ICC news

DRS research not shown to ICC board

Daniel Brettig

July 9, 2012

Comments: 103 | Text size: A | A

Ross Taylor calls for a review after being given out against Peter Siddle, Australia v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Hobart, 1st day, December 9, 2011
The ICC board did not take DRS to a vote but were not shown all the research © AFP
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Independent research that may have swayed the ICC's executive board into approving mandatory use of the DRS was not shown at its meeting in Kuala Lumpur, despite being pivotal in convincing both the cricket committee and the chief executives' committee of the technology's accuracy.

Wally Edwards, the Cricket Australia chairman, has revealed that the research on ball-tracking conducted by Dr Ed Rosten, an expert in computer vision technology, was left off the agenda of the executive board meeting, which concluded without the issue of DRS even being put to a vote due to India's reluctance to accept its use.

The ICC will now send a mission to India to show Dr Rosten's research to the BCCI, alongside details of the enhancements made to Hot Spot, the infrared cameras used to detect edges that had their accuracy questioned after the 2011 Test series between England and India.

Edwards told ESPNcricinfo that while other members of the board had also expressed some reluctance to go ahead with mandatory use of the DRS, he believed the tabling of Dr Rosten's research may have resulted in a different outcome.

"ICC had got some independent research done on the accuracy and all those issues. Now unfortunately they didn't present that information to the board," Edwards said. "India have agreed and the boards have agreed for ICC management to go to India and take all the information, take their presentations, take their technical support and talk to them over there.

"India are willing to look at it, but they're sceptical, and others are too - it's not just India. I think it is part of the game for the future, but it's a good time to review. Unfortunately if that presentation, or whatever it is they had, had been presented to the board it might have changed things. But we probably need another process, because people would have to go back to their boards and say 'this is the latest, can we move from where we are to there'. Obviously Australia supports it, and we understand there's still an error factor, but overall it's better than what we had."

The accuracy of the DRS had been warmly endorsed by both the ICC's cricket committee and chief executives committee, with Dr Rosten's research a critical part of winning their approval. Following the CEC meeting, an ICC statement read: "CEC recommended to the Board the universal application of the DRS after being satisfied with the technology enhancements provided by new Hotspot cameras and the results of the independent research on ball tracking conducted by Dr Ed Rosten, an expert in computer vision technology. Dr Rosten had tested the accuracy and reliability of ball tracking in a recent Test series and concluded that the results were 100% in agreement with the outcomes produced from his assessments."

Much has been made of the back-room politics of the executive board, which appears to be far more consequential to the running of the global game than anything said in formal meetings. Edwards, however, said he did not find it unusual that the DRS was not tabled for a vote, based on his previous experience on various corporate and cricket boards in Australia. Instead, he awaited India's response to the research they will be presented with.

"Obviously if there are debatable issues we try to debate them. The more difficult the issue, the more you should talk," Edwards said. "But in any boards that I've been on, there are very few decisions that will actually go to a 'we're going to count the votes here' situation. Governance is one of them, but most others you'll find a consensus that says 'yeah right we'll give that a run'. I didn't find it unusual.

"We knew where India stand on it, and at this point in time they're not ready to change their thoughts. Those lines you see on TV, are they accurate, that's the scepticism. It looks accurate, but from their point of view they are reluctant just to accept it as gospel. I think it is possible they'll change, but we'll have to wait and see how they go with this new information in India."

Previous attempts have been made to demonstrate the intricacies and accuracy of ball-tracking and other technology to the BCCI, notably via a planned trip to Australia during the 2010-11 Ashes series. On that occasion the visit was at first approved by the BCCI but then ruled out due to "scheduling difficulties".

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by Meety on (July 12, 2012, 4:53 GMT)

@NP_NY - should UDRS become mandatory everywhere, simple supply & demand theory would suggest that the technology would become far more economical in a short space of time. There is only something like 4 cameras designed for certain techs, in operation on the International Cricket scene atm. Eventually that would grow to 20 or so (maybe more if Domestically countries use it). The transportation costs alone would almost disappear. The cost arguement only remains an arguement when there is a renegade in the ranks. @hhillbumper on (July 09 2012, 20:36 PM GMT) - you are probably a lot closer to the mark than you think. Interesting that this the 4th time I've tried to respond on this issue. Lucky I am not paranoid!

Posted by NP_NY on (July 11, 2012, 9:05 GMT)

@desilvac39: Good thing you're not running any cricket board :). It's a simple matter of economics. World cricket cannot financially survive without Indian fans. The SL and Pak boards cannot even finance DRS and that's why they didn't use it for their bilateral series. So, good luck leaving out cricket's cash-cow :).

Posted by   on (July 11, 2012, 0:40 GMT)

@bored_iam. As you and many others had pointed out, just empower the third umpire. As simple as that. I had argued for that many a times. I had even chided, what are they ( third umpire & match referee ) being paid for -- just to sit in and watch the game from the comfortable chambers upstairs? That will take care of most of the problems, including the cost of installing and running the DRS technology, which still will raise contentious issues, and in 50:50 cases goes back and support the doubtful decisions of the field umpires -- wasting everyone's precious resources.

Posted by Rally_Windies on (July 10, 2012, 19:39 GMT)

@ sportofpain @ Bigizzy

there are experts to make an assessment on the technology ..

but they are being deliberately avoided, by people who already know what they will say.

We have heard the argument that Hawk-eye is used in Tennis. (this is what the owners of hawk-eye keep repeating). But where in tennis is there a need to PREDICT the path of the ball, AFTER something gets in its way? ....

hmmm.. the only time it is used, is if a player plays a ball, and the crown want s to know if it would have been in or out, if the player left it ... But guess what.... that is purely for the viewers and has NO BARING on the game, and is not refereed to by the umpire. It is purely speculation.

We already know that the Prediction technology is not 100% accurate..

So why should it be used to decide the fate of a batsman ?

the only people who want hawk-eye are those who can profit from it, and those who are misinformed.

Posted by bored_iam on (July 10, 2012, 19:28 GMT)

@Jose Puliampatta: Loved the fact that you compared this to animal farm...snowball and Napoleon.. :-) @Tahir Anjum: Amongst other things a BCCI spokesperson in a recent interview pointed out that they have a couple of issues: 1. Who bears the costs? 2. The ICC isnt setting up cameras for eg. How do u ensure that the very technology is not compromised due to an error on the part of a technician 3. U have contradicting evidence (as @Rahul_78 pointed out as well). What kind of a priority order do u set ,ie, Hawkeye>snicko>hotspot? 4. The "100%" accuracy is a slighly misreported fact. Their stand is that in 50-50 cases u are retaining the on-field umpire's call, what then is the point of this technology if it is to be overruled? u aren't giving technology the 100% right to make a call and neither are u allowing the technology. Figure out the %involvement of both. 5.Lastly, for outstanding bad decisions u DONT need DRS. Use conventional replays to eliminate howlers. Empower the 3rd umpire.

Posted by   on (July 10, 2012, 18:12 GMT)

I really still not able to understand how ICC can allow a certain board to take any decision about the rules of the game. One day BCCI will say we dont want LBW in the cricket. Then what ICC will do? strange....

Posted by Bigizzy on (July 10, 2012, 16:38 GMT)

@ sportofpain - Spot on from a technical standpoint..I doubt anyone has any answers :)

Posted by Bigizzy on (July 10, 2012, 15:38 GMT)

If all the member countries support it and only India does not then why is the ICC not putting it to vote. Maybe the other countries don't really support it and will vote against it if put for a vote but just don't have the balls to openly take a stand.

Posted by   on (July 10, 2012, 15:37 GMT)

George Orwell, where are you? Your book "Animal Farm" is so prescient! ICC, BCCI and their ilk prove it.The whole lot is like the animal farm, you depicted so powerfully, where all animals are EQUAL, but some animals are MORE EQUAL than others! WOW!

Posted by maddy20 on (July 10, 2012, 15:36 GMT)

Ths is exactly what I posted. Make the research public to inspire confidence. @nav84 Very well put though I think that 3% of difference can often be the difference between winning and losing. But I am yet to be convinced , especially with hawkeye which has n-number of limitations such as the 2.5 meter LBW rule. As for hotspot, if it cannot help reverse decisions such as the gayle dismissal(which I do think was bat first) then its really not worth wasting time on, especially after its laughable accuracy in India's England tour last year. You do not get a second chance to make a first impression so DRS is hard to accept right now but if they have really improved it, then I'm sure the results will make BCCI change its mind. At the moment though all the other cricketing boards are skeptical of spending so much money for hardly any better results.

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Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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