England cricket coach Andy Flower has called for “calm decision-making” to improve the process of third-umpire referrals in the remainder of this summer’s Ashes.
Each of the three Tests so far has been beset by a series of controversies over the use of the decision review system - almost exclusively relating to the impact of bat on ball, or otherwise, for caught-behind and lbw appeals.
He had his say on the controversy over third-umpire referrals, which has proved such a vexed process in this series and was today described by former Australia fast bowler Jason Gillespie as “bordering on the ridiculous”.
Available technology has regularly contradicted itself, leaving the third official with an awkward judgment call which has inevitably led to contentious outcomes.
The concept of ‘umpire’s call’ for lbws - a margin of error within which the initial on-field decision cannot be overturned - is also coming under scrutiny from the critics of DRS.
Flower believes improvements are needed.
“Firstly, umpiring is a very tricky business,” he said. “But I would say there are very clear protocols to use and to stick to, and I think some calm decision-making needs to be made over the next two Tests.
“I think there are improvements that can be made. There are improvements in the use of the technology, and the use of experts who know how to use the technology, that could make a difference to getting better results.”