Indian Darren Sammy to third man, but at the same time seemed to thrust his pad out as a first line of defense. At least that is how I saw it. So did Ashoka De Silva. When you thrust the pad out anything the batsman does behind the pad should be discounted.

As it happened the ball hit Wilson on his pads outside the line of the off stump, with the ball tracker predicting that the ball would have hit the stumps. The umpire interpreted the batsman's thrusting of the pad ahead of his intended shot as "offering no shot" and gave him out. The law says that the ball can He also stood by his original decision after reviews.

Now the Irish captain is speaking out against the decision. That's wrong.

But given how complicated the law is, I just feel the umpires need all the technology that can be made available to them and like a doctor have them order all the tests that he feels are needed, look at the results and make a decision.

How would we feel if we go to a doctor and ask him or her to prescribe a treatment, while the lab technicians look at the blood work, x-rays, MRIs and share it with the doctor only when the patient  asks for a review.


Unknown said...

Gol, Wilson's thrusting of pad may also suggest that he either misjudged the line of that ball or he was a little late on that shot.

For me, there was no way that he was not offering a shot to that delivery! I assume you have read what Porterfield had to say on this issue. He mentioned a very interesting point. The first thing that the umpire did was to check whether the impact was pad first or bat first.

Porterfield very wisely mentioned that if you are checking for bat in an LBW appeal, then it must obviously suggest that the batsman was making an effort to make the bat meet the ball! If the batsman makes no such effort, the bat should be nowhere near in the picture and there should be no reason to check for it during the review.

Another point is that lets assume that Ashoka de Silva thought it was a 'no shot offered' case but thought that the ball would have not hit the off stump. In such a case, he would have given the batsman not out. During that appeal, Wilson had also run a single... so would Ashoka de Silva have disallowed a run in such a scenario? If you don't offer a shot, you don't get the run!

I have written something about this decision and Ashoka de Silva's ineptitude over here. You might want to check it out.

Golandaaz said...

Nice piece Shridhar.

When a player has the pads ahead of the bat, I have to say i have no clue what the "rule book" says. I have to go with Ashoka on this one

Vidooshak said...

Gol - Your next cartoon needs to be some kind of a weird animal generated from the UDRS of ICC.