England star Stokes wants umpire's call REMOVED for line and impact

England star Ben Stokes wants umpire’s call REMOVED in judging line and impact… as India batsman KL Rahul warns ICC against making cricket ‘too perfect’ after changes to height of stumps in reviews

  • Virat Kohli claimed last month the umpire’s call in reviews is causing confusion 
  • Sportsmail columnist Nasser Hussain, however, defended its role in the game 
  • Ben Stokes believes it has a place when deciding whether it has hit the stumps 
  • But the England star called for umpire’s call on line and impact to be removed 

England star Ben Stokes believes the umpire’s call when judging line and impact for reviews of LBW decisions should be eradicated from the game.

The use of umpire’s call came under scrutiny last month during England’s tour of India, with Virat Kohli claiming it is currently ‘creating a lot of confusion’, believing there should not be any more debates on what percentage of the stumps the ball is hitting when a decision is reviewed. 

Sportsmail columnist Nasser Hussain, however, defended its role in the Decision Review System [DRS] and insisted it remains in place to allow for the margin of error from the technology, given it can only predict where the ball would have hit.

England star Ben Stokes has called for umpire’s call judging line and impact to be removed

India captain Virat Kohli (right) said there was currently a lot of confusion around umpire’s call

And speaking on Red Bull’s ‘Decoding Athletes Podcast’, all-rounder and World Cup winner Stokes agreed with the former England captain but called for umpire’s call in judging line and impact to be removed.

Stokes also believes the cameras make it easy to discern where the ball has pitched and made contact.

‘I think the umpire’s call on stumps should stay because that is a prediction after what has happened,’ Stokes said.

‘But I think umpire’s call with pitching in line and impact should be eradicated because you can physically see where the ball has pitched, and you can physically see where it has hit you.

‘If the ball has pitched in line or hit you in line, I think it should just be green, whereas the ball hitting the stumps is a prediction. 


‘You can physically see from all the cameras that they have got if it has pitched in line or hit in line, or if half the ball is out or half the ball is in.’

Stokes’ comments come just a few days after the ICC decided to continue with the umpire’s call as part of DRS, while also agreeing to extend the height of the stumps to include the top half of the bails.

Bowlers now appear to have a better chance of getting more LBW decisions in their favour, if and when a decision is sent for a review thanks to the change.

But India star KL Rahul warned the governing body that they risk making cricket ‘too perfect’ and susceptible to losing its ‘charm’ with alterations constantly being made.

‘The standard of umpiring keeps getting better and better,’ Rahul said. ‘There will be changes made in the coming years.

Stokes believes the cameras should be able to show where a ball has landed and made impact

‘I did read recently about the ICC [increasing the height of the stumps]… I’m not exactly sure of the exact details.

‘The ICC keeps working on things as well. You cannot really try and make the game too perfect or it loses the charm of being a sport.’ 

In an announcement earlier this week, the ICC said it had adjusted the DRS protocols for LBW reviews to ensure ‘the same umpire’s call margin around the stumps for both height and width’.

‘The cricket committee had an excellent discussion around umpire’s call and analysed its use extensively,’ former India captain Anil Kumble, who led the ICC committee, said.

An ICC committee led by Anil Kumble (above) extended the height of the stumps in reviews to include the top half of the bails

‘The principle underpinning DRS was to correct clear errors in the game whilst ensuring the role of the umpire as the decision maker on the field of play was preserved, bearing in mind the element of prediction involved with the technology.

‘Umpire’s call allows that to happen, which is why it is important it remains.’

Meanwhile, Stokes also admitted England are looking for revenge in the Test arena this summer in a five-match series against Kohli’s men on home soil, after losing the most recent red-ball series between the two sides 3-1.

‘The schedule is pretty full on,’ he added. ‘That rivalry that India and England have always had, it is a great series to be a part of.

‘Wherever the series is played it always gets great attraction from all over the world. We will be looking for a bit of revenge after the Test series we have just had in India.’ 

But India star KL Rahul warned the governing body they risk making cricket ‘too perfect’

Listen to the special edition of Red Bull’s ‘Decoding Athletes Podcast’ featuring Ben Stokes, available on Wednesday 7th April. You can listen to the Decoding Athletes podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Amazon Podcasts.

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