India to gain from new umpiring rule: Legal expert

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> India have been a victim of wrong umpiring verdicts and the referral system to be trialled during SL Test series will benefit them, says a legal expert.

Updated: July 11, 2008 08:33 IST
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India have been a victim of wrong umpiring verdicts and the referral system to be trialled during their forthcoming Test series against Sri Lanka will benefit them, feels top legal expert Senaka Weeraratna.

"India will be in a better state of mind to play official cricket matches overseas due to the new umpire referral mechanism, to be introduced during the Indo-Sri Lanka Test series (starting July 23)," Weeraratna, a proponent of the new system for over a decade, told PTI.

"They will not have the fear psychosis of decisions unduly going against them as has happened many a times in the past while playing outside India," said Weeratatna, a former legal consultant to the Sri Lankan Law Commission.

"I wanted the extension of power of the third umpire to rectify any wrong decision of the field umpire by making use of the available technology," he said.

Weeraratana has been advocating the referral of doubtful decisions of filed umpires to third umpire for the last 10 years starting with a letter to 'The Australian' in March 1997 and 'London Times' in May 1997.

In June, 1996, he was chosen for the best letter of month from the reputed 'International Cricketer' magazine for his suggestion of two neutral umpires as against then prevailing one home umpire and one-third country umpire system.

In another letter written to 'Weekend Australian' on February 20, 1999, under the heading A spectator's appeal: reform cricket umpiring' he suggested the use of compulsory electronic system for umpiring decisions.

Under the new referral system to be trialled during Indo-Lanka series, each team will be permitted to seek review of three decisions of field umpires in each innings and video replays will be used to decide on these appeals.

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