London: Former England captains Michael Vaughan and Andrew Flintoff have called for the controversial Decision Review System (DRS) should be scrapped by the ICC in the wake of further occurrences during the ongoing Ashes.
At the centre of controversy during the historic England-Australia rivalry is the inconsistency of DRS, part of which is Hotspot thermal imaging technology. The most blatant errors during the Ashes were the dismissals of Australia batsman Usman Khawaja during the second Test at Old Trafford and Kevin Pietersen in the recent Old Trafford Test. Khwaja was given out caught behind despite a review of the television pictures and Hotspot which showed no convincing evidence of a nick off the bat, and subsequently Cricket Australia requested an explanation from the ICC over the dismissal.Pietersen was ruled caught behind on the last day of the third Test when there was no perceived mark in the Hotspot when he went referred the decision. Pietersen later tweeted his anger.
Following allegations that Pietersen and other England batsmen in the Ashes tried to mislead the Hotspot technology by putting silicone tape on the edge of their bats, Flintoff came to his former team-mate's defence. "I've never been a fan from the start. I'd just scrap it and move on," the 2005 Ashes hero said on BBC Radio Five Live. "These accusations with the stickers on the bats seem ridiculous. They've asked them and they've said they don't use them."
Echoing Flintoff was his former captain Vaughan, who in the Daily Telegraph called for the DRS to be taken off. "One of the big talking points in this series has been the Decision Review System. The players have lost trust in Hot Spot. The umpires have, the crowd have, and so have we. So I would get rid of it. We are not seeing enough right decisions," Vaughan wrote in his column for the English daily.
Flintoff, who since retiring from cricket has tried his hand at becoming a professional boxer, also defended the England players who were pictured smoking after the Ashes were secured. "When I started playing for England there were seven or eight smokers in the dressing room so it's something that's been there, people have smoked for a long time. Having a crafty cigarette after a few beers is nothing new to a lot of people," he said.
On England spinner Monty Panesar, who this week was fined by police for urinating while drunk on the heads of nightclub bouncers in Brighton, Flintoff said: "Monty's a great lad and in the time I knew him and the time I spent with him on tour Monty didn't even drink so that's a bit of a surprise."