Melbourne: He may have been done in by some umpiring howlers in the recent past but Australia opener Matthew Hayden doesn’t support the use of technology in Test cricket.
Hayden, who is fighting to keep his career alive with an average of just 23.5 in seven Tests since recovering from an Achilles injury, fell victim to a shocking call last week at the WACA against Australia, a decision for which Pakistani umpire Aleem Dar apologised later.
International Cricket Council will continue its trial of the referral system for umpiring decisions when Australia tour South Africa in February-March, but Hayden is not in favour of use of technology in Test cricket.
Hayden said he likes the human element of cricket umpiring because “some mistakes are made, but we all make mistakes".
“I struggle with technology in the game. Maybe that’s because I’m more old-school. But I don’t think that they’ve necessarily got the right technology," said the 37-year-old batsman.
“The great part of our game is umpires. They have their own fragility and the crowd enjoy the fact that there is some speculation with some decisions. That would be a very, very poor ingredient and certainly a flavour loss in the game if we went to the stage where everything was just so mechanical," he was quoted as saying by ‘The Age’.
The Australian opener also considers referral system as unnecessary wasting of time. In the drawn first Test between New Zealand and West Indies in Dunedin earlier this month, seven referrals were made to the third match official, which delayed play by 30 minutes in total. “It also causes a lot of stoppages of play as well. Every time things are referred it takes so much time off the game. I know it’s maybe an opportunity to go out and grab a pie and some chips but I want to see the game flow," Hayden said.
“I enjoy the humanistic side of umpires being involved in our game and if they make a mistake (it’s) ‘mate you made a mistake, I make mistakes, let’s play on’." In Perth, South African paceman Dale Steyn successfully appealed for a caught-and-bowled dismissal even though the ball had ballooned off Hayden’s pad with no hint of bat when he was on four. Umpire Aleem Dar later apologised to Hayden saying he got the decision wrong.