Open Letter to the ICC

Sent this to ICC after watching the 2nd test between India and SA… Not that I believe the ICC will ever find the guts to address this issue, but it’s high time somebody forced it out into the open. Forward this at will. I am open to what others will say.

It seems pretty ironic that while the ICC claims to frown on anything and everything that brings the game into disrepute, it seems blind to the fact that in letting umpires like Hair, Bucknor, Benson run their writ on the game is really harming the game more than anything else the players can do. With so much technology around, why is it that ICC still insists on the archaic tradition of human judgment, with all its inherent shortcomings and mistakes, both indeliberate and otherwise?
I saw your statistics on the Umpires page, saying that the Emirates panel members are altogether 94% accurate in their decisions. I would like to ask you whether you have any detailed values as to
a) How much of that 6% was a wrong decision going against an Asian nation?
b) What was the ratio of benefits of doubt given to Asian and non-Asian nations?
c) What part of the erroneous decisions changed the course of the match, (defined as the benefactor going on to score another forty+ runs or taking the wicket of a settled batsman, leading to a collapse) especially in matches involving Asian nations?
d) Why, despite decisions that have had serious impacts on matches, do dubious officials – on the strength of their so-called accuracy record – still serve on the panel and are never penalised?
Umpires, as the excuse goes, are human. Nobody’s asking to replace that human element in its entirety. But protecting their opinions at the cost of the fairness of the game is tantamount to cutting off the head to avoid the onset of aging.
Statistics are only tools. Just as you seek to prove that despite the challenges before them, the umpires are able to make the correct decision 94% of the time, so too can I demonstrate that of the remaining 6%, there remains a distinct pattern aimed against the Asian nations and at an advantage to the home nations.
I certainly do hope, for the sake of the game some do and others claim to love, that the ICC soon finds the spine necessary to overcome such a disease that is rotting it from within.
I entertain no hope that this will even be read by any of the ‘important’ people at ICC, but in the off chance that it is, I pray it is taken into consideration.
If, however, the ICC does continue to suffer from such a blindness, then perhaps the day is not far off when another umpire might push things too far and everyone who watches cricket will believe it is less genuine than professional wrestling.
Perhaps it is time for the ICC to stop being an ostrich…

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