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Fletcher backs referral system

Duncan Fletcher
Fletcher is currently coaching in South Africa

Former England coach Duncan Fletcher has backed the under-fire referral system being used in Test cricket but questioned the way it is being used.

The system is in the spotlight after three lbw appeals were referred on day three of England's fourth Test in the West Indies on Saturday.

But Fletcher maintains that the innovation is an "improvement".

"If the people administering the system during the match are not up to it, don't blame the system," he said.

Fletcher told BBC Sport: "This is the exact same system I came up with 12 or 13 years ago when I was coach of Western Province.

They should have stuck to the role I had and followed that job description

Fletcher on the ECB
"This system will not currently give you 100% correct decisions, but it is there to help umpires.

"Adding hot-spot technology and Hawk-Eye will also be good.

"I suggested three referrals and I still don't think two is enough, but I don't think the International Cricket Council has given the referral system time to bed down.

"And if the people administering the system during the match are not up to it, don't blame the system," he added, pointing to a contentious decision made by third umpire Daryl Harper to give Brendan Nash out lbw during the West Indies first innings in the fourth Test against England in Barbados.

"All we have to ask though is 'are there more correct decisions than incorrect being made?' The answer is yes, so the system is an improvement."

Fletcher also accused the England and Wales Cricket Board of an overly bureaucratic approach to appointing the new coach to succeed Peter Moores.

606: DEBATE
CharlieDavis123
A job description for the position is on the ECB website and Fletcher, who left the role after the 2007 World Cup, says it may dissuade people from applying.

"It's a bit overboard - I'm sure it'll put people off," said Fletcher.

"They should have stuck to the role I had and followed that job description, just like every other country has."

Fletcher transformed England's fortunes after taking over as coach in 1999 and in 2005 the Zimbabwean guided them to a thrilling Ashes win over Australia.

But he believes the job specification would not encourage him to re-apply.

"It should be about getting a coach in to manage the side," added Fletcher.

"Are they trying to cover more things off the field than on the field?

"I just wonder if he's going to be tied up in administrative things instead of getting involved with players and helping them with the technical side of their game."

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see also
Swann defends umpiring referrals
28 Feb 09 |  England
Strauss ready to rebuild England
08 Jan 09 |  England
Fletcher to quit after World Cup
19 Apr 07 |  England


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