India to use DRS for home internationals
The Decision Review System (DRS), comprising the audio tracker and Hot Spot infra-red cameras, will be used for the first time in a bilateral series in India later this year. India had, till recently, strongly opposed the DRS but will now use the system in all 13 home international games before the tour of Australia in keeping with the ICC's new guidelines that make it mandatory for Tests and ODIs.
Warren Brennan, CEO of BBG Sports, which own the Hot Spot camera technology, confirmed that the BCCI had asked for the cameras to be set up in place for India's home season. Brennan told ESPNcricinfo that four Hot Spot cameras would be in use for the five ODIs against England and three Tests against the West Indies, while two cameras would be in use during the five-match ODI series against the West Indies.
During its annual conference in June, the ICC had made the DRS mandatory in Tests and ODIs with a minimum requirement of the audio tracker and infra red cameras. In its announcement, the ICC had, "unanimously recommended universal standards for the usage of technology in decision-making (Decision Review System) in all Test matches and ODIs subject to availability and commercial considerations." The "availability and commercial considerations" were brought into play as the Hot Spot technology - the only infra-red cameras being used in cricket - is an expensive tool which must be paid for by the home boards and/or broadcasters. It is why the current Zimbabwe v Bangladesh series does not feature the DRS, with the two boards agreeing on not using it.
The BCCI's earlier objection to the DRS was based on its lack of belief in the reliability of the ball-tracker technology used in the DRS and the expenses involved in the Hot Spot cameras, which they pegged at US$60,000 per match, while estimates had it down to $5000 per day and a maximum of $25,000 per Test.
Previously the mandatory requirements for the DRS were "clear stump mikes", a Super Slo-Mo camera and ball-tracking technology. The new regulations have, however, left ball-tracker out of the mandatory requirements but incorporated the infra-red cameras.
The acceptance and use of Hot Spot cameras will mark another step in the BCCI warming to the DRS. Hot Spot cameras were not used during the ICC World Cup earlier this year over issues of the speed of security clearances.
Sharda Ugra is senior editor at ESPNcricinfo