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Umpire’s call creating lot of confusion, feels Kohli

New Delhi: India captain Virat Kohli on Monday criticised the much-debated umpire’s call in the Decision Review System (DRS), saying that it has been a huge confusion contributing factor in the game and LBW dismissals should be based simply on whether the ball is hitting the stumps, even if marginally.

The MCC World Cricket Committee on February 22 met to discuss umpire’s call. Some members felt it would be simpler if the original decision was disregarded on review, and that there was a simple Out or Not out, with no Umpire’s Call.

Other members were satisfied with the current system, feeling that it was important to retain the human element of the on-field umpire’s decision, which takes into account the ‘benefit of the doubt’ that has existed in umpires’ decisions for many years.

According to the existing rule, at least 50 per cent of the ball should be hitting at least one of the three stumps for the batsman to be adjudged LBW on review in case an umpire’s call has been challenged.

“I’ve played for a long time when there was no DRS. When the umpire gave it out, whether the batsman liked it or not, it stayed out. And if the umpire gave it not out, and it was out, it stayed like that. Whether it was marginal or not,’ said Kohli on the eve of the first ODI against England.

“According to me, umpire’s call is creating a lot more confusion. When you get bowled as a batsman, you don’t consider that the ball was hitting more than 50 per cent for you to be bowled. So when the ball is shown clipping the stumps, the bails are going to fall. From a basic cricket common sense, I don’t think there should be any debate.

If the ball is clipping the stumps, it should be out. Whether you like it or not you lose the review. That’s how simple the game needs to be. If it hits the stumps, or it misses the stumps, it doesn’t matter how much it is hitting, and those things,’ he added.

The Indian captain was also critical of the on-field soft signals following Suryakumar Yadav’s controversial dismissal during the fourth T20I against England.

“I don’t know why there can’t be an ‘I don’t know’ call with the umpires as well. It is similar to the umpire’s call as well,” Kohli had said after the game.

Kohli stressed the ICC technical committee should work on reducing such grey areas which could lead to issues in future world tournaments.

“One more factor that needs to be considered is how the fielding team responds to the catches. It’s somehow defining the soft signals as well. Which is, again, what the spirit of the game is and what those guidelines are. Because if things like that happen with the Indian cricket team overseas, you are talking about a totally different conversation about the spirit of the game,’ said Kohli.

“It is a serious, serious thing that needs to be considered because there is a lot at stake in future world tournaments. You don’t want some grey area factors in the game, which leave you with no clarity, to be the defining characters of those big tournaments,’ he added.

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