'I hope that on-field umpires aren't replaced by cameras on motorized trolleys' - Mohammed Azharuddin feels the romance of cricket is dropping

‘I hope that on-field umpires aren’t replaced by cameras on motorized trolleys’ – Mohammed Azharuddin feels the romance of cricket is dropping

The entire debate boils down to why not use the technology to make the game better. But is the technology full-proof and entirely reliable?

Mohammad Azharuddin
Mohammad Azharuddin. (Photo by Debajyoti Chakraborty/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The life of an umpire is not easy. As decision-makers, they and their verdicts are given the utmost respect, but it takes only one bad day, one bad decision for them to become villains for millions. The standard of international umpiring has improved considerably with the aid of technology but in the essence of umpiring lies in the human element involved.

The opinions of cricket experts and pundits have always been divided on the question of placing reliance on technology for decision-making in the sport and keeping the original system intact. While tools such as Hawk-Eye, Ultraedge, and Hotspot have served as great assistants to the umpires all over the world, the orthodox thinkers believe that increasing technological interference is taking the essence away from the job.

Ever since the advent of the Decision Review System (DRS), the players have also been empowered to challenge the on-field calls if they are dissatisfied. More recently, in a welcome change, the call of making front-foot no-balls has also been vested with the third-umpire, which has reduced the role of on-field umpires from one more aspect of the game.

There are growing voices about removing the ‘umpires call’ and ‘soft signal‘ – which comes into play when the third-umpire cannot conclusively decide the aspects of an LBW call or catches – from the DRS system, and should this get a nod from the apex body of cricket, the significance of the on-field will further reduce.

The romance of cricket drops as the human element reduces: Azharuddin

Whichever side of the debate you are on, former Indian cricketer and captain Mohammed Azharuddin opines that the “romance of cricket drops as the human element reduces”.

Taking to Twitter, Azharuddin stated “The romance of cricket drops as the human element reduces in on-field decision-making. We must guard against biased umpires while recalling that they too are participants and can make mistakes. I hope that on-field umpires are not replaced by cameras on motorized trolleys.”

The entire debate boils down to why not use the technology to make the game better. But is the technology full-proof and entirely reliable? And why not produce better umpires?