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Indian board files umpire referral system complaint

Ian Bell survive's against India
Bell's lbw was referred unsuccessfully to the third umpire

Indian cricket officials have written to the International Cricket Council (ICC) to complain about the umpire referral system at the World Cup.

The Indian board (BCCI) called the system "inadequate" and also said it resented the ICC's criticism of India captain Mahendra Dhoni.

Dhoni complained about a let-off for England's Ian Bell during the thrilling tie between the two teams on Sunday.

But ICC general manager Dave Richardson said Dhoni should have known the rules.

"The inadequacy of the Umpire Decision Referral System (UDRS) has been exposed in the Cricket World Cup," BCCI secretary N Srinivasan wrote in a letter to ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat.

"The group stage match between India and England was a case in point which clearly brought out the inadequacy of the system.

"The ICC in consultation with Hawkeye formed playing conditions which specifies when the umpire can rely on Hawkeye and when he cannot.

"This itself is an admission on the question of reliability of the system including ball tracking technology."

During the extraordinary group match between India and Englandl which ended in a tie, Bell survived a close lbw call from a Yuvraj Singh delivery, which was turned down by umpire Billy Bowden.

India subsequently referred the decision to the third umpire but they were denied his wicket because, even though the ball tracking device showed the ball had hit Bell's pads in line with the stumps, it was considered to have been too far down the pitch.

Leg-before-wicket decisions by the referral process can only be given if the ball hits the player within 2.5 metres of the stumps. Outside that perimeter the technology is considered inaccurate.

Following the controversy, England batsman Bell went on to score 69 from 71 balls, helping his team secure the target of 338 runs on the final ball.

Dhoni criticised what he called the "adulteration of technology with human thinking" and Richardson was subsequently quoted in the Indian media, saying Dhoni would not have criticised UDRS had he been aware of the rule.

"BCCI takes strong objection to Mr David Richardson criticising the Indian captain M S Dhoni," the letter continued. "Mr Richardson's comment that the Indian captain should know the rule is out of place.

"The Indian captain only highlighted the inadequacy of the system and rightly so. It was there for the world to see.

"For an ICC representative to criticise a player for his post match press conference while the World Cup is being played is tantamount to pressurising the player. Mr Richardson has no right to do so.

"BCCI has strong reservations about the statement made by Mr Richardson. He should be instructed not to react in this fashion."

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see also
'Mixed feelings' over epic match
28 Feb 11 |  England
England & India in thrilling tie
27 Feb 11 |  England

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