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How the umpire referral system worked

July 29, 2008

Having benefited immensely by the umpire referral system in the first Test match, Sri Lankan players may have welcomed the new ICC [Images] initiative but India captain Anil Kumble [Images] is not convinced yet.

Some experts believe that the umpiring referral system, introduced in the ongoing Test series, played a crucial role in a thumping Sri Lankan victory as it helped the hosts scalp as many as four Indian batsmen.

Rajneesh Gupta provides a detailed analysis of the list of referrals made to the third umpire or the television umpire with all the important details during the first Test match.

InnsOver #BowlerBatsmanUmpireDecisionOur Verdict
1st46thHarbhajan Singh [Images]Malinda WarnapuraMark Benson [Images]LBW appeal was turned down. Indian captain Anil Kumble asked for the review. Third umpire Rudi Koertzen [Images] ruled the batsman Not Out.Correct decision. Indian skipper should not have asked for the review as the ball was going down the leg
1st106thZaheer Khan [Images]Tillakaratne Dilshan [Images]Mark BensonAfter being given out caught behind by the on-field umpire, Dilshan asked for the review. However, the third umpire ruled him Not Out.Wrong decision. Dilshan was lucky to get reprieve. The third umpire thought that bat touching the ground made the noise, but replays showed that ball had also touched the bat at the same time.
1st120thHarbhajan SinghTillakaratne DilshanMark BensonLBW appeal was turned down. Captain Kumble asked for the review and again the decision was ruled in the favour of batsman.Correct decision. The referral should have not been made in the first place as the ball pitched outside the leg stump
1st159thZaheer KhanChaminda Vaas [Images]Billy Doctrove [Images]India asked for the review after the LBW appeal was turned down though the batsman looked plumb in front. Replays indicated that there might have been an inside edge.Correct decision. The third umpire got it right because the batsman had got an inside edge before the ball struck his pads.
2nd25thAjantha Mendis [Images]Sourav Ganguly [Images]Billy DoctroveSri Lankan skipper Jayawardene asked for the review after the LBW appeal was turned down. The third umpire ruled in the favour of batsmanCorrect decision. Though Hawk-Eye suggested that ball would have hit the top of leg stump, the umpire was not 100% sure and quite rightly the batsman got the benefit of doubt.
2nd49thAjantha MendisAnil KumbleBilly DoctroveAfter much deliberation, on-field umpire Doctrove gave Kumble out. As there was confusion whether he had been dismissed caught (bat-pad) or lbw, Kumble asked for the review. The third umpire ruled him out LBW.Correct decision. In the end the the third umpire gave the right decision, but all the confusion was unnecessary.
2nd61stAjantha MendisIshant SharmaBilly DoctroveLBW appeal was turned down. Captain Jayawardene asked for the review, but third umpire ruled batsman not out.Correct decision. Though batsman did not offer any shot, the ball had pitched outside the off-stump and did not turn enough.
3rd7thM Muralitharan [Images]Virender Sehwag [Images]Mark BensonAfter the field umpire turned down an LBW appeal, Sri Lanka [Images] asked for the review. The third umpire over ruled the field umpire giving Sehwag out.Wrong decision. The ball had pitched 'just' on the leg-stump, hit the front pad first, then the back pad and would have definitely missed the leg stump. The third umpire, however, surprisingly ruled in the favour of the bowler.
3rd24thM MuralitharanSachin Tendulkar [Images]Billy DoctroveThe close-in fielders appealed for a catch at leg-slip, but it was turned down. After the referral was made, third umpire ruled him out much to the dismay of Tendulkar.Correct decision. The ball had touched shoulder of Tendulkar's bat after clipping the pad before carrying to the leg slip fielder.
3rd34thM MuralitharanDinesh Karthik [Images]Billy DoctroveJayawardene appealed for a catch taken at second slip,which was turned down. Sri Lanka asked for the review but the third umpire ruled in the batsman's favour.Correct decision. The ball had bounced off Karthik's body and had not touched his bat.
3rd35thAjantha MendisRahul Dravid [Images]Mark BensonA bat pad catch appeal at short-leg was turned down. Upon referral the third umpire over ruled field umpire's decision and gave Dravid outCorrect decision. Replays clearly showed that Dravid had got an inside edge which hit his pad before going to the short leg fielder.

Note: In the 28th over of Sri Lanka's first innings, opener Malinda Warnapura was caught by Zaheer Khan off his own bowling, but umpire Mark Benson signalled it a no ball. The replay showed that it was not a no-ball. It would have been interesting to see how this instance would have been handled had there been a referral to the third umpire.

Overall, there were 11 decision referred to the third umpire through the new referral system in the first Test in Colombo. The television umpire Rudi Koertzen from South Africa [Images] got it right on nine occasions but made two wrong decisions despite all the help at his disposal and both times India suffered.

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