Over the weekend I’ve taken great pleasure in watching the Australian cricket team do a bit of a hatchet job of their South African opponents at the currently under-renovation Adelaide Oval. It would now appear that a historically benign Adelaide wicket will yield a rare day 5 result, a result made all the better by the fact that it’s most likely to fall in favour of the hosts.

One thing that I can’t help but notice in this most recent Test series is the incredible pervasiveness of the D.R.S. (Decision Referral System) utilized by each team when a contentious call is given (a close L.B.W. decision or an edge to the keeper, for example). This, coupled with the incessant no-ball checking, run-out assessing horseshit pervading cricket has got me madder than Mark Taylor when he has to say ‘Fujitsu’ in a Fujitsu advertisement.

What’s the point of even having the umpires out there anymore? They don’t ever make any real decisions these days; they’re just puppets in outfits holding the bowlers’ sunglasses, hat &/or jumper while they roll the arm over. The I.C.C. would be far better served rolling out purpose-built umpiring robots to hold down each end for Test matches from now on; it’d save them a significant amount of money in the long run and the robots would be less ‘rapey’ around school-children than their limp-wristed predecessors. (see: Steve Randell)

It’s even impacting the celebrations that bowlers give when they take a wicket; nobody wants to celebrate too ostentatiously when there is a very real chance that the D.R.S. or no-ball procedure will lead to the wicket they’ve just taken being overturned, making them look like uppity fuckwits. There was a classic example in this test when Imran Tahir (who has been comprehensively spanked by the Australian batsman this series) thought that he’d finally taken a wicket. He put his hand up to his ear, likely referring to the silence from the Australian crowd at the dismissal. The no-ball checker uncovered that his foot was over the line and the decision was overturned.

He looked a right fuckwit.

In my opinion, cricket umpires although not infallible are a part of the game. For decades upon decades their decisions have been final and their judgement relied upon. Sure, there’s an element of luck involved for some and injustice for others under the old system, but I can’t help but think that this simply added to the unique, old-world charm of the game in years gone by.

The problem that cricket is faced with now is that there’s no going back from this system. The viewing public is still going to demand to see ‘Hawkeye’ footage of L.B.W. decisions, all-angles views of no-balls, run-outs, contentious catches etc., so the powers-that-be have to use this information to make the ‘right’ decisions to avoid public outcry…

…and all the fucking bleating on social media.

/end communication

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