Flower backs referral system

2010-11-30 10:53
Andy Flower (AP)

Adelaide - England coach Andy Flower on Tuesday gave his backing to the controversial TV referral system for adjudicating suspect catches in international cricket.

Flower is at odds with Ricky Ponting, who was annoyed that England opener Alastair Cook refused to walk after the Australian skipper took what he claimed was a fair catch low to the ground on Monday's last day of the drawn Gabba Test.

Ponting said the referral of disputed catches to inadequate technology was a "blight on the game".

Ponting's "catch", when Cook was on 209, was referred to the third umpire but television replays were inconclusive and the English opener went on to make an unbeaten 235.

Flower said he did not see how an honesty system was practical in the professional sporting age when he had seen so many catches claimed by fielders who mistakenly believed they had taken a fair catch.

"I've always thought that that (an honesty system) is the ideal, however if we did leave it at that, there'd be a lot of catches taken on the bounce that are claimed by fielders," Flower told reporters.

"You can't always tell whether you've taken it cleanly.

"I know a number of people of impeccable character that have claimed catches and you can see that it's bounced and it's not because they're trying to cheat, it's because sometimes you just can't tell.

"So we've gone down the road of the TV umpire being used more often and there's no way it's going to go backwards, so it would be naive to think that."

Flower indicated he would like to see umpires given the sole right to check with the third umpire about a dismissal.

"Whatever system we use is not going to be perfect and looking for the perfect answer is unrealistic," he said.

"We are getting more decisions right this way, so I think that we should use some sort of referral system.

"I'm not sure what the best referral system is, I think it would be interesting to trial a system where the umpires use it themselves."

Ponting said after Monday's Test that he sought an explanation from the umpires as to what the decision-making process involved when his catch was turned down by the third umpire.

"I do feel a little bit annoyed because I think it is a blight on the game that we are trusting in technology that is not good enough to show it," Ponting said.

"I could have got that ball and thrown it up in the air and no one would have asked a question of it.

"As soon as they are referred, you pretty much know what the end result is going to be."

Read more on:    ashes  |  ricky ponting  |  andy flower

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