Decision Review System June 23, 2011

Countries should outvote BCCI on DRS - Boycott


The Decision Review System (DRS) should be made mandatory and India's resistance to the system must be overcome by a majority vote in the ICC, Geoff Boycott, the former England batsman, has said. The BCCI has consistently opposed the DRS, claiming it is not willing to implement a system that isn't 100% foolproof. Even though this may be a minority view, Boycott said India's clout in international cricket meant many countries would fear offending the BCCI before anything came up for a vote in the ICC.

"If a majority of the ICC countries believe that the DRS is a good improvement for international cricket, they should vote for it and say, 'Sorry India, you are in a minority.' It's supposed to be a democracy around the world, where the majority takes precedence," Boycott said on ESPNcricinfo's fortnightly audio show Bowl at Boycs. "But there is fear to offend, and some countries are totally afraid to offend India. The sooner they get around to it and say, 'No. Since a majority of us believe it is good, we're going to do it,' the better. Simple as that. India won't like it, but you can't be run by one country."

The ICC cricket committee, in May, made a series of recommendations that will be discussed and voted on during the ICC's annual conference in Hong Kong later this month. Among them is the proposal to implement the system in all Tests, and in ODIs as well but with a limit of one failed review instead of two. Even if the DRS had widespread approval, Boycott said the decision to vote in favour of it was not going to be easy for many member boards. "Many countries that play cricket are frightened to death of India's financial power. You've got to understand that before you get to voting on anything at the ICC."

India are a major draw whenever they play and wherever they tour. The last decade has transformed this phenomenon into the BCCI's financial leverage in cricket. The potential television revenue to be gained by hosting India was something cash-strapped boards would hesitate to risk losing by taking an opposing stance against the BCCI, Boycott said. "When you play international cricket, every country has its own television rights with its home broadcaster. When India come, you've got a number of TV stations queuing up in India to get the rights to beam the coverage in India and they pay a lot of money for that. Other countries don't have the same financial buying power.

"So nobody wants to offend India. Nobody wants to create a situation where they say, 'We're not going to tour.' I'm not saying India say that, and I'm not saying India are putting the pressure on and blackmailing; they don't. But, underneath, these countries are frightened to speak up."

Boycott conceded that the game's traditional decision-makers, England and Australia - two strong supporters of the DRS - had an unfair say in the governance of cricket for a long time, but that didn't mean India should follow suit just because the balance of power has tilted. "If you believe it was wrong earlier... and there are some people like my friend Sunil Gavaskar. He says that England and Australia ran the Imperial Cricket Conference, when it was called that, and he's right. They used to have two votes each, the other countries had one. That wasn't fair and it wasn't right. Now everybody has one vote.

"If it wasn't right back then, two wrongs don't make a right. It's about time the other countries stood up and said, 'We're going to have the DRS because it's made more accurate decisions for cricket and it's all players ever want.'"

Siddhartha Talya is a sub editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on June 26, 2011, 2:24 GMT

    @TheOnlyEmperor, "The DRS is a bilateral arrangement and any country is welcome to say that they don't want it" - well thats what Boycott has pointed out that countries fear losing the financial revenue in terms of tv rights, ads and ticket sales. If the MCC was giving a raw deal to others when it was in power, does not mean that BCCI should do the same. In simple terms, its like saying, if one political party in power was corrupt, then its ok for the next political party also to be corrupt. Two wrongs cant make a right.

  • Dummy4 on June 24, 2011, 20:04 GMT

    Boycott should realize that the time of western hegemony over cricket is gone. He is now trying to encourage other coutnries to vote and raise their voice over India.

    If we want right decisiions then why restrict referrals to two per innings why not every doubtful decision be allowed to be referred? Also there needs to be standardization of technology to be used for DRS. Every board may not be able to afford the technology in that case let ICC bear the cost of it.

  • Shobhit on June 24, 2011, 15:27 GMT

    ok BCCI will have to wait till January to reverse their stand on UDRS when India will be beaten 0-3 in Australia,when Ponting will claim those 2-bounce catches,and Johnson will get sachin lbw when the ball hits his stomach and laxman will be hit wicket after being hit by a mike hussey beamer.

  • Dummy4 on June 24, 2011, 10:53 GMT

    Western countries are getting taste pf India's power. It is only cricket now.What will happen when India will become a super power. India already out caste Pakistan from World Cricket and now trying same to Sri Lanka.This is eye opener for the world.

  • Dummy4 on June 24, 2011, 10:05 GMT

    Mr.Rajeev, you are absolutely wrong here, BCCI is not opposing it because they feel its not 100% fair but because they want to be different. With on field umpires, the game won't even be 80% fair let alone 100% because human error is something that will remain in the game no matter what. Sachin was right the other day, he said I do not oppose the DRS, I just want Sniko and Hotspot to be inlcuded while a decision is being reviewed and that is fair enough.

  • Aussie on June 24, 2011, 8:07 GMT

    As if all other boards are 100% behind DRS. Lot of the other boards are playing the waitin ggame as BCCI is facing all the flak for not accepting DRS. Only AU, ENG and to some extent SA have shown real intent to use DRS.

  • Rajeev on June 24, 2011, 7:29 GMT

    I think if every body is that keen on using technology, remove the onfield umpires. Let the TV umpire make all decisions which means 100% of the match is fair. Under UDRS system, its about fortune. If u r lucky, u get to use review for all 50 overs of ODI. If u aren't lucky, u have finished using reviews in first 10 overs which gives opp. team advantage for next 40 overs. Same case in Tests. That's not fair. And that's why BCCI is opposing it. They want 100% of the match to be fair to both the sides. How can you say UDRS is fair. Its just 100% LOTTERY.

  • Kannan on June 24, 2011, 5:48 GMT

    Where was Boycott and the others when the MCC was very controlling world cricket for many decades? All this tirade against BCCI is hypocritical and smacks of whining baby's behaviour when deprived of its toy!

    The DRS is a bilateral arrangement and any country is welcome to say that they don't want it. If England doesn't want to play India because India doesn't want to use the DRS it can saw so, instead of defaming the BCCI through ex-cricketers in the media ! :P

  • Dummy4 on June 24, 2011, 3:40 GMT

    @ Rahul your comments about " india keeping the cricket alive" is nothing but nonsense . and it always better to use the techonolgy than not to use it .

  • Dummy4 on June 24, 2011, 3:28 GMT

    Hey Fazald, You remember there was only two test in that series between india and australia. If you think Pragyan Oja was out , then look at Ishant Sharma in the same match. he was actually notout but the same umpire was givinfg out .

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