‘Ben Stokes, Virat Kohli might want to get rid of it…’: Hussain on umpire's call | Crickit
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‘Ben Stokes and Virat Kohli might want to get rid of it…’: Nasser Hussain bats for ‘umpire’s call' in DRS

Feb 20, 2024 04:18 PM IST

Hussain explained the importance of ‘umpire’s call' after England captain Ben Stokes said it should be removed from the DRS system.

Former England captain Nasser Hussain disagreed with Ben Stokes on the importance of the 'umpire's call' in the Decision Review System (DRS). After the third Test against India, which England lost by a record 434 runs in Rajkot, England captain Stokes raised questions over the necessity of 'umpire's call' in DRS. According to Stokes, if it's hitting or clipping the stumps, it should be given out; doesn't matter what the on-field decision is.

Nasser Hussain explaining the need of umpire's call in DRS
Nasser Hussain explaining the need of umpire's call in DRS

Under the current DRS rules, if the ball-tracking shows the ball as clipping then the on-field umpire's decision gets precedence. If it's given out on the field, it stays that way and if it was a not out then the third umpire can't overrule that based on the ball-tracking evidence.

“You just want a level playing field. The umpires have an incredibly hard job as it is, especially in India when the ball is spinning. My personal opinion is if the ball is hitting the stumps, it is hitting the stumps. They should take away 'umpire's call' if I'm being perfectly honest. I don't want to get too much into it because it sounds like we are moaning and saying that is why we lost the Test match," Stokes told TalkSPORT after the Rajkot Test.

The England captain was aggrieved about Zak Crawley's lbw decision in the second innings. The visuals showed that the ball might just be missing the stumps but the ball-tracking judged it as 'umpire's call'. Since the on-field decision from umpire Kumar Dharmsena was out, it stayed that way.

Hussain counters Stokes and Kohli over DRS rules

Hussain, who has been a strong advocate of the importance of umpire's call purely because of the margin of error in the technology, once again highlighted the need to stick with it.

"Technology can be fallible but I've always been very strong on the fact I like the DRS and I also like umpire's call. Look at the shemozzle with VAR in football. It's just not like that in cricket. Stokes and others like Virat Kohli may want to get rid of it but umpire's call is not there to protect the officials it's there because of the margin of error in the technology," Hussain wrote in DailyMail.

Hussain had also described the need for the umpire's call in an elaborate video when then-India captain Virat Kohli had posed a similar argument.

The former England captain also did not forget to highlight the new laws where the bail height for the balls clipping the stumps was increased, which might have had a role to play in Crawley's DRS showing clipping rather than missing.

"Bear in mind, also, there have been a couple of changes in the system and the ball can now clip the top of the bails.

"The lbws for Ollie Pope and Zak Crawley in the third Test did look high but they have increased the height by 1.3 centimetres.

"One thing I will agree on with Ben. He said the visual of Crawley's dismissal showed the ball missing the stumps. If that's the case you can't have that," Hussain said.

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