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Harbhajan wants referral system in ODIs too

February 12, 2009 15:23 IST

India's temperamental spinner Harbhajan Singh wants the umpire referral system to be implemented in one-dayers also to avoid dubious umpiring decisions like the ones Sachin Tendulkar got in the recently-concluded ODI series against Sri Lanka.

"The umpire referral system is good for the game, which is aimed at making the game more fair as both batsmen and bowler can refer any controversial decision for its correction," Harbhajan said about the rule the International Cricket Council is trying out on an experimental basis in Test matches since last year.

"I think the system should also be there in ODIs. If it would have been implemented in the ODIs, then Sachin Tendulkar would have benefited in Sri Lanka," he said.

During the ODI series against the Sri Lankans, which India won 4-1, Tendulkar fell victim to dubious umpiring decisions in all the three matches he played.

"Such types of rules always benefit the game as well as the players," Harbhajan said.

However, the referral system has its share of detractors, with England and Wales Cricket Board chairman Giles Clarke demanding the removal of the system, saying it undermines the authority of on-field officials.

Clarke is of the view that instead of the umpire referral system, the rule used during the Stanford Twenty20 series where the third umpire intervened on his own in case of doubt, should be trialled.     Harbhajan said he is not worried about being included in the list of Indians who would automatically be part of the ICC's International Registered Testing Pool (IRTP) under the strengthened anti-doping code as he always consults the team physiotherapist before taking any medicine.

"Our physiotherapist rang me up yesterday and informed me about my inclusion in the IRTP," he said, adding earlier the code was used only during important ICC events.

Asked whether players included in the IRTP list could be punished for even inadvertently taking some banned medicine, Harbhajan said now the cricketers, who are under watch, will have to inform the physiotherapist in advance before taking any treatment or medicine.

As per the new rule, each cricketer will have to maintain a confidential online profile that will allow the ICC to keep track of their movements right through the year. The online profile, called the Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS) will then serve as a unique document that will contain all relevant medical details of a player.

The other Indian players in this list are Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Irfan Pathan, Zaheer Khan, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, Munaf Patel, and Virender Sehwag.
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