x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

DRS adds an extra level of comfort for umpires

Aleem Dar and Tony Hill tell Osman Samiuddin that they prepare the same way if the technology is being used or not.

Sri Lankan cricket captain Tillakaratne Dilshan, centre, talks with umpires Aleem Dar, left, and Tony Hill, right, during a Test match between Australia and Sri Lanka in September last year.
Sri Lankan cricket captain Tillakaratne Dilshan, centre, talks with umpires Aleem Dar, left, and Tony Hill, right, during a Test match between Australia and Sri Lanka in September last year.

Do you officiate differently with and without DRS?

Aleem Dar When I am umpiring I don't think that I am doing it with technology so that should not affect my decision making. Preparation is always the same as I do with any Test. I don't get obsessive about technology, I don't make it an issue in my preparations.

Tony Hill I don't think it makes any difference in the way that you prepare. You still have to make decisions every ball. But it does make a difference at the end of the day. If you do make a mistake I'd certainly much rather have a mistake corrected. I think it's a strange situation to have somebody sitting at home in their lounge and they can see I have made an error but we're unable to do anything about it on the field.

How do you feel when a decision is challenged?

Dar With lbws especially, you can use whatever technology you want and the players are invariably happy with the outcome. I am comfortable when a decision is being reviewed because if you are in favour of technology then you accept also that it can show you to be wrong sometimes. If you accept the system and that a human being can make mistakes then you don't feel the pressure. If one or two decisions are wrong that's fine, but three to four, then you get pressure.

Hill When it first came in, it was unusual and it seemed to be slightly against the way we've run cricket for so many, many years. But on the other hand, out in the middle, the attitudes of the players both towards the umpires and to each other, has improved quite a bit. I'm not nervous [when waiting for a review]. I guess most of us would be sitting here thinking, 'I hope I got it right.' There's always that little percentage where you're not absolutely 100 per cent sure and perhaps you've given the batsman the benefit of the doubt, in which case, you watch it with interest to see whether you're right or wrong.

Has DRS helped umpires?

Dar When I am umpiring with technology, I feel a little more comfortable. A good umpire makes no more than one or two mistakes a game and if with technology he can better that, then I have no issue with it.

Hill I think it has. I know when they very first started doing run-outs and stumpings and that was really the beginning of technology to help umpires and I think you would find that a lot more people are run out now than they used to be. Many umpires have now watched on television and gone to club games and realised that when the ball is hitting directly, they need to have their eyes in exactly the right position to pick up where the bat is otherwise you tend to give the batsman a bit more benefit.