Richard Illingworth's (left) blunder on the field had a huge impact on the first Test between New Zealand and Australia © Getty Images
Richard Illingworth’s (left) blunder on the field had a huge impact on the first Test between New Zealand and Australia © Getty Images

International Cricket Council (ICC), the governing body of cricket, are not only the guardian of the sport but also carry a long list of responsibilities. While safeguarding the integrity of the sport which has been somewhat dented by on- and off-field incidents in recent past, what ICC is also required to do is to ensure that the sport keeps incorporating all necessary tools and practises. ICC and their cricket committee must ensure there are no howlers, such as the one committed erroneously by English umpire and former cricketer Richard Illingworth at Basin Reserve, Wellington, last week. The error made on the first day evening had a massive impact on the first Test between New Zealand and Australia, and it brings no good to cricket. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: New Zealand vs Australia 2015-16, 1st Test at Wellington

Illingworth may have been grossly ashamed with the decision he had made that went in the favour of Australian batsman Adam Voges. The bowler Doug Bracewell had not overstepped — his foot was clearly on the crease when he released the ball — but the umpire deemed it was an illegitimate delivery. While the umpires on field always have the option of referring to the third umpire — monitoring the proceedings on television sets closely — Illingworth did not feel the need to reach out to the third match official. ALSO READ: ICC to take no-ball decisions away from on-field umpires?

It resulted in a record-breaking innings. Voges ran away with the game as he broke batting records set by Don Bradman and Sachin Tendulkar. Voges, the 37-year-old last-man-standing of the Australian ‘Dad’s Army’, now averages a mind-boggling 97.46 (it was over a hundred during the innings) and also holds the record of most runs without being dismissed. Tendulkar had scored 497 runs without getting out in 2004, which was bettered by Voges to 551 runs between dismissals.

The on-field umpires have been erring far too often in international cricket as well as in the Twenty20 leagues spreading out all over the world. IPL 2015 saw some really silly mistakes being made by the on-field umpires, and no Indian fan can ever forget the errors made by umpire Vineet Kulkarni during their series against South Africa late last year. Ask Sri Lankans, and they will invariably mention CK Nandan. ALSO READ: Controversy! Umpire Richard Illingworth’s howler leaves New Zealand fuming; Adam Voges gets a lifeline

Modern-day technologies are rapidly spreading around the sport. The back-room staffs and even the players are using them for their good and it only results in improvisation. At their level, ICC has been able to implement DRS in a lot of countries, but there are some basic areas like no-ball due to overstepping, which should now be given to the the third umpire, who always has a better and close look at the game sitting upstairs.

The umpires have developed a habit (norm?) of checking for no-balls only when a batsman has been dismissed. Ideally, if there is a match official sitting upstairs with the best technology available to him; he should be given complete charge. What this will do to the sport is error-free decisions, or at least, prevention of howlers such as the one made by Illingworth at the Basin Reserve in Wellington. ALSO READ: Old-school Australia put New Zealand on back-foot right at the start of Trans-Tasman Trophy 2015-16

The third umpire should ideally also have the right to intervene in any proceedings on the field. He is properly connected with the two men on the field; since all of them are responsible for unflawed functioning of the game, the third umpire should have the right to do everything that falls in his jurisdiction to ensure there is no, at least.

(Devarchit Varma is senior writer with CricketCountry. He can be followed on Twitter @Devarchit)