The problem of the Wanderers launch: from the eyes of a referee


"The last decision in this situation is that of the match referee, he is the man in charge of the match." © Getty

Contrary to popular expectations, the task of a match referee is not limited to supervising the pitch and then resting in an air-conditioned room. He becomes solely responsible for making difficult decisions when the future of a game is questioned. Former South African hitter Mike Procter has been involved in many similar situations, none more famous than the moderation of the scandal of & # 39; Monkeygate & # 39; which threatened to spiral into India to withdraw from its tour of Australia in 2007-08.

Converse with Cricbuzz, Procter reviewed the sequence of events that developed towards the abrupt stoppage of the game on Day 3 of the South Africa-India event in Johannesburg due to concerns about the state of the field.

What is your general level? evaluation of the tone situation?

I think that actually what happened yesterday was very unfortunate. At the end of the day, you will receive a lot of criticism in both ways, and that will be debated, but I think that the referees, at the end of the day, made the right decision. It was a situation in which there were some dangerous deliveries, as we know. At what stage is it totally dangerous to call the match? You could have said that earlier in the game of the day, later in the day, maybe there was a question mark. Because at the end of the day it is good to have mutual discussions. India has hit in its second inning and has hit extremely well. In fact, they have shown a lot of character and guts in this series, they really have done very well. I think they deserve the opportunity to (have a chance of victory) because they have hit in the second possibility, it has not deteriorated much more when South Africa hit. They deserve the opportunity to play here and win a test match for India.

What is the protocol of the match referee in such situations?

The last call in this situation is that of the match referee. He is the man in charge of the party. He should go to both teams and try to get the correct result. Obviously, the referee of the match depends on the referees because the referees are the ones who make the decisions on the field of play. In that situation, I will say that the referees are in control, because they are the part that controls, they are evaluating the game from the point of view firsthand. But in that situation, they would also have gone to the referee of the game and would have discussed what is the protocol to follow.

Is it totally different?

Well, it's not totally different; the matches have been canceled due to dangerous games. This is a bit different because it was dangerous but not to the point where it was like the Caribbean (Jamaica 1998). Because the wicket was very bad, so I was in that situation. But in this situation, it was almost dangerous. As I said, it is again in the hands of the referees because they are on the field. The match referee has no jurisdiction over what happens on the field of play, that's up to two referees out there. After that, the match referee comes into play, and I think the referees did it correctly, because we also have time in the game. You know if it was only a day or three quarters of a day, things could have been different. I think common sense prevails in cricket, having situations like this. This happens because rules can not be established for a situation where it is 3 o'clock in the afternoon, the fifth ball was removed and the first occurred in the morning. You can not do that, you just evaluate the situation, I think they evaluated it well.

If two captains agree to play, then what?

I think common sense would prevail, I know where, well, not at the trial level, but the county cricket where the captains want to play and the referees say it could be dangerous and if the two captains accept the Because it's dangerous and they want to play, I think common sense prevails and you play. 19659004] What is your rating for this pitch?


Not insecure?

(Laughter) You know, the pitches are tough, I always thought that when captained Gloucestershire, it's their 11 against their 11. Whatever they play, they both play in that field. And there is talk that India prepares launches that are launched in India, there is no problem with that. It's okay. You know that the Indians have not complained at all. Ravi (Shastri) has not said a word, the captain has not said a word. The players have not said a word. As I said before, Ravi as the coach and Virat as the captain, they know what it is. I think they are producing a very good set, they showed a lot of character and a lot of guts on this tour. They have really played well on this tour and deserve the chance to see if they can win this test match.

Do you think the captains are interfering too much in the launch preparations now?

I do not do it I think too much. I think it probably came out more. But I know that when I was a captain or whoever was a captain, I would say what kind of pitch he prefers. Now it is common knowledge that the captain has said it, unlike the messages sent through the Boards that he would like a certain type of wicket. It's just one who said what, really.

The match referee had a conversation during tea time with the team leaders. If there was already worry then, should the coincidence have stopped, then?

I think that in a situation like this, common sense should prevail. Discuss it with hitters. Maybe at tea time, the tone deteriorated a bit. But obviously there is concern. And if there is concern, the sooner you leave and say it, the better. The final result will be what counts. I do not think anyone can criticize the fact that the match referee talked to both managers to see how they evaluate the situation. I think the more open you are about this kind of thing, the better.

This happened 19 minutes before the stumps, but what if it had happened at 3 pm?

I hear exactly what you're saying I think it evaluates every situation as it is. In this situation, there is a lot of time left in the game, so there will be a result. There were still two days left. The referees would have wanted to buy time, and I think that is correct. You evaluate the situation as it is. If only three quarters of a day remained, or one more day, they would have to make another decision. And I wish they had made the right decision. If you have time, buy time.

What about the other ramifications of calling the match? If you were the referee of the game, do you consider them?

I do not know all those ramifications, but there must be many. If you are the referee of the game, you make the decision of your own bat, forgive the play on words. You make the decision when you see the situation. And if the repercussions mean that the Wanderers can not have a test match for 10 days or 10 years, or that Kolkata can not have a test match, that does not come to mind. You make the right decision as you see it.

For example, here the ICC could come back to you with the repercussions of this being suspended …

So be it. So be it. But your job as a collegiate and official referee is to evaluate the situation as best you can and how you see it, and that's the bottom line. And that is the way it should be.

Adding to the assessment of the situation, do you think the way in which ICC exchange rates is a bit rigid?

That's always difficult. Is a dangerous pitch in the Wanderers as good as a non-playable pitch somewhere in India where the ball is spinning and bouncing high? It is a "feel" situation. I do not think you can say & # 39; day 1 if the ball does this … & # 39; because there are so many variations in a cricket match. A cricket field changes from one day to the next, if there is a cloud cover or not, if it is covered for a long time or a short time. Then you have to go and write down every little thing. & # 39; Oh, we removed those sheets two hours before. Or we only take them off ten minutes before. That's why I think it's a situation of & # 39; sensation & # 39; that the referees and referees must have for the game. And you evaluate the situation. A poor release is a poor release. You can explain if it is poor or dangerous.

There is a big difference between a very poor pitch and a dangerous pitch. But I think the beauty of what happened is that no one complains. The players have not complained despite the fact that the pitches have been poor, they just arrived and have done the job.

© Cricbuzz


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