David Warner has called for greater umpire accountability and has vented his frustration at the ball-tracking technology following his lbw dismissal in Australia’s win over Sri Lanka in Lucknow on Monday. Warner was given out lbw on field by umpire Joel Wilson for 11 when he played back to a ball from left-arm quick Dilshan Madushanka.
Warner reviewed the decision immediately, but was dumbfounded and visibly angry when ball tracking showed the ball was hitting the outside of leg stump. Australia kept the review as it was umpire’s call, but Warner verbally lashed out as he walked off. Speaking on Tuesday, he explained why he was upset and what he had said to Wilson after the dismissal, and called for umpires’ individual decision percentage stats to be shown on the big screen just like batting stats are.
“I just sprayed out loud in frustration pretty much – not just at myself – but [because] it kept low, and normally when something hits me on the leg on the outside, I know it’s pretty much going down leg,” Warner said. “I asked Joel when I was out there just what happened, why did he give it out. He said the ball was swinging back. To his credit, if he thinks that then that’s why he’s given the decision. But then when you see the replay of how it unfolded, you get a little bit annoyed. That’s out of our control.
“There’s a lot to say in terms of what I’d like to see. This probably won’t get across, but players’ stats go up on the board as you walk out to bat. When they announce the umpires, and they come up on the screen, I’d love to see their stats come up on the board as well. Because we see that in the NRL (National Rugby League). NRL shows those stats. I think the NFL (National Football League) shows those stats [as well]. I think it’s a great thing for the spectators to see as well.
“Obviously players get dropped for poor performances. It’s never explained to us what goes on with the panel. It’s just an indicator. It’s just little things to show spectators [that] it’s not easy. You can explain where it’s not easy, [and] why it’s not easy, and then when good decisions are made, they can explain it. I just think it’s something that could be explored.”
Warner stressed that he did not believe there were any biased decision-makers among the elite panel of umpires, but he does want to see greater accountability.
“You definitely know which umpires are going to give those 50-50 ones when it hits the pad, and that’s where from my perspective it gets frustrating,” Warner said. “There’s no bias in anything. It’s just that you feel like that as a player sometimes.
“There has to be some accountability. If you get a decision wrong, just accept it and apologise. Players aren’t going to bite your head off. Umpires aren’t going to bite your head off if you ask them the question. They’re generally pretty honest. You see it with the bunker in the NRL. You get some absolute stinkers, and some umpires don’t umpire the next game.”
Warner then took aim at the ICC’s ball-tracking technology provider Hawk-Eye, claiming he has never had the technology explained to him, and that there should be greater accountability when the ball-tracking does not appear to match what is seen on the replay.
“At the moment, we seem to be waiting for [ball-tracking],” Warner said. “And as a player, you get more frustrated because you think, ‘Did they line it up? What’s the impact points? how many impact points are there before it goes on?’.
“I’ve never had Hawk-Eye come in and explain to us how the technology actually works; it’s just for the TV. If they could come in and explain to us how it works, then sometimes we might not refer, or [actually] refer it.”
Despite Warner’s claim, it is understood Australia’s players and coaching staff have had multiple opportunities in recent years to learn about how the ball-tracking technology works, with some players being taken to the broadcast trucks to see the ball-tracking system in action.
It is also understood that Australia’s players have had the opportunity to work with some ICC umpires on decision percentages and decision-making processes. It is not known which players have taken up those opportunities or when they were specifically arranged.
“To be fair, if you warn someone, you’d think that they wouldn’t do it [again],” Warner said. “That’s just a perfect example of ignorance and arrogance in a way – just not listening.”
However, Warner was not asked why the Australians did not take up the perfectly legal option of running Perera out.