Decision Review System furore likely to rumble on

2010-01-18 00:00

THE furore over the Decision Review System (DRS) almost threatened to overshadow South Africa’s emphatic victory yesterday, as the touring English continually lamented a system that they had agreed to ahead of the series.

The drama had kicked off when Graeme Smith was given not out on Friday, when he was on 15, and he went on to make 105 as South Africa took control of the match.

The England camp was furious after learning that third umpire Daryl Harper couldn’t detect an edge off Smith’s bat, because his monitor had the volume too low.

ECB chairman Giles Clarke described the system as a “shambles”, and the team management, led by coach Andy Flower, marched to the match officials’ rooms to lodge a complaint after Smith’s “escape”.

Their mood hardly improved as a series of close calls went against them on Saturday, with captain Andrew Strauss admitting that they were frustrated.

“It has been disappointing, but I think that our performance on the field was even more frustrating,” Strauss said.

South African captain Graeme Smith said that, though the system had its flaws, it had already proved itself by eliminating “real shockers” from the game.

“I don’t think it helps crying over spilt milk, because both sides knew what technology was available before we started.”

Smith also said that he felt England had allowed the DRS issue to distract them, and they had taken advantage of the situation.

“I think they made an issue out of it, which played into our hands. We have had decisions go either way during the series, and you just learn to get on with it.”

While most of the players were in agreement that the technology should be utilised if it is available across the world, Clarke suggested that the system should be scrapped and the game should regain its “integrity” by giving the power back to the umpires.

What started as a minor storm in an English teacup has quickly turned into what can best be described as rather unsavoury sour grapes.

While most local papers will focus their readers on South Africa’s excellent finish, you can be sure that the English counterparts will fasten onto the DRS debacle like a British bulldog on a bone.

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