Sky Sports Cricket commentator Michael Holding was critical of the umpiring and the technology used in the Decision Review System (DRS) after West Indies lost three early wickets in the fourth innings of their second Test against England at Manchester.
The first dismissal to come under fire was Kraigg Brathwaite’s, who was given out lbw on the field with the decision upheld on review with HawkEye projecting the ball would have clipped the top of the stumps.
“They haven’t really had the breaks today. Part of it is their fault, but I’m going to have a little moan here about two of the dismissals,” said Holding. “You know I’ve been talking about how it’s so important that the first decision on the field is correct. That’s so that whenever you have a referral it’s all about umpire’s call. Everybody has heard me saying it for years.
“Benefit of the doubt should go to the batsman. Umpire’s call, there has to be some doubt where the umpire is confirmed, so say not out and then let the technology prove you wrong. We didn’t see that this time around with Brathwaite. I think that should have been not out and stayed not out. There has to be doubt if the ball is clipping the bails.”
The second was John Campbell edging behind off Stuart Broad. The decision was given not out originally, and wicketkeeper Jos Buttler didn’t even appeal at first. But, after Joe Root was convinced to review, there was “the finest little nick on UltraEdge,” as commentator Ian Ward put it.
Holding pointed to the reprieve of Ollie Pope earlier that day, when the technology detected an inside edge on an lbw review, despite the TV umpire having suggested one was unlikely, as evidence that UltraEdge information should be taken with a pinch of salt.
“Yeah, [there was a nick] according to UltraEdge,” Holding said. “There was a referral when England were batting when the third umpire said ‘Well we can see there’s no bat involved but let’s have a look at UltraEdge anyway.’ And what did UltraEdge show? That he got a nick on the ball. That thing records sound. Who knows where the sound is coming from?”