Time consuming referral system to alter Test results, says Harihar

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New Delhi, Jul 22 (UNI) The new umpire referral system, aimed to produce error-free games, is all set to be put into trial in the first Test between India and Sri Lanka starting in Colombo tomorrow, but umpire K Hariharan believes that persistent appeals would consume a lot of time and could very well change the outcome of a match.

Talking to UNI here yesterday, Hariharan said, ''Every inning you will have six appeals, three for the fielding side and three for the batting side as well, and the third umpire is bound to take some time to make a decision.

''So around 20 minutes of play will be lost every day which is four overs per day. This way you lose 20 overs in a Test match, which is a matter of concern as 20 overs can very well change the fate of a match. It can alter the final result of the match,'' Hariharan said.

Under the system, fielding and batting sides would be allowed three unsuccessful appeals to the umpire per innings to change a decision if it is perceived to have been incorrect.

The appeals can be made only by the batsman in receipt of the umpire's original decision or the captain of the fielding side. The on-field umpire will then consult with the TV umpire, who will review available television coverage of the incident before relaying fact-based information back to his colleague.

Hariharan added that even a batsman, who nicked the ball and still held his ground, should be charged once the third umpire came to know if the player was out.

''I think a batsman should be charged with fine if, after nicking the ball, he decides to stay at the wicket. When we talk about the spirit of the game, things like these should also be looked at,'' he noted.

However, the 52-year-old Indian, who has stood in 34 ODIs and two Tests, disagreed that the referral system would put any additional pressure on the umpires and said an umpire was always serious and committed to every game that he stood, irrespective of technology being used.

Hariharan, who made his Test debut as an umpire at Lords in 2005, had a piece of advice for the BCCI as well. He said the umpires in India need to be educated and the board should take a step towards it.

''The BCCI and Cricket Australia (CA) have taken up a three-year exchange program under which the umpires from both the countries will get to know many of the nuances about umpiring,'' he said.

''Umpires should know how to manage players. I think the BCCI should appoint regional managers for umpires so that we can produce some top level officials,'' he advised.


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