Melbourne, Dec.4 : EX-Australian coach John Buchanan says the decision to allow umpires' decisions to be challenged is a "a joke" which will undermine the game's integrity.
Australia's three-Test away series against South Africa in February-March will feature a one-match trial of the new system, with teams allowed to challenge decisions made by on-field umpires and have them sent to the video umpire for review.
They will be permitted a maximum of three unsuccessful challenges per innings and the system could soon be introduced full-time after it received positive feedback in a recent Test series between Sri Lanka and India.
Buchanan, who is stridently opposed to the move, was quoted by the Courier Mail as saying: "What message does that send to young people in our society about challenging authority? Kids are going to watch it on television and think it is OK to challenge authority. They need to be taught that all the umpire is doing is policing the laws and you need to abide by those laws. It is as simple as that. This is the last thing the sport needs."
"Challenging the umpire's decision contravenes basic and fundamental law of our western society. Cricket, like golf and possibly a few other sports, upholds the integrity of the game through its recognition that players or officials who bring the game into disrepute, particularly on the field, will be disciplined.
"If we are unhappy with people's competence to administer the law, then spend money and resources to get the right people, get sufficient number of them, get them properly trained, and have them assessed and supported," he added.
Buchanan also believes the challenge system may be technically flawed.
"The process assumes that technology is 100 per cent accurate - this has never been proven. This means that all grounds on which international cricket is played must be fitted with exactly the same technology to allow consistency of decision-making around the world.
What an incredible cost impost to the game, which it can ill afford. The game is already littered with too many stoppages. We need umpires to be skilled so they can make the call immediately, and hopefully their success rate will be in the vicinity of 95 per cent for the entire match," he said.
Story first published: Thursday, December 4, 2008, 16:35 [IST]
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