ICC suggests DRS policy change, BCCI resists
In a renewed effort to push for the DRS to be universally implemented in bilateral series, every member on the ICC chief executives committee (CEC) barring India backed a change in policy that would see the home board having the right to choose the use of the DRS in a meeting held in Dubai on December 4. This marks a major change from the current situation in which the approval of both teams is required for DRS to be put into place in a bilateral series.
The CEC suggested the matter must now be resolved via a vote by the thirteen-strong executive board (ten full members plus three affiliates), which will meet on January 29 and 30 in Dubai.
"The CEC is requesting the board to reconsider their existing policy. The majority of the CEC members were in favour of the change. But no one else except the BCCI opposed the move at the meeting," a member, who attended the meeting, told ESPNCricinfo. Sanjay Jagdale, the BCCI secretary, who attended the meeting and disagreed with the fellow CEC members, declined to comment, saying he cannot speak to the media.
India has been the sole opponent of the DRS, stating that the technology implemented currently is not 100% foolproof. In a recent interview with ESPNCricinfo, the BCCI president N Srinivasan made his position further clear as to why he would not like to change his mind on the DRS. "I'm not against technology but one should be cautious and we should be clear what it is that we are trying to achieve. If you say my correct decision percentage has gone up from 94 to 95.6, is that all you are looking to achieve? It is relative. But we must understand what has been the beauty of the game.
"So the sum total of this is: we say, let us leave it as it is. You have taken bias out of the system, as the umpire by definition is neutral. Cricket is a game of glorious uncertainties, so why not keep it that way?," Srinivasan said.
Though Srinivasan denied that the BCCI was bullying some of the fellow members on the ICC board, an ICC member official said it was unlikely that India would be deterred by the CEC's new policy initiative. "I do not necessarily think the chairman of the boards would have the same view as their chief executives. I think it might come to nothing, quite frankly," the official said.
This is not the first time the BCCI has opposed the rest of the members on the DRS. At the ICC's last annual conference in Kuala Lumpur, the CEC had passed the resolution to make the DRS mandatory for all events. The move was then passed to the executive board which had to ratify the decision. But despite the push from the CECs, the head of the full member boards refrained from putting the issue to vote.
Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo