Umpire Paul Reiffel is having an absolute shocker of a test series. In fact he has been so poor that you wonder if we would be better off not even having an umpire at his end. The only thing he has managed to do right so far is hand the cap back to the bowler at the end of an over.
While his first test was very, very poor, he has been even worse in the second test. Not only has he managed to get most of his decisions wrong but he has also completely failed to monitor the no-ball line. Cameras detected that he missed no fewer than 11 no balls in one session!! That has to be an international record.
His “decision” to give Rassie van der Dussen out LBW when it was clear and obvious that there was an inside edge to even the naked eye shows just how out of his depth he has fallen. The error was a familiar one as he made several in the first test that raised concerns from the commentators both on TV and radio. Reiffel already boasts one of the highest decision reversal rates in world cricket … somewhere in the mid 30% range before this series. This series though, he has got the majority of his calls wrong.
Back to the no-ball issue. If you are not going to bother calling no-balls, it has a negative impact on both the fielding side and the batting side. For the batting side, they miss out on extra runs and also the benefit of tiring bowlers out with extra balls being bowled. For the fielding (bowling) side, the bowlers think that their run up and final step is the right distance but then when they take a wicket they get the decision overturned for overstepping.
Excellent commentator Kevin Pietersen (all is forgiven!) pointed out that the third umpire needs to call no-balls in test matches to allow for the umpire to concentrate on what is ahead of them. I second that suggestion as it would clear this issue up.
After all technology is being used in all forms of sport these days. Why not add this to cricket?
In the meantime, Paul Reiffel, needs to be put out to pasture.