Decision Review System June 16, 2011

Consistency the key to DRS - Tendulkar


The BCCI's refusal to accept the Decision Review System (DRS) for the forthcoming tour of England is a clear indication that India's stand on the subject has not moved from its team's initial reaction to the referral system in the 2008 series versus Sri Lanka. The system may now have been widely accepted around the world and the technology improved, yet the BCCI has not had any formal meetings with the Indian cricketers about their responses to the DRS in ICC events since their 2008 experience.

Sachin Tendulkar's name is often taken as one of the two Indian players (captain MS Dhoni the other) who is resistant to the referral system and therefore tacitly responsible for the BCCI's continuous refusal of the DRS.

On Thursday, Tendulkar reiterated to ESPNcricinfo that he was not against the use of the technology, "I am not against DRS, but I feel it will be more effective with the support of the Snickometer and Hot Spot technology. This will give more consistent results."

BCCI president Shashank Manohar said to ESPNcricinfo, "I have even told the ICC that we have no problem with Hot Spot. Our objection is to ball tracking.... it becomes just a case of someone else's imagination versus the umpire's imagination."

In the case of the England series, the availability of Hot Spot as part of the DRS was ignored when the BCCI decided to turn down the referral system. Hot Spot's thermal imaging cameras provide an extra layer of information about the point of impact to third umpires that may be able to make up for any possible inaccuracies of the predictor path.

Tendulkar says the merging of all available technology would come closest to 100% accuracy as possible and be of the best use in the DRS. His opinion comes close to that of both Virender Sehwag and Rahul Dravid who expressed support of the referral system, despite the Sri Lanka experience and early technological errors.

In the World Cup, however, Dhoni had called the DRS, the "adulteration" of technology and human decision-making.

More than one player on the Indian team has said in private that the DRS had often benefitted them and the team during the World Cup. Despite having Sehwag two referrals going against him in the semi-finals and the final, he said to a television reporter he still supported the system as it had given him the opportunity to ask for reviews of decisions he doubted."

Yet the DRS and its use depends not on player opinion, but official approval. BCCI officials were due to travel to Australia late last year during the Ashes to study the Virtual Eye technology being used by the official broadcasters Channel 9, but the trip was cancelled. Manohar said a presentation made by the Hawk-Eye to the BCCI in Chennai at the time did not convince the officials of the accuracy of the technology either.

As the BCCI remains adamant about the DRS, its technological base keeps improving. The first pictures of a system called Hot Track were tried out during the Ashes which merged Virtual Eye and Hot Spot, and use the Hot Spot point of impact to give extra information to the predictor path. BBG Sports, the owners of the Hot Spot, now own two new cameras that are being set up to be faster, offering more frames per second, greater clarity and greater flexibility.

Neither Hot Spot nor the Snicko, is part of the ICC's list of minimum technology requirements for the DRS. The question of whether there will be changes in the referral requirements or if the DRS should be made mandatory across all series, however, is dependent once again on the ICC's annual meeting in Hong Kong at the end of this month.

Sharda Ugra is senior editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Vikas on June 19, 2011, 6:58 GMT

    I may be possibly wrong but I suppose the biggest issue with DRS is that it does not understand that bounce at WACA may not be same as that at Wankhede. It may hit the stumps in Wankhede but may not in WACA (or vice versa). Same way spin trajectory may not be same as in Bangalore and Brisbane. Worst is that spin trajectory on Day 5 will be vastly different than on Day 1 on the same pitch. Further he is not opposing DRS; he only wants to add more features to make it better. Finally we show our inferiority complex by being disrespectful to any great human being in any field.

  • Dummy4 on June 19, 2011, 5:22 GMT

    I am not convinced about DRS either...current test between England and SriLanka....England decided to use DRS for Paravitana wicket on an edge to keeper after umpire didnt give that out..DRS as would always do lyk tht didnt show a thin edge...Hotspot didnt show the edge i.e. the spot where ball hit the bat...while there was considerable difference between bat and pads,Snickometer showed there was an which technology is right????anyways all three of them can be used as BCCI said to minimise error...n people who r defending DRS are just lyk those asking a man who wants to walk on foot to drive the car but the one with no brakes...The technology or the car has to be perfect to change the system.....and I fully support technology to reduce umpiring errors...

  • Milind on June 18, 2011, 18:04 GMT

    Atleast, DRS will remove some glaring bat/pad decisions whether caught at close in or LBW via the inside edge! We get many of these decisions and they hurt both the batting and fielding side equally, which in itself merits the use of DRS. I don't understand the stubborn resistance by BCCI to DRS. If Hotspot & Snicko are not available, doesn't mean that Hawkeye shouldn't be used either!

  • mahendra on June 18, 2011, 11:29 GMT

    When driving down the motorway , if you dont check the mirror before you change lanes you could easily crash into someone else. BCCI WILL ONLY CHANGE LANES ONCE ICC REMOVE THE DANGER THAT THE BCCI CAN SEE IN THE MIRROR.Well done & respect to BCCI.

  • mahendra on June 18, 2011, 10:57 GMT

    India were the best team of the world cup by far . Thats the main reason they won it . They will also win the next world cup in OZ . Be prepared for more misery.

  • mahendra on June 18, 2011, 10:47 GMT

    It takes' BALLS' to make a stand in what you believe in , Here BCCI are asking ICC to dig deeper and come up with a better overall solution with clear cut ideas of their own of what they believe 'could' work . Whats wrong with that ? I TAKE MY HAT OFF TO BCCI . If on the other hand BCCI were to accept a half baked URDS , We may be stuck with it for a long time without the improvements that are necessary to make it a FAIR system for all involved & for most situations .

  • J Ranjith on June 18, 2011, 10:20 GMT

    Sriraj, I saw that paper "published by hawk-eye" many months back. It says MCC has done independent testing, but the article is written by hawk-eye manufacturer. We need a research by independent panel, say MCC, and we need an explanation by an independent person, not by hawk-eye person again. I hope you get the difference. We cannot say an e-mail conversation between a hawk-eye person between a cricket coach as an independent article. If MCC has done the research., they should publish the article independently. No offence, I am not against DRS, but reaaly want to see an unbiased review. I hope you get my point.

  • Dummy4 on June 18, 2011, 9:24 GMT

    @popcorn...Sachin will eventually change his mind, if he retires the cricket world will be robbed.

  • Syed Osama on June 18, 2011, 8:25 GMT

    Its just so unbelievable for India and Sachin to speak against this technology. India Owes the world cup to DRS, Sachin owes his dream come true of wining wolrd cup to DRS. Remember LBW given out in Semi Final Against Pakistan overturned coz of it. Yet, they still dont want it, defies logic and appreciation.

  • Dummy4 on June 18, 2011, 7:26 GMT

    Sachin please accept the UDRS, though it will never be perfect (as any system will be). Do not allow the BCCI to fire away from behind your shoulder.

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