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Technology should replace field umpires in Cricket

This is not just an idea, it is a proposal and I would like to replace field umpires in Cricket by the technology. In 1992 when the concept of neutral umpire was introduced in cricket it was unanimous and a need of time. Indeed it was a turning point in the history of Cricket as before the neutral umpires there were controversies in every other match, especially between rivals playing in their home grounds. Pakistan’s skipper Imran Khan realized that neutral umpires can play a significant role in gaining trust of cricket players and fans in field umpires and both the teams would accept the decision without any problem.

That era is now over, today we see that there are so many controversial decisions by the field umpires which most of times affect the overall game result. In a recent Cricket World Cup 2015 match between India and Bangladesh, Rohit Sharma’s dismissal at the boundary was not given out because the field umpire declared it a No-ball. This incident deeply hurt the feelings of Bangladeshi fans and I think such error wouldn’t happen if Hawk-eye technology had been used. I remember what I and other Pakistani fans went through when Umar Akmal was given out during India-Pakistan game. If only it was referred to the 3rd umpire and Hot-Spot technology had been used, the decision would be different. In another incident James Anderson was declared Run-out and later ICC accepted that it was due to an umpiring error. These are the few decisions by the field umpires which changed the result of the game. And my point is why these incidents are happening while all the technologies available in the field.

To make the case for the proposal, I would like to highlight the technologies which are being used today.

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1) Snickometer It was originally invented by Allan Plaskett, the snickometer is used to detect the edges from the bat using a microphone placed near the stumps. It uses the difference between sound frequencies of the ball hitting different surfaces. This technology is used to check if the ball hit the bat or not, it is used for a caught behind and a bat and pad for Leg-Before Wicket (LBW) appeals.

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2) Hawk-Eye is one of the most used technologies to judge the trajectory of the ball, it has been used by broadcasters for a long time to help commentators and viewers know if correct decisions were given for Leg-Before Wicket (LBW) appeals. This technology predicts the path of the ball after impact, using a slew of cameras placed around the cricket ground.

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3) Hot Spot

Another ball tracking technology used in television relies on infrared cameras that detect the heat signature of ball impact. For instance, wherever the ball hits the batsman, the heat signature of that particular spot changes – creating a Hot Spot. It is especially helpful in judging faint edges and close bat-pad LBW shouts. It is widely appreciated by players for its accuracy but is not a regular part of the ICC’s UDRS due its expensive implementation and sensitive equipment.

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4) LED Stumps and bails

In recent Cricket World Cup we have seen the LED wickets which lights up every time the bails are removed from the wicket. This technology helps in decisions for run out and stump appeals.

Along with the above mentioned technologies I would like to suggest that there should be a sensor placed along the crease to detect if the bat was on the line, inside or outside the line. It can help decide the run out and stumps scenarios as well.

The above mentioned technologies can surely replace the filed umpires and fielding team captain should be given the authority to use the technology whenever it is necessary. And I strongly believe that once the field umpires are removed there will be 100% accurate results.

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