Remove players’ right to challenge umpire’s decisions: Former umpire John Holder

John Holder said only on-field umpires must be allowed to ask for reviews from the third umpire © Getty Images

Aug 15, 2013

The Decision Review System (DRS) has come under the scanner in the ongoing Ashes 2013 Test series. Players from both England and Australia have not been overly pleased with the system as many blunders have been made during the series.

There is also many questions flying whether the third umpires are unwilling to overturn decisions made by their on-field counterparts.

Former cricketers and experts have also talked about removing the right to appeal from the players’ hands and entrust the duties solely to the on-field umpires.

Former International Cricket Council (ICC) umpire John Holder said only the on-field umpires can ask for a review from the third umpire.

“I have no first hand proof that the third umpires are reluctant to advise their on-field colleagues to change their original decisions. However there have been at least three instances of the third umpire making decisions which were blatantly wrong,” said Holder as reported by the Pakistan Observer.

“I worked for a time as a Regional Umpires Performance Manager for ICC and was in the Caribbean in 2009 when DRS was trialed in the West Indies versus England series.

“All officials were asked at the end of the series how we thought the system should be used. I said that on-field umpires should be able to ask the third umpire to check in cases where the on-field man was uncertain as to what actually happened.

“Having umpired for 27 years in County Cricket and officiated in 30 international matches, I know that there are times when there is an appeal and you are uncertain whether the batsman is out or not.

“But ICC decided to adopt the present system of two challenges per innings per team and some players, including Brad Haddin have publicly said that the on field umpires should be able to ask the third umpire and it should be taken away from players.”

Holder was the man who famously rejected a 10,000 Pounds spot-fixing offer back in 1993 in a match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in Sharjah.

He was also the man who proposed a bowl-out system to ensure results if and when matches were not completed due to rain. Holder’s ideas were implemented in many competitions by the ECB later on.