A BONE of contention with players is always the LBW decision.

A batter never thinks he is out and a bowler always thinks he is - it all depends on the umpire’s opinion.

They are in the best position to see where the ball pitched, what it hit first, was the batter attempting to play at the ball? And if so, was the point of impact in line wicket to wicket? And would the ball have hit the wickets?

The bowler is often running off the pitch, angled away and the wicketkeeper cannot see where the ball hit the batter, he can only presume. Yes, they are entitled to appeal but it is the opinion of the umpire that counts.

A batter often moves after he has hit the ball and when given out stares back at the umpire as if to say ‘how can that be out? Look where I am’. It’s where the batter was when the ball hit him. A few years ago, we videoed some batters for training purposes and one was amazed just how much he moved across his stumps.

A player said he would rather an umpire be quick in making his decision, ‘being fired off’, he said, rather than the umpire take his time as it gives an element of doubt in the player’s mind.

Actually, a good umpire should take his time as needs to run all the above-mentioned points through his mind before making a decision. If the answer to all of the points is yes, then the batter is given out.

I witnessed an unusual LBW decision a few weeks back when the batter was given out when he ducked and turned his back on the ball which hit him on the back. The ball was full pitched and dropping as it hit the batter. The bowler quietly asked the umpire if he was out which was answered in the affirmative. All the umpire has to decide in that case was the ball going to carry on its same trajectory and hit the stumps. He decided it would and gave the batsman out.

A bowler will often ask the umpire where was that going if the appeal was unsuccessful.

An umpire doesn’t have to explain why, there and then as it could lead to disgruntlement if the bowler doesn’t agree with him. Its best to say “we will discuss it afterwards”.

Some teams think by appealing constantly they will eventually be given a wicket, however that is now a level-one disciplinary offence and therefore reportable.