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ICC suggests DRS policy change, BCCI resists

Nagraj Gollapudi

January 10, 2013

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Yuvraj Singh implores MS Dhoni to call for a review after his appeal for Thilan Samaraweera's wicket was turned down, India v Sri Lanka, final, World Cup 2011, Mumbai, April 2, 2011
India was the only member opposing a change in implementation policy for the DRS © Getty Images
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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

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Posted by Harmony111 on (January 13, 2013, 13:02 GMT)

My question to those who want DRS cos it is better: If alternate systems offer the same level or near the same level of quality decision making but at a fraction of the cost or with ZERO new costs then which one would you accept?

If Umpire's Decision is supreme and DRS is only there to overturn it if there is incontrovertible evidence to say he was wrong then why not simply use the referral to ask the 3rd umpire about the particular ball's attributes and let him tell the field umpire if the impact was just outside the line or was there a probable inside edge or the bat hit the ground blah blah? Embracing technology just for the sake of being modern is too much - esp when the cost of DRS paraphernalia is beyond the reach of many boards.

And btw, all those who say Hail DRS all the time, how many of you can afford it? A modern car offers max safety, automatic brakes, auto navigation, high pickup, etc but costs $250 million, surely you would want it but could you buy it?

Posted by   on (January 13, 2013, 7:43 GMT)

Simple really isn't it.. One would hope we would all want the team which wins, to be the one that collectively makes the fewest mistakes....not the one which benefits most from umpiring errors. If the number of umpiring errors that DRS has corrected is greater than the number it has upheld... then that is surely a good enough reason for it.

Posted by   on (January 13, 2013, 6:57 GMT)

Message to the BCCI who "don't trust" technology, I offer this piece of information: One of the most successful strike aircraft in the world, the F16, simply cannot fly without it's computers...When you fly to all these meetings, what is controlling the aircraft for most of the journey, the auto-pilot ie computer technology. If heaven forbid, you suffer a heart attack and you're put on a life support system, what controls it.. computer technology. Your life is in the hands of computer technology more often than you perhaps realise. If you don't object to situstions such as those, it seems rather stupid not to embrace it in something far less important in the overall scheme of things. It's called living in the modern world.

Posted by   on (January 13, 2013, 0:24 GMT)

"You have taken bias out of the system, as the umpire by definition is neutral."

I cannot disagree more with this statement. We have learned by experience that human beings are not neutral.

On the other hand, regardless of whether a machine is inaccurate or not, you will always know that it cannot favour one team over another. Simply because it is a machine with no preferences!

That is why the rest of the world will always favour DRS, regardless of any inaccuracies. I would rather have wrong decisions be made as long as it is made by a machine that cannot be influenced by money or be subject to any bias.

Having been a South African cricket fan during the period of 1999/2000, I am highly suspicious of these "glorious uncertainties" that these officials are so excited about.

Posted by dorking18 on (January 12, 2013, 16:41 GMT)

Surely this article should be on Page 2...

Posted by   on (January 12, 2013, 14:23 GMT)

@ Chanda Kota. I pretty much disagree with everything you've written. LBW errors are the main error we need to correct. The batsman gets the benefit - over 50% of the ball needs to hit the stumps. It real life if 1% of the ball hits the stumps the batter is out, so the margin of error is already accounted for and is made in the batsmans favour. The SL series was plagued with umpiring errors NOT DRS errors. The England West Indies series in WI a few years back had the same issues. The third umpire was overturning marginal "not out" decisions and giving batters out against the benefit of doubt (and in some cases against all common logic) which is not how it works now. The sytem requires that the technology and it's implementation and user training be consistent and thorough. Most DRS errors I have seen (2 exceptions) have been human error. Better communication between umpires would hae resolved every issue I've seen with the technology - that's what should be focussed on now.

Posted by   on (January 12, 2013, 14:12 GMT)

Nothing on earth is "perfect". To put the constraint that any system in any sphere of life must bne "perfect" before it can be implemented is effectively the same as saying "We are never going to have it". DRS is measurably better than umpires - the way it is now implemented is not ideal. I'd prefer the fielding captain tro have 2 appeals and the batting side to have none - but every LBW and none obvious snick that the standing umpires believes out to be automatically referred to the third umpire which may require that the technology compiles its reports a little more quickly. The third umpire also with the right to step in quckly if a howler is made "That was a no-ball mate" or "It looked like bat but it hit halfway up his armguard". I 've noticed that no-balls are already assesed and more than once a batter has been recalled halfway to the pavilion. Better that than a repeat of the 1992 Eng/Pak series where Shep gave 6 wickets in one innings to no balls from Wasim and Aqib Javid

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