Pakistan ended their uneventful tour of Sri Lanka, where they only managed to win a solitaryT20 and ODI on the whole tour, with a drawn Test in Pallekele. Predicting before the tour, most would have thought that the Sri Lankans were no match for men in green; the reality, however, was very different.
The ODI defeat wasn’t entirely surprising, but it was the Test leg of the tour that surprised as a lot was expected from Pakistan, especially after whitewashing the world’s Number one team earlier this year.
Sri Lanka won the three Test series 1-0 but had it not been for rain, poor umpiring and the brilliance of Kumar Sangakkara, the result could have been different.
The first Test in Galle will go in record books as a massive win for Sri Lanka but all the players and fans who watched the game know that it was a spectacle of pathetic umpiring. A massive 14 wrong decisions were made in the Test and 10 came against Pakistan.
The last time I remember watching a match with so many wrong decisions was back in 2006 at Headingley, but that was before the advent of the Decision Review System and even then, the total errors were in single digits.
Though one can do nothing about the weather, howlers by the umpires can be eradicated with the help of technology. The ICC should either scrap DRS or use it in all games excluding India (which is another debate) rather than having this pick and chose policy for different boards (The Sri Lankan board couldn’t afford DRS for this series but had the money to have it in the series against England earlier this year!).
Such double standards make one wonder if the current ICC rankings are fair for all cricketing nations. Imagine if Andrew Strauss’s lbw decision in the first Ashes Test at Brisbane in 2010/11 was not overturned by DRS, would England still have won that series 3-1? There are plenty of ifs and buts, but one thing is for sure; the current rankings don’t exactly reflect each team’s real standing due to lack of uniformity across series.
Shouldn’t ICC step up and have the same technology for every series, rather than having advanced DRS for Ashes series and tired umpires for West Indies and New Zealand Test series? Yes, an Ashes series will attract more commercial and crowd attention, but ultimately the rankings are meant for all 10 Test playing nations and not only for richer cricketing nations.
That won’t change anytime soon as it’s the richer boards that run the show, and until then all Pakistani, Sri Lankan and West Indian fans will have to live with their scarce resources and the so called ICC rankings.
By Omer AyazTweet
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