This is the season of new books and new revelations, and Michael Clarke is the latest one to join the bandwagon.
The Australian skipper, in his new book, The Ashes Diary, has taken on the much-talked about DRS.
Criticising the way an inconsistent use of technology has “distorted the process [of decision making]” in the game, Clarke is of the opinion that DRS shouldn’t be used until and unless the technology is foolproof.
“The referral system – where captains have two unsuccessful referrals at their disposal – can distort the process,” Clarke has written in his book. “I don’t like the tactics involved, where umpires and the teams know how many referrals are left, and change their decisions accordingly. It should be consistent for all players.”
He took the example of the controversial incident involving Stuart Broad in the Ashes earlier in England, where the Englishman refused to walk after clearly edging the ball, and getting a reprieve from the umpire, who had failed to spot it.
“The ultimate problem with the Broad ‘dismissal’ in Nottingham wasn’t that he didn’t walk, or that the umpire had made an error – it was that the complicated DRS rules meant the third umpire didn’t have the opportunity to overrule the on-field decision.
“I believe that if it’s clearly shown that the batsman hit the ball and he was caught, then the technology should be used to ensure he is out,” he wrote. “If he’s hit in front of the wickets and the technology shows he is lbw, he should be out, regardless of how many referrals remain.
“As a captain, I’d just like the technology to be used to make more correct decisions, without all the complications of how many referrals remain or don’t remain. There shouldn’t be a numerical limit. If this means passing referrals back into the hands of the three umpires, on and off the field, then so be it. My final word on the matter – if technology, and the use of technology by the umpires, continues to be as inconsistent as it has been in this series [in England], I would rather it is not used at all.”
“My opinion is that if the technology isn’t perfect, it shouldn’t be used at all,” he wrote. “The inventor and owner of HotSpot [Warren Brennan] came out and admitted it doesn’t pick up all nicks. Ok, that’s fine: HotSpot should not be used until it is more reliable.
“Once the technology has been tested and is shown to be correct, then the ICC should rule that every team has to use it. We should have the same rule for everyone.”