Do Cricketers Actually Know The Rules Of The Game?

This is from The Economist, which gives the DRS a generally favorable review:

In this series, both captains were still learning whom to trust. Having been talked into one ridiculous review too many, it is rumoured that Misbah-ul-Haq, Pakistan’s normally level-headed captain, simply stopped listening to his excitable wicket-keeper, Adnan Akmal. If anything, it has proved what even the most hard-done-by bowlers have always known deep down: umpires get it right more often than they get it wrong.

One funny — and no doubt unintended consequence — of the DRS system is that it has revealed just how badly players (and commentators) think about appeals. Judging from “excitable” characters like Akmal (but also every bowler alive), you would think players believe simply by virtue of appealing they have made 80 percent of their case. At one point during the series, for example, Saeed Ajmal was absolutely convinced that he had a leg-before, only for the review to show the ball pitching outside leg — the worst of rookie errors.

What was it like before DRS, I wonder? Did players appeal and, when turned down, sink to a hole of contempt and despair? Did they think the umpires were absolute idiots who delighted in their ignorance and power? And how do players feel now, having been shown (time and time again) that their conviction in appeals has been revealed to be little more than naive hope? So I’ll add this to the list of the Joys of DRS: the hilariously pained expressions cricketers like Jonathan Trott and Stuart Broad wear on their faces after they stake their honor on the line, convince their captain to use a precious review, and then watch technology make arses of them all.

Post-Script: Commentators, too, you know. Watch this clip of a calm Aleem Dar being proved right. Listen in particular for Michael Slater shouting, “That’s out!”


4 thoughts on “Do Cricketers Actually Know The Rules Of The Game?

  1. Russ says:

    No, they don’t.

    At all levels. I’ve played with and against people with 20 years playing the game who don’t know the laws, have never read them, and don’t know them. Commentators don’t help either, except for Richie Benaud.

  2. The first thing that came to mind when I saw the title of this post was Inzamam and his troubles with the “obstructing the field” rule.

    • Hilarious as that was, I can forgive Inzamam because it is one of the more obscure rules of the game. But when you find both commentators and players so easily befuddled about predicting the outcome of an LBW appeal, it does make you wonder…

      • It does make me think that (most) umpires are much more qualified to do their jobs than we give them credit for. I don’t think it has that much to do with players’ and commentators’ knowledge of the rules, it’s just they aren’t sharp-eyed enough to track the movement of the ball in real-time.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: