DRS in cricket…to use or not to use?

December 27, 2011

By Sudipto Ganguly, India sports correspondent

The inconsistent use of the Decision Review System (DRS) has put the International Cricket Council (ICC) in the firing line once again, strengthening the already popular notion that the governing body is helpless against the wishes of its most influential member board – India.

As the rest of the cricketing world went up in unison in a huge appeal, like a stern umpire, India once again shook its head and refused to budge on the use of technology in the game.

The Indian cricket board (BCCI) remains sceptical about DRS, basing their objection on the ball-tracking technology which is not fool-proof and vetoed its mandatory use.

BCCI convinced ICC to leave it to the participating boards in a bilateral cricket series, thus ensuring DRS, which allows teams to challenge umpires’ decisions, does not feature in any series involving India.

Initially there were concerns about the cost of the technology and whether smaller boards can afford it but BCCI insisted cricket does not require any technology which is not fool-proof.

ICC claimed DRS had improved correct decisions by more than seven percent in the World Cup but BCCI was not convinced.

The super-rich Indian board initially agreed to a modified DRS but the inconsistent Hot Spot technology during India’s shambolic England tour, where they lost the test top ranking in a 4-0 whitewash, saw them back to square one.

So while the ongoing test series between Australia and India does not feature the DRS, the same technology is in use in the test matches between South Africa and Sri Lanka.

On Monday, it was debutant Australian opener Ed Cowan who launched a fresh appeal to the ICC to bring consistency to the game in terms of the use of technology.

While South Africa captain Graeme Smith wants the ICC to ensure the mandatory use of DRS, according to his Australian counterpart Michael Clarke it should be used all over the world or else dumped altogether.

What would you do? Ensure it is used universally or scrap it?

Picture: India’s Mahendra Singh Dhoni (R) appeals for the caught behind wicket of Australia’s Ed Cowan (L) during the first day of the first cricket test match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground December 26, 2011. REUTERS/Tim Wimborne


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Of all Cricketing nations, one would have expected India/BCCI to have taken the lead and insisted on its use. Theirun-sportsman-like refusal can therefore only be due to Bookie pressure.

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…In other words, DRS’s improved decision accuracy must mean improved Fairness, so why not?

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