Third Umpire, Second Thoughts

Things have been a tad busy this week - with much of it spent travelling to and from work in the worst winter weather seen in this neck of the woods since David Gower was still flying Tiger Moths - so the first two days of the Sabina Park Test have largely passed me by. As for the IPL auction, well, it's hardly big news round my way and I was asleep when it took place, so I can't say much about that either. Lastly, when I did try to sit down and watch some of the post-tea action from Kingston last night the picture kept breaking up because there was a snowstorm going on outside.

So, what to say? Many a player (and follower) brought up in harsher times would have cracked a wry smile at the sight of Gayle and the impressive Benn bowling so well in tandem on the first day. A sign of changing times if ever there was one, as, of course, is the first use of referrals in a Test match involving England, something which seems to be causing plenty of comment. While there are clearly imperfections in the embryonic system - the lack of a time limit on the wait for a decision being the most obvious - I think it's a step in the right direction which is surely justifiable on the grounds that having more demonstrably correct decisions rather than fewer has to be good for the game, however those decisons are arrived at.

Of course, people with biased viewpoints (that is, of course, all players and most spectators) will still find plenty to complain about, whatever the outcome. I thought, as did Mike Atherton, that there was sufficient height-related doubt about Sarwan's lbw for it to be reasonably disallowed, but it came as no surprise to find that plenty of people, including the England wicket-keeper, didn't agree with that.

In the end, though, only one person's opinion counts, although, when that person is the dreaded Daryl Harper, you can't help but have second thoughts...

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