India news December 23, 2015

No DRS until it becomes 'foolproof' - Manohar

ESPNcricinfo staff

Shashank Manohar - "It was decided that either we accept the DRS system as a whole or we don't accept a DRS system. We were not willing" © AFP

Shashank Manohar, the BCCI president, has closed the door on the Decision Review System (DRS), saying that unless the system became "foolproof", India's stance would remain unchanged. Responding to questions from the public on BCCI's Facebook account, Manohar said that India's sole issue with DRS concerned lbw decisions. Manohar pointed out that he had raised this issue even during his first stint as BCCI president, between 2008 and 2011.

"Actually telling you the truth, the BCCI was never against the DRS system right from the time of my earlier tenure," Manohar said. "We had issues only regarding the leg before decisions to be decided by the DRS system. For everything else we were accepting the DRS system."

Manohar said that in his previous tenure as BCCI president, the ICC had asked India to accept DRS as a whole, which the board rejected.

"At the ICC meeting, it was decided that either we accept the DRS system as a whole or we don't accept a DRS system. We were not willing. And today also we are not willing to accept the DRS system for leg-before system because when you shoot it from a distance, a parallax develops and then you are not able to give the exact direction of the delivery.

"Secondly, instead of the umpire imagining the bounce and the direction of the trajectory, it is the person sitting behind the camera who is going into the DRS. He is going to have his imagination put in the place of the umpire's imagination with regard to the bounce."

According to Manohar, he had posed the same question concerning lbw decisions to the DRS manufacturers at an ICC executive board meeting back in 2011.

"Even the person who has evolved this DRS system was not able to answer me and was not able to satisfy all the members of the ICC," Manohar said. "And as you know, there are lot problems even in the DRS systems which are raised by various countries. Therefore unless and until the DRS system is foolproof with regards to leg-before decisions the BCCI will not accept it."

The BCCI has never favoured the DRS ever since its inception. Manohar's reasoning is similar to his successor N Srinivasan, who served as BCCI president till 2013. Srinivasan consistently opposed the DRS, calling the referrals system "faulty" as there was a lot of luck involved, which he did not support.

Manohar's remarks are bound to hurt the ICC, which has remained optimistic. After the ICC's annual conference in Barbados in June, Dave Richardson, the ICC's CEO was confident that the "modern player was more amenable to new ideas and innovation."

A couple of those modern Indian players, including the country's Test captain Virat Kohli and lead spinner R Ashwin, have expressed openness to the DRS without offering any in-depth view. Kohli had said that he would like to discuss the DRS with his team, while Ashwin had pointed out that he would not mind the DRS minus the predictive element.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Gautam on December 30, 2015, 4:55 GMT

    @Nampally - all I am saying is that slow motion should be enough to find a howler - which is the purported reason for DRS. If you need high-end technology like Hot Stop and Snicko to make reach a decision - it is no longer a howler to begin with - just a very close decision. If removing howler is the aim - then slow motion - which is absolutely free - should suffice and then there would be no cost at all.

    To those who keep saying technology is not perfect - they fail to realize that most technologies used - particularly when there is cost or life involved. Also, if you had a career in technology - that too in space and nuclear , you very well know that failure rates required in terms of one per million or better. Similarly even day to day things like car brakes or airplanes have failure rates significantly better than 98%. We don't drive a car which succeed only 98% time - do we? Or ride airplanes that crash once every 100 landings? So why accept something with only 98% accuracy?

  • Mohsin on December 28, 2015, 3:07 GMT

    @ Nampally... I respect Bradman's opinions about Umpire Chester but there is no way u cud say dat umpires in those times never missed a no-ball or made mistakes as der were no matches televised during dat time. Even when d matches began to be televised n 70s, der were cameras placed only at one end & d frame-rates weren't good enuf to give clear images on replays. Run-outs weren't referred to d TV Umpires till 1992. Even till 2005, wid run-out referrals, d cameras weren't good enuf & missed out in-between frames & batsmen got d benefit of doubt. Dissent by batsmen towards umpires can be attributed to d amount of money involved in cricket nowadays. U r trying to prove ur hypothesis by d frequency of dissent shown by batsmen when dey get out, but I wud like to prove mine by the over-the-top celebrations by bowlers & batsmen on picking wickets or achieving personal milestones.

  • Ashok on December 27, 2015, 14:49 GMT

    @GDALVI: I do not understand what you are questioning! My point was that there are costs involved in the use of DRS technology which are unjustifiable high when the Number of challenges per innings are so limited. By increasing the number of challenges to 5/innings, at least it will provide greater incentive for the use of DRS technology. I did not say it is 99.9% accurate. But I did say it is far superior to the umpiring that we noticed in the 2015 India vs. SA Test series. It is impossible to achieve perfection & V. difficult to achieve 99% perfection, in man made technology because of assumptions made! I know it from my lifetime experience in Space & Nuclear technologies- both have super sensitive computerised instrumentation.

  • Ashok on December 27, 2015, 14:26 GMT

    @HARRIS652: Chester was hailed by all batsmen of his era (which ended in 1955) as the best Umpire ever, including by none other than the great Don himself. It was Don Bradman who called him "Near perfect"!. We have umpires in this generation who cannot even call No-balls correctly. That is why we have to review for No ball after every batsman gets out. DRS or Not, why are the present day umpires so inefficient so as to "Miss" No balls? In the past there were at least 6 or more No balls "Called" in an innings of 300 because the umpires were efficient! The umpiring has declined significantly in the recent times to justify DRS whether it is perfect or Not. That is a fact! Batsmen's dissent at being "given Out" clearly confirms this.

  • Nish on December 27, 2015, 13:43 GMT

    Every sport - including cricket - is to a large extent based on the participants making mistakes in giving their opponent an advantage. In our sport, batsmen get out playing a poor shot, fielders at times drop catches, bowlers will bowl bad balls etc - so in this context, it is plainly ridiculous for the BCCI to assert that DRS will only be acceptable if it is foolproof! All sports that have moved forward in embracing technology know it is not perfect but it will get decisions correct in around 90% of the time - just like the DRS system. The most sensible thing for the BCCI to do is to now accept DRS knowing it is never going to be foolproof & then collectively work with the ICC & other national Boards to try to iron out as much as possible the anomalies or imperfections of the system.

  • Jose on December 27, 2015, 4:31 GMT


    Even in those countries having "stable & self sufficient" boards now (I am using your phrase), there had been several instances of irrational behaviour on the part of both administrators AND senior players in the past. And, also not working in sync. For instance, that friction-rid and non-sensitive atmosphere provided fertile ground for a clever businessman to orchestrate the rebel tours. Some of the situations before that historical flux were even more disappointing..The list is too long. I don't want to open that pandora's box. It looks, I am not the only one in these fora, approaching 80. They all will jump (quite rightly) into the fray to narrate very many instances of that sort. So, from my side I am closing this topic.

    One day, the sub-continental boards and their players will also attain that "stability".

    With best wishes, Moshin.

  • Aubline on December 26, 2015, 23:24 GMT

    @Nampally If Chester's decisions had been filmed by modern equipment and subjected to the same detailed analysis, I very much doubt that they would be 'near perfect'. The comparison is ridiculous.

  • Mohsin on December 26, 2015, 20:14 GMT

    @ JoseP..BobMartin is most probably referring to d DRS dat Indian players opt to use in ICC tournaments. Indian players cant pick & choose to hav fun wid d decisions d umpires make. It's not fun when MSD complains of umpiring decisions in media & den puts pressure on umpires in subsequent matches which MUDDLES d mind of umpires. The most recent incident proving dis is umpire Vineet Kulkarni in d recent ODI series vs SA. DRS has been introduced to eliminate exactly dis kind of pressure some senior cricketers put on umpires. About d WI players & WICB issue, u've been following cricket since much earlier dan my time & u know exactly what sort of MUDDLE WI cricket has been in since 20 years. So, quoting their example doesn't really count. The stable & self-sufficient boards of AUS, SA, ENG, NZ hav always taken initiatives to take d game forward both technologically & strategically. Cricket in India is too big financially(thanks to our population)to think about such trivial issues.

  • Ashok on December 26, 2015, 14:40 GMT

    @MOHSIN9975: You say "I don't think Umpiring was that bad"!. If you look into each Test of the recent India vs. SA Tests, there were Umpiring blunders which were exposed by slow motion. Vijay was "given out" twice & when he showed his dissent the second time, he was fined! In the same innings Kohli was given out by the Umpire off Imran Tahir. Kohli showed dissent as well but was saved by the No ball review & went to make 89. These were just 2 examples in the same innings but every Test had at least 2 such bad decisions. Cricket rules punish the Players for showing dissent! But what choice has the player when he is being wrongly given out by the umpires. I followed Cricket for a long time. There were great Umpires like Chester(lost an arm during the war) who were "Near perfect" & highly respected. Not a single umpire comes within a mile of Umpire Chester! So I am sorry I cannot glorify present Umpiring nor condone the player dissent at the Umpiring decisions.

  • Bob on December 26, 2015, 14:15 GMT

    @ Jose...P on December 26, 2015,..... "Yes, players, sometimes nudge them thru half hearted signs. Nothing official about it. Frankly, I am very happy about it." What absolute nonsense.. When playing away and DRS is in use, the Indian player use it in exactly the same manner as the other side do.. In fact if they don't do it using the official signal, the umpire will not take it as a request for a review. To suggest that the players sometimes "nudge" the umpires is a nonsensical way of refusing to admit that the Indian players are quite happy to use DRS. If they weren't they would simply accept the on-field decision and get on with the game.. Since they don't.. ipso facto they are using the DRS..

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