Review system fails again largely due to human error as it continues to cause controversy.
Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said Thursday he was seeking “clarification” from the International Cricket Council (ICC) on the “incorrect” exit of Usman Khawaja after yet another controversial Decision Review System verdict this Ashes.
Khawaja was given out by on-field umpire Tony Hill having made just one to leave Australia 92 for two on the first day of the third Test at Old Trafford.
The decision, after the batsman was adjudged to have edged England off-spinner Graeme Swann to wicketkeeper Matt Prior, was endorsed by third official Kumar Dharmasena despite evidence which appeared to suggest it should have been reversed.
Following criticism of the verdict by Australia Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and leg-spin great Shane Warne, Sutherland said he was seeking an explanation from the ICC.
“Cricket Australia has sought an explanation from the ICC on the dismissal of Usman Khawaja. In our view, the on-field decision and referred decision using DRS were both incorrect,” said Sutherland in an unusually critical statement issued after stumps.
“CA remains a strong supporter of DRS and believes it is important that cricket continues to improve and build confidence in the DRS.”
He added: “We understand and accept that from time to time mistakes can be made. However, in this instance, on behalf of the player, the team and all cricket fans, we feel duty bound to seek further explanation as to how this decision was arrived at.”
Australia opener Chris Rogers, who was at the other end when Khawaja was out, recalled the conversation he had with his batting partner before they opted for a review.
“He said he didn’t hit and I said he didn’t hit,” said Rogers. “That was about it.
“I was (surprised when Khawaja was given out). I was up the other end. Even in real time I didn’t think he hit, I didn’t think he was anywhere near it.
“The umpire must have had a different view on it but I thought it was not out and that’s why we reviewed it.
“From what we saw on the replay, I think even the England guys had given up hope of it being out. It was disappointing and another question mark I guess.
“It’s people’s careers on the line as well so you want these decisions to be right,” added Rogers, who made a Test best 84.
“I felt for him but it’s been happening so we’ve just got to get on with it.”
Rogers, asked if the players were losing confidence in the DRS process, replied: “It’s a hard one to answer…We want technology to make sure these decisions are correct.
“Sometimes it goes for you, sometimes it goes against you, so you just have to take it.”
England seamer Tim Bresnan, who earlier had Rogers’s opening partner Shane Watson caught at first slip by home captain Alastair Cook without the need of DRS confirmation, was equally phlegmatic.
“We’ve got a split-second to make that decision whether we want to review or not — then no matter what it comes back, we’ve got to accept it.
“It’s only right we respect the officials to make the right decision … and just get on with the game.”
Fortunately for Australia, 2-0 down with three to play, they still had their best day of this Ashes despite so far despite Khawaja’s dismissal as captain Michael Clarke (125 not out) and Steven Smith (70 not out) combined to take the tourists to 303 for three at stumps.
But earlier Thursday Rudd tweeted: “That was one of the worst cricket umpiring decisions I have ever seen.”
Australia great Warne was equally scathing, telling Sky Sports: “There was daylight between bat and ball – there was no Hotspot and no noise…That’s a shocker — that’s an absolutely shocking decision.”