The television match official. The decision review system. The man upstairs. Call it what you want, but they are all the intrusion of technology into sport, and to be honest, I don’t like where it is going. Every weekend there is some howler from the NRL that leads to Gus Gould and commentators of the same ilk to harp on about the need for greater technology and analysis of tries scored. This is what the system is in place for. However, when you have cricketers (i.e. Steve Smith) not being trusted when he says the ball carried, and others (i.e. Stuard Broad) refusing to be honest and admit when they know the umpire is wrong even though he hit it, and technology being made a mockery of, I question its necessity.
I’m not arguing for a complete absence of technology to exist in sport, but just to bring it back to the days when league referees made a decision on the field, and didn’t feel the need to double check everything. Sport is played by humans and is officiated by humans. Thus there will be natural error, but on the whole, to officiate a game is a referee’s job where they are getting made. There aren’t muppets out there, but trained and payed humans. Personally I like the American system of doing things, such as in the NFL and basketball. If there is an issue that the umpire has, they have the ability to call a halt to the game, go to the sideline, and themselves watch the action from a number of angles to make their own decision.
Firstly, the power to question a decision should be taken out of the players’ hands. They are there to play, not officiate. Secondly, get rid of “the man upstairs.” Follow the lead of the Americans and allow the on field official to double check something if they feel the need. I can’t see this happening in cricket, so allow the umpire to call upstairs if they aren’t sure. Encourage this, but further encourage making a decision for yourself and stick with it.
This is where I get to my main gripe. Shane Watson, an opening batsman for Australia has, quite frankly, been a wanker recently. He has made a complete mockery of the decision review system (DRS) reviewing the most absurd decisions. Therefore, I am invoking a new law for cricket. Shane Watson can never review a decision again. End of rant.
Sport just needs more good and honest players such as Adam Gilchrist. Unfortunately it seems there will also be the runts like Stuart Broad whose being has brought technology into sport.