Umpire Mark Benson announcing a hurried retirement could be the first casualty of the new Decision Review System (DRS), which is creating more controversy with each passing day.
On Sunday, the Sri Lankan skipper and his Indian counterpart too clashed over the issue, with Sangakkara saying the DRS should be made mandatory for all Tests while Dhoni contradicted him by saying the system was not ‘‘100% fool proof.’’
For the Lankans, it’s clear that Tillakaratne Dilshan’s dismissal in the first innings of the Brabourne Test still rankles. The match could have taken a different turn if Dilshan had stayed. Umpire Nigel Llong’s blunder in giving the batsman out – when replays showed that the ball had had no contact with bat or glove – is just the kind of controversy the International Cricket Council (ICC) would have wanted to avoid.
Down Under at the Adelaide Oval, Australian medium-pacer Doug Bollinger and captain Ricky Ponting came up with an angry response when Benson ruled a batsman not out, while the DRS decided otherwise. This prompted Benson to leave the series midway, saying he felt the system was just making umpiring difficult.
Sangakkara, meanwhile, continued to voice his dissatisfaction over what happened at Brabourne. ‘‘The decisions cost us over 500 runs and put us under a lot of pressure. Had the DRS been there, it might have been different. All other Tests sides are using the review system. This series didn’t have it and it was certainly a handicap,’’ he said.
However, Dhoni said: ‘‘If such a system has to be in place then it has to be completely foolproof. It can be experimented with for a while before officially using it. It could help in the long run but then, it has to at least assure 90% accuracy,’’ Dhoni said.
The ICC has asked relevant boards to bear the cost of DRS and the boards in turn have asked their broadcasters to pay the costs, like in the case of BCCI, which asked Nimbus to do the needful. The broadcasters in India refused and therefore the DRS wasn’t used.
Sangakkara is the captain’s representative in the ICC but it is clear he is not happy with the manner in which the world body functions. ‘‘It doesn’t matter what the (captain’s) contribution is. The contribution has to be listened to and acted upon. You can talk and say how much you want. Like in case of the review system, first it was a yes, then no, then no,’’ he said.