MCC news July 17, 2013

MCC restates that DRS is 'good for the game'


The MCC's World Cricket Committee has restated its support of the DRS with a "unanimous" opinion of those present at its meeting at Lord's that the referral system can only improve umpiring decisions.

The MCC backing comes a day after the ICC issued an unprecedented release stating its support for the umpires and DRS in the wake of the criticism that emerged from the decisions taken during the first Investec Ashes Test at Trent Bridge last week.

The world cricket committee, which included the ICC's chief executive Dave Riahardson, and eminent former cricket players like Steve Waugh, Geoffrey Boycott, Michael Atherton and Shaun Pollock, discussed the Trent Bridge Test at length and felt that the mistakes that occurred were more of operational nature and DRS could not be blamed.

Kumble and Dravid, the two Indians on the cricket committee, did not attend the meeting at which "unanimous" support for DRS was expressed. India has always been the most sceptical country about DRS and the BCCI refuses to sanction its use in bilateral series.

The MCC's world cricket committee has always whole-heartedly supported the DRS in the belief that it improves the quality of decision making.

An MCC statement said: "It was a unanimous view of all members of the World Cricket committee present at its meeting that the Decision Review System works, and undoubtedly helps the umpires to bring about more correct decisions on the field.

"Incidents at the recent England v. Australia Test Match at Trent Bridge were discussed. The committee was unanimous in its opinion that it was the poor implementation of DRS that led to the controversies, rather than the system itself. Human error will always play a part in the game for both players and umpires but the DRS is successful in limiting this."

On Tuesday, the ICC revealed calculations that in Nottingham last week, the umpiring team of Aleem Dar, Kumar Dharmasena and tv umpire Marais Erasmus made a total of 72 decisions, which was well above the average (49) for a DRS Test match.

According to the ICC assessment the trio made seven errors during the match, out of which three were uncorrected decisions and four decisions werecorrected using the DRS. It concluded that correct decision percentage before reviews stood at 90.3% but climbed to 95.8% as a result of the use of the DRS. This represented an increase of 5.5% in correct decisions, which was the average increase from DRS Test matches in 2012-13.

Regardless, DRS debate has only gathered more steam. Brad Haddin, the Australian vice-captain, opined that the best way to make use of the DRS was to take it out of the players hands.

Mark Nicholas was one prominent analyst and commentator who countered that handing DRS over to the umpires was a "simplistic" solution which would wreck the rhythm of the game by introducing endless stoppages to check decisions.

One development proposed by the MCC's world cricket committee was for the ICC to own the DRS and implement it universally - India included.

The statement said: "With the DRS, more correct decisions are being made (generally DRS improves correct decision making by about five percentage points in Test cricket) and so the committee strongly reiterates its desire to see the universal implementation of the system in international cricket matches.

"The DRS is not perfect, but it improves decision making and adds to the spectator experience, which is good for the game. A further benefit from universal use would be the ownership of the whole process by ICC rather than by television companies."

The MCC world cricket committee consists of: Mike Brearley (chairman), Jimmy Adams, Mike Atherton, Geoffrey Boycott, Steve Bucknor, Rahul Dravid, Charlotte Edwards, Majid Khan, Anil Kumble, Rod Marsh, Shaun Pollock, Barry Richards, Dave Richardson, Kumar Sangakkara, Michael Vaughan, Steve Waugh.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • shankar on July 18, 2013, 11:01 GMT

    Enough of DRS talk!! Please stop it already. Discuss cricket, not DRS. DRS is not cricket. It is like a celebrity who goes to Wimbledon final every year, and the commentators, media, spectators discussing the celebrity all day, all season, year after year. By the way, DRS is not the problem. DRS works just fine. The problem is the 2-review limit. Remove the limit. Instead start penalizing the teams for wrong reviews. Why should the teams be allowed to challenge umpires calls, if the teams are themselves not 100% sure that the umpire made the wrong call?

  • Geoffrey on July 18, 2013, 6:10 GMT

    @cricraz- the MCC own the laws of the game. That makes them relevant in any era. And cricket was never "Governed" by England or Australia. Take that chip off your shoulder.

  • suresh kumar on July 18, 2013, 4:33 GMT

    I dont accept DRS in marginal decision for eg, watson's dismissal. How could in the earth other world sport bodies accept this kind of decisions ie, that could go EITHER WAY, depending on intial decision made by onfield umpire. And why ICC doesnot accept the truth that hotspot doesnot detecting very thin edges in more cases. I will show atleast 10 such cases that happend in england vs srilanka series.

  • Simon on July 18, 2013, 3:11 GMT

    MCC committee, like the ICC, are seriously and arrogantly out of step with the two main groups in world cricket; the players and the spectators. No earth shattering revelation sure. How can a group of ex players say that the system that was put in place to remove umpiring howlers from influencing results, look at the glaringly flawed DRS results of the 1st Test and unanimously support it?

    At the very least a potentially influential group of ex players would be expected to look at the Broad incident and ask how can we use the referee, 3rd Ump & technology effectively to ensure diabolical 'decisions' like that no longer affect results. Seriously; if these cricketing bureaucrats are happy for umpires to proactively second guess their own decisions by checking for no balls, then the very least we could expect is for them to recommend all 3 umps & match referee to have a look. At least then we can go back to 'The Umpires decision is final'. THAT has to be good for cricket, doesn't it?

  • saurabh on July 18, 2013, 2:45 GMT

    Those who don't support DRS should be sacked and ICC should implement this DRS on all teams including india they should do it now no more meeting or discussion on this issue now please implement this drs now.

  • MD on July 18, 2013, 0:49 GMT

    With the ICC CEO in attendance what else would the MCC say?

  • John on July 17, 2013, 23:42 GMT

    I'm curious as to why Kumble and Dravid didn't attend. Are they basically saying "we don't want DRS under any circumstances so whenever any question regarding DRS comes up then you can assume that we are against it" or are they saying "we are in favour of DRS in some form but don't want to go on record as saying so because it contradicts the BCCI's position on the subject". I find it hard to believe that it's coincidence that the two Indian reps were absent on this occasion when DRS was being discussed. Maybe the Indian position is to just stay out of it for now and hope that controversy such as that surrounding the Trent Bridge Test, which was mostly unfounded, undermines DRS enough to get rid of it for them.

  • John on July 17, 2013, 22:18 GMT

    Everyone- players, umpires, spectators, even the BCCI- knows that more correct decisions are delivered when there is an opportunity to use technology to review them. Everyone also knows that no system can ever be 100% foolproof, because it's beyond human capability to exclude every possible human and mechanical error.

    So unless a supernatural power can be persuaded to intervene, we have to go with the best available decision-making capability and that includes technology. How it is applied is another issue, but not to use it at all would be as foolish as requiring cricketers to travel to overseas venues on ships. That worked until the end of the 1950s, but now it would be hopelessly old-fashioned.

    Those championing opposition to the use of technology are simply closing their eyes and hoping reality will go away. It won't. Let's talk about how to improve the DRS, not whether it should be used. It should and must.

  • Andrew on July 17, 2013, 22:02 GMT

    The big incident that's led to this discussion was Broad's edge. Australia had used (wasted) their two referrals already, so you can't blame DRS for not overturning the umpire's incorrect decision. Also the umpire can refer to the TV replay at any time and he didn't, so he was obviously in no doubt (in his own mind) that Broad wasn't out; he was just wrong, that's all. Even if you give DRS solely to the umpires, you can't expect them to use it when they're already convinced about a decision. DRS does improve the ratio of correct decisions but it would be a disastrous development to compel its use for every decision. Way to make the game boring and drive people away.

  • Alex on July 17, 2013, 19:34 GMT

    This slogan is flawed. " More correct decision is made with DRS". Game is not decided by marginal decisions , game is decided by howlers. Because when everyone know player is out and umpire gives not out , it affect psyche of players playing and do not trust umpire ability to give decision even if they try harder. I really think people in ICC should start using brain instead of defending bad implementation of DRS. Remove player participation in DRS and remove appeal system which is flawed because of limited amount of appeal vs stoppage. So best way for me is BUZZER to 3rd umpire to take a look , if 3rd umpire need more time to look he can stop the game. if not he override buzzer if he agree with field umpire. Now it become review of 3rd umpire decision on buzzer call. We have to leave field umpire out of it. He does primary decision making and let them do their job as best as they can. 3rd umpire can overrule buzzer call on 50/50 decisions

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