The Activist LBW Decision Returns

It’s a weird feeling when Ian Chappell agrees with you. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to be happy or crawl into a dark space and slowly rock myself back to sleep. Here’s what happened:

Ed Cowan received another marginal decision today; he was adjudged LBW padding up to a beauty from Umesh Yadav. The only problem was that HawkEye showed the ball missing off-stump. Chappell, seeing this, goes on a tear (that he brings up again during the tea break) and says if a batsman pads up to a ball, he shouldn’t even have the right to review.

Like Chappell, I have argued in two previous posts that umpires rightly take a harsher view of batsmen who pad up to balls. Batsmen, after all, are supposed to use their bat, not their pads, and if they happen to find themselves in a spot of bother (like Cowan), umpires should be a bit more tough in imagining the trajectory of the ball. As I said before:

The big problem with technology in this case is that it involves standardization, and in removing the human element, we also take out a crucial piece of the game’s drama. I say, unshackle umpires — let them decide how much consideration, say, ‘height’ deserves; let them decide if a batsman’s shot was stupid enough to get them hit on the pads, and above all, let them rule on whether or not a batsman failed at his most basic mission: to hit the ball.

I was rightly pilloried in the comments for giving umpires a bit too much subjective allowance. But I really don’t have a problem with Cowan’s dismissal, even if the ball wasn’t going to hit the stumps. As Chappell said: “Batsmen are supposed to score runs.”

One thought on “The Activist LBW Decision Returns

  1. […] have talked before about how the rules of LBW should be open to the umpire’s interpretation (within reason). It is fine with me if some umpires are […]

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