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'Tech adding to pressure on umpires'

Umpire Simon Taufel is apprehensive about the use of technology and feels on-field officials rarely get credit for getting things right but are chastised for every minor error replayed endlessly on television.
By HT Correspondent | PTI, Melbourne
UPDATED ON FEB 12, 2008 01:56 PM IST

Technology has made umpiring a thankless job, says world's number one umpire Simon Taufel, who feels on-field officials rarely get credit for getting things right but are chastised for every minor error replayed endlessly on television.

"Although it's okay for players to appeal, when the umpire gets it right he gets no credit whatsoever," Taufel told the 'Australian Associated Press', a news agency in Melbourne.

Taufel said during close caught behind appeals, the umpire has to make a split-second decision without getting any assistance from technologies like the snickometer.

The Aussie felt loud crowds add to the pressure and until umpires get a device to hear faint nicks, it is impossible to get the decisions right all the time.

"... If he (the umpire) makes an error in judgement in those sorts of areas, we're using television and stump audio to prove him wrong," he added.

"You've got to appreciate that when you're in a stadium like that of 50,000 people you can't actually hear things.

"Until we get better technology to be able to put that audio back into our ear, those things (wrong decisions) are likely to happen and it could happen to any one of us," he added.

Taufel said given the furore caused by poor umpiring last month in the India-Australia Test series, it was inevitable that more technology would be brought in to cut down on the errors.

"I think given the events over the last month or so it's probably reasonably inevitable that we're going to be using more technology in some way, shape or form," Taufel said.

"What is likely to happen too is that if that does eventuate, we will probably use technology to err on the side of caution rather than stick our proverbials on the line and make a judgement without double checking things," he added.

However, Taufel cautioned against using technology too often.

"We have to make sure that we're not just transferring human error from on the field to off the field," the 37-year-old warned.

"That the technology and the process is strong enough so that we get the right answer and we're just not confusing someone else and perhaps delaying the game unnecessarily and still getting the wrong answers," he said.

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