22 Jul 2013

DRS again in spotlight

12:19 pm on 22 July 2013

The use of the direct referral system in cricket's Ashes series has again come under the spotlight, following more controversy in the second test at Lord's.

And there are also calls for non-neutral officials to be used in the rest of the England-Australia series, following a baffling decision from New Zealand third umpire Tony Hill.

The Aucklander gave Australian rookie Ashton Agar out caught-behind, despite no video evidence on the replays, after England called for the review.

The HotSpot system showed no edge but Hill was convinced by what he thought was audio evidence from the made-for-television "snickometer".

"Snicko", as it's widely known, isn't part of the DRS system, and in any case, it later transpired that the sound that registered was the ball passing the bat.

The ABC's Jim Maxwell says DRS was only ever intended to remove absolute howlers by the umpires, and he wants the video review powers to be reserved for the on-field officials only.

Eight of the game's 12 best umpires are either English or Australian, leaving Hill, Erasmus, Pakistan's Aleem Dar and the Sri Lankan Kumar Dharmasena as the men to oversee the back-to-back Ashes series. ICC chief Dave Richardson says he's open to discussing the use of non-neutral umpires for some series.

The poor decision had no effect on the outcome of the match, as England won by a crushing 347 runs, to go 2-0 up in the series.