Cricket: ICC to keep virtual eye despite criticisms

By David Leggat

Dave Richardson. Photo / AP
Dave Richardson. Photo / AP

Virtual Eye technology yesterday received unequivocal backing from the International Cricket Council ahead of the second test between New Zealand and South Africa.

The Decision Review System will be used for the remaining two tests, after Ian Taylor, the founder of Virtual Eye through the Animation Research company, threatened to withdraw it after criticism of the system from players during the first test at Dunedin.

Both New Zealand seamer Doug Bracewell and experienced South African allrounder Jacques Kallis questioned its accuracy over decisions handed down after each team had sought referrals on tight calls during the test.

Kallis suggested "99 per cent of cricketers" had doubts over the system's accuracy. That disappointed Taylor. If players didn't want the system he would withdraw it.

However, ICC general manager of cricket Dave Richardson, a former team mate of Kallis, yesterday gave the DRS, and Taylor's company, strong support.

"We've looked at both decisions [lbw appeals on Dan Vettori and Jacques Rudolph] and are 100 per cent satisfied that ball tracking provided is as accurate a result as could have been achieved," Richardson said.

"As far as we are concerned the majority of players are certainly in favour of using the DRS.

"We have 100 per cent support for its level of accuracy and reliability. The way we use it is totally fit for purpose and we wanted to reassure Ian we support the technology."

Richardson said several years of reviews of ball-tracking decisions had been done. Those checks showed "more than 97 per cent" reliability.

"Bottom line is it's going to be more consistent and accurate than the human eye," he said.

"To people who want to not have the DRS, my argument is if we go back to not having it we are going to have a situation that's worse than it is now."

Taylor said the players were free to come and see how the technology works.

"If Jacques and Doug had taken the time to come and have a look to see what the pictures show, how we collected the data, they might not have been so vociferous in their comments," he said. Taylor changed his mind on making the DRS available for the remaining tests after a meeting with Richardson, New Zealand Cricket and Sky Sports.

Taylor did not favour the technology being used to make match-changing decisions when it was introduced. "I still personally think decisions should be made by umpires," he said yesterday.

Former test wicketkeeper Richardson said players who have a beef with a decision should be making their complaints against an umpire, not a technical person sitting in a van at the ground.

- NZ Herald

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