June 15, 2011

DRS

An outbreak of verbal diarrhoea

Andrew Hughes
MS Dhoni and Sachin Tendulkar have a chat during India's training session, World Cup, Ahmedabad, March 22, 2011
”If we give them this, what next – inspectors in the dressing-room showers to monitor our soap use? Rules about how many M&Ms we can eat per hour? It’s the end of civilisation”  © Associated Press
Enlarge

RELATED LINKS

Saturday, 11th June This summer there will be no T-shaped gesturing, no slow handclapping from the crowd and no sheepish-looking umpires changing their minds. Though the rest of the cricket world has gone DRS crazy, India continue to oppose it with Trott-like stubbornness, for reasons that are not entirely clear. It remains one of the sport’s enduring mysteries, like why professional sportsmen can’t play on wet grass, and how exactly a game of cricket is enhanced by having young women dancing near to it.

We know that Dhoni and Tendulkar regard the DRS with the same suspicion with which a family cat might greet the introduction of an automatic cat-food dispenser. Personally, I agree with them. I like the old-school thrill of middle-aged men in silly hats making snap decisions. Since in any given match, I don’t much mind who wins, to me, umpiring booboos are just a wobbly thread in cricket’s tapestry.

But if accuracy is your thing, then DRS works. And this summer we need it more than ever. Last time India toured these shores, there was plenty of tasty cricket, but we were also served several helpings of silliness, a side order of stupidity, and a light sprinkling of jelly beans. Any series featuring Sreesanth, Harbhajan, Prior and Broad is likely to have a touch of the school playground about it, and without DRS, we can expect toys to be ejected from prams with monotonous regularity.

Monday 13th June At a time when Asian cricket boards are being encouraged to extricate themselves from the clammy embrace of the political class, the Australian defence minister has struck a blow for his kind. He has condemned the decision to deprive Simon Katich of his central contract as an atrocity. And he’s right. Chalk one up to the politicians.

“Simon has been a fantastic player, but we felt it was right to start blooding our next opening partnership in preparation for the Ashes.”

So says Andrew Hilditch. “Next opening partnership” is an impressive phase, implying that the Aussie talent factory has turned out yet another batch of world-class top-order batsmen, and that crusty old Kat has been swept aside by progress. It is slightly less impressive when you discover that what it means in practice is a recall for Phil “Step Back And Swipe” Hughes, the world’s leading bouncer magnet.

But the problem goes beyond Hilditch and Co. Cricket Australia is clearly suffering from Sick Organisation Syndrome, the symptoms of which are an outbreak of verbal diarrhoea and a rash of fake business-style job titles. Titles such as “Head of Cricket Operations”. Surely this should be Michael Clarke? Apparently not. Presumably he is only “Head of (Onfield) Cricket Operations”.

Anyway, this is how the Head of Cricket Operations described their selection set-up.

“You’ve got to have the best people, the best structures, the best position description for them…”

Well, if you like. Or you could just get a bunch of former pros together every so often and ask them to write down a list of the best dozen Test players in the country. A list that includes Simon Katich.

Andrew Hughes is a writer currently based in England

RSS Feeds: Andrew Hughes

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Tarun on (June 29, 2011, 11:06 GMT)

Those who are commenting on Tendulkar's doubt on the DRS and praying that he should get a "Howler" should know that he is one of those batsmen who have suffered the most number of wrong decisions, and still he is against DRS without Hot-Spot because he sincerely doubts the accuracy of the Hawk-Eye.

Posted by Raj on (June 24, 2011, 13:29 GMT)

The umpires should use technology to take decision if they are in doubt just like runout, but now-a-days I can see Umpires are seeking the help of technology for simple runout, probably they want to be on wrong side and earn public ire. Placing a cap of referrals handicaps the system, so better not use it

Posted by Arun on (June 18, 2011, 17:45 GMT)

guys... the talkings like india losing to England is unfair.... we all know how england was 1 yr..ago.. so a team now certainly in good form cant be beating everyone on its way.. india is really good competitor in all forms of tha game.. they didn't play toy cricket to grab the No.1 spot in test... and trott ,Strauss, cook and so called Talkative popular "Swann" are all not greats of cricket.. here in india.. there r many who proved many times.. so Swann.. stop chewing your empty mouth.. u better .. concentrate on your spin bowling..men like Great shane warne.. paid respect to this country... when it was not that as good as now in CRICKET.. so u better watch out.. this is a strong comment on england .. "ENGLAND PLAY the game on the field.. not on media.. don't cry for DRS system...

Posted by sree on (June 17, 2011, 18:16 GMT)

there is something with Guru Greg. Whereever he goes, senior cricketers get booted out and teams end up in a mess.

Posted by Alfred on (June 17, 2011, 0:37 GMT)

About the Australian selection thing - Absolutely right. Amazing how satirists are often more right than reality innit? Cracking article Andrew!

Posted by Ramesh-IT on (June 16, 2011, 13:29 GMT)

@Bowks: Ya the Asian contingent always complains for the lack of reference of their players in any article. Just like the Poms boasting " We are the Ashes champions" or the Aussies shouting out "Hussey is Mr.Cricket". Every needle has a hole.

Posted by Prasad on (June 16, 2011, 9:26 GMT)

@Bowks This is a complaint from the asian contingent on the lack of reference to Sachin, VVS, Rahul or Shahid. Satisfied? Now tuck in your bib and finish your peas...

Posted by Aina on (June 16, 2011, 7:44 GMT)

@Bowks: Count us out please. We don't mention Shahid Afridi anywhere he's not being discussed. Andrew manages to get quite a few valid points across in the guise of humour. Excellent article!

Posted by Harxal on (June 16, 2011, 6:51 GMT)

What nonsense...how can the author criticize SACHIN THE GOD of Cricket?????? IF he says NO to DRS then its a NO!!!........just kidding!...the fact is Indian batsmen are scared of their inflated averages coming down drastically.

Posted by dove on (June 16, 2011, 6:32 GMT)

The real reasons DRS is opposed is

1) Ball tracking is NOT accurate with spin and late swing, only with fast straight balls. If the software can draw a pretty line on TV does not mean its real. Why let a software make guesses (as decided by some programmers) when a real umpire with infinitely more experience can do it

2) DRS technologies cost a BOMB!! and BCCI is concerned that this is a bit of a scam where they are being overcharged with the connivance of some of the boards whose countrymen have developed the tech.

DRS will become acceptable for India when either an indian company makes such equipment (patent ?) or the tech vendors cut a deal with BCCI instead of being all high and mighty. The idiots refused to send hot spot for world cup saying it has duel use for military application and india might steal it. Right!, indian military needs to steal from a bunch of cricket equipment makers. Once these companies take their heads out of their asses, DRS will be accepted by BCCI.

Comments have now been closed for this article

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Andrew Hughes
Andrew Hughes is a writer and avid cricket watcher who has always retained a healthy suspicion of professional sportsmen, and like any right-thinking person rates Neville Cardus more highly than Don Bradman. His latest book is available here and here @hughandrews73

All articles by this writer