“Human element” star of Cricket World Cup 2007

Barabados - The 2007 Cricket World Cup ended with a bang yesterday, as surprise package Bangladesh won the final in dramatic fashion. Bangladesh, who were extremely lucky to get to the final, posted a modest 190 all out in their allotted 50 overs. The Australians were unlucky on countless occasions as the umpires made several blunders. Umpire Vrishjjhjhkilani adjudged several convincing LBW shouts to be not out, and called countless No Balls where the bowler clearly did not step over the line. Two of those deliveries clean bowled Bangladeshi batsmen. Replays also showed that two Bangladeshi batsmen nicked deliveries to Gilchrist at wicketkeeper. They were given not out and went on to score 79 and 64 respectively.

In the 45th over Australia were well on their way to surpass the Bangladesh total, despite more poor decisions against them. The overwhelming tournament favourites, visibly shook by some of the officals' decisions, opted to bat slowly and with circumspection to ensure ultimate victory. At 170/6, umpire Singh adjudged Ricky Ponting out LBW from Remniranoijan’s bowling. One subsequent replay was enough to show that the ball would have missed off stump by a full set of wickets. It also appeared that the ball had pitched outside leg stump. Shane Warne’s wicket fell next, when he was bowled by Kurali. The side-cam revealed that the bowler stepped slightly over the line during his delivery. At 180 for the loss of eight wickets, Clarke was caught on the boundary from a delivery that seemed to reach higher than his shoulders at contact with the bat. A replay confirmed this. The Australians fought valiantly against the odds, and reached 189 for 9, when Glen McGrath seemed to nick a delivery straight to the wicket keeper. Again, a single replay was enough to ascertain that the ball had in fact come from his back leg. The umpire did not hesitate in giving him out.

The Australians, although disappointed, were gracious in defeat. “Yeah, there were some poor decisions. But that’s a part of cricket. That human element makes things so much more interesting. Sure, it has led to the worst team in the world winning the World Cup, but that’s cricket. I love this game.”

Fans interviewed after the game agreed. “We all know the players are great at what they do. But personally, I come to the cricket for that human element.” Asked to define the “human element”, the fan replied: “Well, what else can it refer to than MISTAKES made by umpires? They are the only humans involved, aren’t they? You have to love those mistakes. A Herchelle Gibbs cover drive? Nice. An umpire screw-up? Brilliant! The best team losing? Priceless!”

When asked about some of the “human” decisions made by the umpires, another fan said: “The World Cup will come again in only 4 years and the Australians can make amends. Why should we waste a full 3-4 seconds between deliveries just to check a replay that would kill the “human element”? There’s no time to waste in cricket. It’s too fast paced. Fans won’t stand for it if 3-4 seconds are wasted every 2 overs just to get the right decision and let the best team win a tournament that’s played every four years? That's crazy.”

After game analysis also revealed that Bangladesh, who won by 1 run, bowled 16 No Balls that were not called by the umpires. The match referee, when asked for comment, said that this was “pretty much standard” for a One Day International. “The important thing is that spectators saw that old human element in action.” - Reuters


tinus said...

I'm convinced that if cricket was an American sport technology would have been used much more by now. At the ATP Masters Series in Miami currently being played they have for the first time introduced "hawk eye" for line calls. A player can challenge 2 line calls per set with the replay being shown on a big screen. If a player's challenge is successful they don't lose that challenge. The "hawk eye" technology is expected to be used in other tournaments as well including the US Open. Hopefully cricket, where wrong calls make a bigger difference to a match than in tennis, will catch up eventually.

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