The Ashes: Usman Khawaja controversy may hasten specialist TV umpires
Usman Khawaja's controversial exit could usher in a new era of dedicated TV umpires, says Bumble.
Last Updated: 01/08/13 5:08pm
Number three Khawaja opted to review the decision of on-field Tony Hill when he was adjudged caught behind for one off spinner Graeme Swann.
But third umpire official Kumar Dharmasena upheld the 'out' verdict even though replays and Hotspot suggested that the batsman hadn't edged the ball.
Former umpire Lloyd said that Dharmasena made his decision based on the guidance issued to him, but admitted that it may be time to introduce technology experts into the game.
He said: "The regulations and the playing conditions state that 'if despite the available technology the third umpire is unable to answer with a high degree of confidence a particular question posed by the one-field umpire, then he should report that the replays are inconclusive..'
"Our two commentators - Sir Ian Botham and Shane Warne - said that the third umpire said there was nothing conclusive - so he's following the book.
"Here's quite another telling piece - 'the third umpire should not give answers conveying likelihoods or probabilities'. In other words - just answer the question. What he has seen is inconclusive whereas everyone else has said it's conclusive.
"The on-field umpire obviously thinks it's out because he's given it out; it's the batsman who has said 'I don't think I've hit that'. There is a noise and we've found out by replaying that it is bat against pad before the ball passed.
"I think there will be a move that the third umpire in future is exclusively a technology umpire - he doesn't stand [in matches]. He just does the technology."
Khawaja's dismissal is the latest DRS talking point to plague the series after Australia's Ashton Agar and England's Stuart Broad were both given reprieves in the first Test at Trent Bridge, while Jonathan Trott fell for a first-ball duck without evidence from Hotspot which wasn't available at the time.
There was more controversy in the second Test at Lord's when England's Ian Bell stood his ground, unsure if he had been caught cleanly by Steve Smith in the gully, and while replays suggested the ball had carried third umpire Tony Hill ruled not out.
Sky Cricket pundit Michael Holding was in no doubt that Khawaja and Australia - who reached lunch two wickets down rather than one - has every right to feel hard done by.
"The ball was a long, long way away from the bat so how can that be given out?" asked Holding. "I don't know what he was looking at - if he was looking at the same things that we were all seeing I don't see how he can say that it is 'inconclusive'.
"The man did not hit the ball - it's as simple as that. The last shot from behind the wicketkeeper showed conclusively that the ball did not hit the bat, so how is he out?
"Is it lbw? Is it run out? The ball did not hit the bat. If Dharmasena saw that and though that the ball hit the bat then he's got to be blind."
Legendary Australian leg-spinner and Sky Cricket pundit Shane Warne called it "shocking and ridiculous" decision, adding: "Khawaja's dismissal really annoyed me because this is exactly [the type of error] the technology is there for.
"The umpire has given him out but the replay has shown he's not; the process is have a look at Hotspot, which shows nothing, and Snicko shows nothing as well.
"When they showed all of the different angles there was daylight between bat and ball so it's very disappointing that a third umpire can give that out.
"He doesn't understand the technology or what he's looking at."
It was England who felt hard done by in the afternoon session when seamer James Anderson was convinced that he'd found the edge of Steve Smith's bat.
The home side instantly reviewed the 'not out' decision from umpire Marais Erasmus and while replays suggested there was a clear noise, Hotspot demonstrated that Smith hadn't hit the ball.
However former England captain Andrew Strauss told Sky Cricket that the failing on this occasion was technological rather than human.
"My instinct says it can't have been anything else but an edge," said Strauss. "I'm a big fan of the DRS system - I think we get more decisions right as a result of it - but it has been under the microscope in this series and this is one of the occasions where I think the technology can let us down.
"I don't think that Hotspot shows up all the time - I think that it is inconsistent; I'd be surprised, on reflection, if Smith thought he didn't hit that. I think he did get a little nick on that but Hotspot didn't show it up."
Sir Ian Botham, however, pointed the finger of blame directly at human ineptitude.
"There are no problems with DRS - the system works - but the people who are operating it need to know how to operate it and that's the difference," he said.
"When Khawaja missed the ball there was daylight [between the ball and bat] so how you can't overturn the decision is beyond me. When he didn't overturn the Smith decision you could hear the ball as it went by the bat.
"We'll never know if that was ball on bat but the point is you've got to be consistent. The Khawaja decision was a howler and that's what DRS is there for, but DRS cannot dictate how the bloke who is using it interprets it so maybe we need to get a specialist third umpire in who knows what the machines are doing because the machines are there to help not hinder."