Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Is it cheating, if you never knew you cheated?

During the 3rd day’s play in the 5th Ashes test, Alistair Cook staring at another opportunity to scratch his name with triple figures takes a ball from Michael Beer, and nudges to short leg where Hughes leaps in excitement at an in close catch.

Yet on replay it clearly showed the ball dropping short and bouncing into his hands. Botham on Sky Sports is heard to have said:

“Terrible. Cheating. How much do you it to bounce into your hands?

“He [Hughes] knows he hasn’t caught it. There’s no appeal. Someone else says something and then he goes up”

The Australians do a have small record of this sort of thing, in Sydney of all places they were accused of claiming bouncing balls against India in the spiteful test match of 2008. Clarke like any captain has come out in support of Hughes claiming he is not a cheat and that he questioned the reflex catch to the umpire.

Personally I think Botham was, and has been quick to attack the Australians for cheating whenever a catch is over turned by the review system. Which has also made fools of the English, none more so than Prior during the Gabba test as he screamed and hollered for catches, that never seemed to touch anything.

The review system had a very busy day, having to give Bell not out with ‘hot spot’ not giving any proof to the sound heard on snick-o-meter. Now the Snicko is not used by the ICC and cannot determine anything. Yet it was the light feather that never seemed to be there that gave Ian Bell a dilated pupil as he stared at the exit gate of the SCG, only to be the one that got away. Hot spot got Ricky Ponting hot under the collar during the Boxing Day Test, with it looking like a slight touch. And on further replaying the Ian Bell flick, I think maybe this technology is not the best.

The technology is there to right the wrongs of a bad choice by an umpire, not to accuse people of cheating. And with teams given so many appeals per a match, why not challenge that by appealing everything, and putting the player in a position to use an appeal to save his skin. The system is flawed, in the sense that is not helping the game but making appealing worse and whenever a game lends itself to calling out cheats at every moment it must be put away.

Clarke has come out in support of the technology, and Strauss hasn’t had much to say against it either. Clarke has asked that if it is there, that all be involved or none at all. And with India backing away from it, then it shows the playing field is not level.

Personally I think the video review works great for run outs/ catches, and hawk eye has helped with correcting poor LBW appeals, but hot spot is still not there for me and has shown a weakness the others don’t have. If it’s there it has to be 100% or, as close to 99% as it can be, and for me it’s not even close

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