Ben and Sam discuss a cricket replay review controversy, a few of Ruben Amaro's regrettable moves, and the suspensions of Jhonny Peralta and Nelson Cruz.

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The cricket controversy has been in the recent England vs Australia series of 5 matches (we're 3 matches in now). The Decision Review System (DRS) has worked OK to now, but has failed recently due to a mixture of poor onfield umpires, inconsistent TV umpiring (where you can only over-rule the onfield call if there is clear evidence he was wrong) and suspicions that the technology isn't working properly. The teams have also used their challenges very badly during the games.

The original purpose of DRS was "to eliminate the howler", implying it would be used occasionally. It now dominates proceedings, distracting both players and commentators, and now it seems the Aussie Prime Minister ...

More cricket on Effectively Wild? Superb.

On a slightly-related note, I've noticed an increasing use of the term "change-up", mainly in limited-overs cricket, where "slower ball" would previously have been used. Goodness only knows what the traditionalists will make of this once they pick up on it en masse.
These first two comments confirm my belief that this podcast should be exclusively about cricket.
As a casual cricket fan, I agree! If you have ESPN3 and a few spare hours you should watch the ICC Champion's Cup final. It was supposed to be an ODI but it was shortened to 20 overs because of stupidity and bad weather. The ending was great.
Can you explain the timing of when I will watch this? It's archived and can be watched any time, is that it? When did it take place?
June 23. It's archived for replay:
As I said above, I always enjoy it when cricket is brought up in these podcasts. A few points relating to what was said in this episode:

1. HotSpot has been the main problem in the current England v Australia series. (By the way, each Test series between these two teams is known as The Ashes - - Wikipedia). There have been instances where it seems pretty clear that the ball has hit the bat but nothing has shown up on the HotSpot replay. Various theories have arisen - hot weather might cause the technology to not work as well, for instance - but it's not been a good summer for HotSpot.

2. The snickometer has been a staple of TV coverage, in the UK at least, for about 13 years now. The reason why it hasn't been part of the official review system is that it takes too long to produce. Apparently they've managed to sort this out though - or they're close to doing so - and this is likely to be part of the review system soon.

3. The third umpire, whose job it is to adjudicate in these situations, is someone who will be an on-field umpire most of the time.

4. Both sides competing in a series have to agree to video review for it to be used. India refuse to use it, citing concerns with its accuracy, so series involving them rely simply on the decisions of the on-field umpires.

5. Two main effects of the DRS stand out for me. Firstly, and without going into too much detail, there are certain ways a batsman will be given out now that would never have happened in the past. Secondly, it removes a bit of drama each time a batsman is out. An example: England won a really dramatic first game against the Aussies a few weeks ago. The final out came courtesy of a video review by England after the on-field umpire had said "not out". It no longer feels *quite* the same when the umpire gives someone out, because everyone immediately looks to see whether the batsman will review the decision (unless, of course, his side have run out of reviews).
Further diplomatic controversy for you Ben ...

The Aussies are accusing the English of putting silicon tape on their bats to try to stop 'Hot Spot' identifying when the ball hits the edge.

England & Australia nearly broke off diplomatic relations in 1932/33 over cricket (We the English kept bowling at their heads rather than the stumps and it was many decades before protective helmets)

PS if you're looking for a guest / cricket expert who understands baseball too , try Andy Zaltzman (@Zaltzcricket) an English comedian and close friend of John Oliver of the Daily Show, who prioritises watching cricket above his career and family ...