India in England 2011 July 20, 2011

DRS to be used, but not for lbw decisions

ESPNcricinfo staff

A watered-down version of the Decision Review System (DRS) will be used in the England-India series with both sides agreeing to not use the system for lbw decisions. A day before the first Test starts at Lord's, the ICC announced that infra-red technology and stump microphones will be part of the DRS - though not for lbw decisions - but not ball-tracking.

This meets the minimum standards for DRS usage stipulated by the ICC at its annual conference last month but the decision to do away with reviews of lbw decisions could lead to anomalies. For example, if a batsman is given out to a bat-pad catch, he can get the verdict reviewed and if it is overturned because there is no bat involved, the fielding side has no recourse to an lbw appeal.

The two captains didn't play up the issue at their pre-match press conferences. Andrew Strauss praised the overall efficacy of the full DRS but said the "half-way house" would have to do. "I don't think it's ideal but that's the situation we are faced with. For us as players to be overly concerned about it would be unhelpful."

His counterpart MS Dhoni has been one of the more vocal critics of ball-tracking technology and appeared more satisfied with the decision. "We're not really convinced 100 per cent as of now when it comes to the tracking system, especially with the spinners and the kind of bounce the ball generates so until we're 100 per cent satisfied we won't go on with it. But of course we are quite happy with Hotspot. I feel that's a very good technology to be used."

An ICC statement said the ECB wanted to include ball-tracking technology (such as Hawk-Eye or Virtual Eye) but the Indian board didn't.

"While we are disappointed that the full DRS will not be used to support the umpires, we are pleased that the ECB and BCCI have worked hard to ensure the minimum DRS is used in this much anticipated series," ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said.

"It is common knowledge that the ICC and ECB would have liked ball tracking to have been included so that LBW decisions could have also been reviewed, but the last Chief Executives Committee and Board meeting in Hong Kong agreed to independently confirm the accuracy of ball-tracking technology. This will now take place as a matter of urgency."

The Indian board has long been averse to the DRS and had announced last month that it didn't want the system to be used in the England series. A compromise on the DRS was thrashed out at the ICC's annual conference later in the month. The series against England will be the first time India will be using the review system in Tests since 2008.

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  • Dummy4 on July 21, 2011, 21:14 GMT

    @ abzbabz : Dude, did you even read Jai211's post. He clearly says he is not against DRS. I too am not against DRS. In fact, I am a firm believer in the use of a review system. All we pointed out were some grey areas in the actual implementation of DRS. I strongly believe that technology with all its inaccuracies is still way more accurate that umpires. But, technology still has to be implemented correctly. In close LBW decisions, it is my belief that technology should not go back to the on field umpire. If limited data is available for good ball tracking, then the same limited data is available to the umpires (he does not have access to any special data). So there is no point in going back to the on field umpire. The DRS should pick its decision independent of the umpire's original decision.

    Note that I am not saying that DRS shd not be used till its problems are sorted out. I am just saying that we should strive to keep improving the system and not be ok with arbitrary rules.

  • Dummy4 on July 21, 2011, 20:48 GMT

    @ itsfredtitmus : Thanks for providing the link to a most informative article. I have always been a firm believer in ball tracking. My only problem is with the way DRS is implemented as I have described in my previous 2 posts.

    I will also give an interesting scenario that can result from the current implementation of DRS (not related to ball tracking). When a batsman refers a decision, the ball is deemed dead and runs are not awarded for the ball (you can check this out under DRS rules).

    Consider an ODI, last ball of the match and the batsman needs 3 runs to win. Bowler bowls a full ball to the batsman, the ball takes a faint inside edge, hits the pads and runs away to fine leg boundary. The bowler however had appealead for LBW and the umpire had given it out (not seeing the inside edge). The batsman refers the decision. 3rd umpire detects the inside edge and overturns the decision. But the bowling team still wins as the ball was deemed dead after the on field umpire gave it out.

  • Dummy4 on July 21, 2011, 20:16 GMT

    @Johnxyz : I agree with most of your points except the last one. If the DRS decsisions are made objective (not depending on the umpire's original decisions), then keeping or losing reviews should also be made objective. I dont think you can have something like if the decision is a close one, then you dont lose your review. That will be a very subjective rule and will only open another can of worms. Then we will be arguing about why this decision was close and why this decision was not.

  • John on July 21, 2011, 8:55 GMT

    As a big fan of UDRS, I fully agree with those pointing out the flaw whereby a ball clipping the stumps is out if the original ruling by the umpire is out (reviewed by the batsman), but it's not out if the original ruling is not out by the Ump (reviewed by the fielding side). This is stupid because you are creating different results with the same equation. To add insult to injury, one also either retains or loses a review under these circumstances. Insane!

    The ruling simply should be out or not (regardless of the umpire's ruling) i.e. The ICC should rule that if the ball clips the stumps by say less than half the circumference of the ball or whatever, then it is not out. Period. Additionally, under such circumstances where the batsmen or fielding side have lost a review where the ball is shown to be just clipping, they could rule that you do not lose a review in a close decision such as this.

  • Grass on July 21, 2011, 8:50 GMT

    Why not use technology for all decisions and get rid of the umpires? Since everyone seems to think what Hawk-eye shows is "always right" then why not use it for every decision? Surely even more correct decisions will be made compared to using it for a few "referrals"?

  • Dummy4 on July 21, 2011, 8:35 GMT

    The reason why quite few Indian batsmen (not all) oppose is due to this: - DRS can't differentiate a LBW decision whether its top order batman or a tailender; - Umpires does differentiate; They tend be more careful (200% sure) to give a batman of Sachin's caliber LBW than someone like Ishat Sharma. That human element is what our batman want to take advantage of because umpires tend to give benefit of doubt to batsman for LBWs not DRS.

    Anyway its ridiculous not to use DRS even for decisions if ball pitched in-line or not and whether ball hits the bat/glove instead of pads for LBW decisions.

  • Rakesh on July 21, 2011, 8:23 GMT

    @Sir_Freddie_Flintoff : haha ...just because you won a couple of them it make Ashes "real" ... a couple of years back even test against Bangadesh was more real. Dont take Oz for granted ...they will show your position next time

  • Anurag on July 21, 2011, 8:18 GMT

    hotspot technology is based on thermographic cameres nd it wrks well in colder temperatures so hopefully in eng there shud be no problem. however in hot conditions d use of hotspot doesnt provide that accurate results nd faint edges r nt spotted by it

  • Anurag on July 21, 2011, 8:10 GMT

    a lot of comments sayin dat swann will lose lotof decns becoz ofabsence of ball trackin. i ask y cant d reverse hppn? if a bad decn can go against swann it can also go in favor of swann nd in dis scenario batsmen will nt be able 2 review coz of absence of ball trackin. so equal risks on both sides. however i do feel d overall use of drs is batsman biased. bcoz a batsman is sure whether he edged or nt nd accordingly he will review so he will rarely get d review wrong whil bowlers hav 2 tk chances coz dey r unsure of nicks nd edges so dier chances of unsuccesssful review get increased

  • shankar on July 21, 2011, 6:40 GMT

    why this DRS system becoming so tough to BCCI....?? as indian team was the victim for all kind of wrong decisions many times... it is better to implement this system.. strange that it is not applicable for LBW.. how strange.......infra red, ball tracking,hawk eye... etc.. all good technology although ........

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