February 14, 2012

'DRS has affected the game more than we thought it would'

David Richardson, the ICC's general manager of cricket, talks about the impact of the review system, and the tests currently being conducted to analyse the effectiveness of ball-tracking technology
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Dave Richardson, the ICC's general manager of cricket, speaks:

Tell us about the testing of the DRS system currently going on at Cambridge University.
Well, it's a company called Computer Vision Consulting Limited, staffed by post-grads from Cambridge University with expertise in the supply of research and performance assessment services, particularly within the computer vision and broadcasting technology industries. We've asked them to review the level of accuracy and reliability of the two ball-tracking companies - Hawk-Eye and Virtual Eye - that have been accredited for international cricket. In terms of accuracy we want to know whether their virtual depictions of where the ball has pitched and where the ball has impacted the batsman accord with the reality, and whether their predictions as to where the ball would have hit the stumps are correct.

The reliability issue is slightly different. We want to know the percentage of times they can deliver an accurate tracking. If, in a Test, there are 60 lbw appeals and the ball-tracking technology is only able to deliver an accurate tracking on, for example, 50 of those occasions, then they would not be regarded as very reliable. On the other hand, if they were getting it right on 97 out of 100 occasions, we would probably regard that as being acceptable.

Presumably there was testing of the DRS before implementation?
Yes, we did some manual testing, but it was pretty basic. We asked the MCC to assist us with these tests to provide some level of independence. We were satisfied that the systems were accurate enough for us to have enough confidence to implement them for DRS. Certainly the initial testing led us to believe that the systems would be far more accurate than the human eye could ever be.

This is a far more detailed review by a completely independent party. Hawk-Eye and Virtual Eye both tell us how accurate they are, but this will verify those claims..

So is it also a test to see which of Hawk-Eye and Virtual Eye works better?
It may allow us to draw some comparisons, yes.

Who is paying for it and how much is it costing?
The ICC is paying. I do not have the exact figure, but it's not too expensive. Certainly it is worth the cost.

The testers have to develop appropriate software first. Their expertise is analysing video footage. Their skills and technology are incredibly sophisticated. For example, if you can tell them the time, the date and the place at which the delivery has taken place, they can even work out from the shadow of the ball how high it is off the ground at a particular point. This helps them verify the accuracy of the ball tracking. At the risk of over-simplifying the method, they will be using actual video footage of a particular delivery from different angles and, by synchronising the footage, creating a 3D picture which can be used to verify the accuracy of the ball tracking.

Presumably part of the role of the tests is to convince everyone - including India - that the DRS works and that it should be accepted as a positive development?
Exactly. Whether it will help to change their minds on DRS, even assuming the report comes back positive, or whether they have other reasons for not wanting DRS, we will have to see.

"You see a replay on TV and say, "That looks as if it was hitting leg stump." But then Hawk-Eye shows it just missing. What people don't realise is that the camera for the slow-motion replay might not have been behind the bowler's arm"

What is the time scale for the testing?
They are hoping to have something ready for us by our next ICC Cricket Committee meeting, in May 2012.

How do you respond to the accusation that you should have arranged independent testing before implementation?
We were satisfied with the testing we did. We tested the accuracy as far as we could, and to an extent it showed that the technology was at least accurate and reliable enough for it to be used in the manner that we have used it.

A lot of people have misgivings about DRS because they are misled by what they see on TV or from their particular angle of sight. People see a replay on TV and say, "That looks as if it was hitting leg stump." But then Hawk-Eye shows it just missing and you say to yourself, "That just cannot be." But what people don't realise is that the camera for the slow-motion replay might not have been behind the bowler's arm. There are three cameras in a row and the one used for slow-motion replays is one of the ones on the side. So, often the picture you see on your TV screen is slightly misleading. The Hawk-Eye cameras are set-up and calibrated perfectly to ensure they provide accurate results. We need to provide the evidence to prove that [people] should trust the evidence provided by the ball-tracking technology, not what they might see on television.

There are concerns that the third umpire is not always using the best technology or seeing the best pictures from the best angles. Is that all part of the learning process of using DRS?
Yes, it has been part of the learning process. But nowadays we have a technical expert who sits with the third umpire in every match where DRS is used. His job is to ensure everything is set up correctly. He monitors that the third umpire has the best available television, with the best screen definition and picture clarity. All that is checked. But it's not always possible to ensure that high definition is available - that is dependent on the cabling at the venue, I believe.

Presumably the broadcasters have a responsibility too?
There are minimum specification requirements for the third umpire TV room, some of which are applicable to the broadcasters. Some broadcasters exceed what is required but all have no problem in meeting the minimum requirement. But we're taking a pragmatic approach. We believe that having a TV that is not high definition is better than not having one at all.

There was a dismissal in the third Test in the UAE when Simon Taufel, the on-field umpire, gave Mohammad Hafeez not out but the third umpire, Shavir Tarapore, overruled him despite the fact that Hot Spot seemed to show a thin edge. Are these the inevitable teething problems of implementing such a system? Will we have more knowledge in five years?
We'll have more experience. The umpires will know to look out for a tiny fleck of white. The umpires will learn by experience. So, yes, that is the case. Technology itself will also improve with time.

The DRS seemed to have a huge impact on the series in the UAE. Was that a surprise or a concern?
It's too early to say. Prior to the use of DRS there was a trend that spin bowlers were [beginning to get] more lbws. Even though we weren't using DRS, the umpires were being assessed by it. They might be giving a batsman not out if the ball hit them on the front foot, as they could not be sure that it would have gone on to hit the stumps. Then they would go and watch the replay, see what Hawk-Eye said and realise the ball was hitting halfway up middle. The TV commentators would be saying, "Why hasn't he given it out?"

That changed umpiring. Umpires realised they could give more decisions out if the ball was heading towards leg stump. They also realised that in subcontinent conditions the ball was rarely going to bounce over the top of the stumps, so they started giving more front foot lbws, too.

So the trend had started before DRS came in. It may be, though, the use of DRS has amplified things. Umpires may have realised that if they give someone out and DRS shows it was not out, then their decision can be rectified. So they might, I suppose, have the courage of their convictions a bit more and take a less conservative approach to giving the batsman out.

I think if we're totally honest, DRS has affected the game slightly more than we thought it would. In the Pakistan-England series in particular. The pitches in the UAE have been relatively low, especially for the spinners. Because of the lower bounce there has been an increase in the number of lbws.

It seems to be creating a better balance between bat and ball, but is there a concern that Tests might not last five days?
I wouldn't be too hasty in saying that. I agree that the Pakistan-England series may have suggested that, but maybe a few batsmen were out of form and the bowlers of both sides were very good. There was a bit more in the pitches than most expected too. It's too early to draw too many conclusions.

One positive aspect of the DRS should be that it encourages batsmen to use their bats more.
Yes, it is going to bring about a change of technique. And that will improve things for everybody.

That point you made - about the balance between bat and ball - that is key. A year ago, every Tom, Dick and Harry was averaging more than 50 in Test cricket. The balance between bat and ball had got out of kilter and experts were complaining. I think that using DRS may help redress that balance.

"A year ago, every Tom, Dick and Harry was averaging more than 50 in Test cricket. The balance between bat and ball had got out of kilter and experts were complaining. I think that using DRS may help redress that balance"

Are the umpires on side?
The majority are. None of them like making mistakes, and sometimes they might feel that the DRS makes their mistakes more embarrassing. But credit to them, the DRS - more often than not - shows what a good job they do. The stats are unbelievable. Umpires are proved right after reviews 75% of the time. Umpires do not like their decisions having to be overturned but the fact is that at the end of a series where DRS is used, the umpires are normally congratulated for a job well done and people are amazed as to how many decisions they actually get right. In non-DRS series, even where the umpires might have made fewer mistakes, they are inevitably criticised for those that they do make.

It wasn't too long ago that there were just two umpires - local umpires, at that - and none of this technology or manpower. Can the game afford the investment?
You're right, it is expensive. It costs as least $10,000 a day to have Hot Spot and ball-tracking. In my view, cricket will pick up the cost - of using technology for umpiring purposes, if not in the short term then in the long term - because eventually the broadcasters will include it in their budgeting and consequent negotiations with the member boards in determining broadcast rights fees. They'll pay X amount less in broadcast rights each time in order to pay for the technology that is required for DRS. We'd like to have Hot Spot and ball-tracking at every Test. And, if we did, we might be able to do a deal with the companies to provide it at a better price.

Is it worth the cost? Well, if we use DRS, the percentage of correct decisions increases by approximately four to five percentage points, from 93% to 98%. I think it is worth it. Technology is here to stay. If the broadcasters are going to continue to use it, we have to use it.

Are similar tests planned on Hot Spot?
No. Hot Spot is real. It's not a virtual picture. What they will be working upon is making their cameras even more sensitive, so that the smallest of touches will be visible. They're learning about the best way to position and set their cameras. Experience has shown that the priority is the sensitivity of the camera, i.e. its ability to generate a visible heat mark as opposed to clearly defined pictures which look nice but do not provide the required level of sensitivity to pick up the faint edges. Whilst Hot Spot cameras may not be able to pick up the very faint touches, they will never show a mark where there is no touch and they are also very useful in distinguishing between whether the ball has touched the bat or gloves, as opposed to, for example, the thigh guard, arm guard, shoulder or helmet.

And Snicko: will you test that?
Not yet, no. Snicko is just a visual depiction of the sound from the stump microphone. At this stage the third umpire does not use it. The third umpire gets the sound from the stump microphone.

They don't just use Hot Spot; they can use what the on-field umpire uses. They can use what they see and what they hear. Even if there is no Hot Spot but they hear a noise, assuming there is no evidence that the noise was caused by something other than the ball hitting bat or glove, they are quite entitled to advise the on-field umpire that the batsman must have got a faint edge. Viewers might not understand that this is the protocol, I know, but hopefully they will understand how it works in time. In time, we'd like the communication between the on-field and third umpire to be heard by the TV viewers. Hopefully, when the umpires are so confident in the system and so well versed in using it, we will be able to do that. That's the aim.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Fast_Track_Bully on February 16, 2012, 7:21 GMT

    And at the end of the day we will get more accurate DRS with the resistance of BCCI. Funny to see blind followers of DRS are crying when some bad decisions against them.

  • on February 16, 2012, 6:13 GMT

    Zenboomerang -- "computer technology is over 50 years old" ..? cmon man lets not just make up random facts to suit our theories... Its good that they are testing DRS.. Alot of software etc has bugs that are not always picked up in the initial Beta testing, whch the ICC has said it did..

    Like a car, even software must get a check up once and a while to be better... They call it a patch.. Perhaps DRS will goto versions 2.0 ? haha

  • SpinBounce on February 16, 2012, 3:33 GMT

    I have few clarifications regarding Dave's interview. He mentions that viewers were misled in the past by viewing a different angle camera. You mean to say that 3rd umpire has a different view compared to TV viewers? If so, why not both have the same view. But i heard from TV commentators before that the same video footage has been seen by 3rd umpire.

    Other pt is on the cost. I don't agree on the short-term, long-term. All these financial terms are ridiculous. Why not ICC bear the costs?

  • zenboomerang on February 15, 2012, 23:55 GMT

    So the BCCI fly in jets all over the world that use similar technology to DRS... Special surgery techniques use technology similar to DRS - am I going to miss that operation because the BCCI says they are unsure?... Not on my life I'm not... Simple fact is that computer technology is over 50 years old & way more accurate that the human eye... The umpire has to check for a no-ball, then in less than 0.4 sec has to refocus his eyes & make judgements about whether a batsman is out - its amazing the accuracy of the correct decisions & accounts for the howlers as well... For the sporting fans, correct decisions are the ultimate requirement & only DRS can give that near perfect result...

  • DaGameChanger on February 15, 2012, 14:44 GMT

    @MohammadKhan...DRS cost India the match against England which means India should never be playing Australia in QuarterFinal but NZ..but it ended all good for India. Also if Tendulkar was saved by DRS so correct decision was made..it doesnt mean you change your principal stance which is basically questionable methods to guage DRS. I was staunch supporter of DRS but after seeing few mishaps, I do understand its not 100% correct but yet effective and other thing that BCCI clearly showed that it will cost 10000$ per game for 2% gain and not every country is capable of doing it. Go figure who will be paying major share of it..

  • on February 15, 2012, 8:19 GMT

    i do not understand why the Indians are complaining of the DRS, they should be thankful to it as it saved an early wicket of sachin tendulkar worldcup semi finals against Pakistan..

  • bobagorof on February 15, 2012, 4:42 GMT

    I'm surprised the ICC has taken this long to do another review of the accuracy of the technology, if there have been such doubts. It should be pretty simple really - feed the system information about where the ball pitched and where it reaches the batsman, and compare its results and predictions with what actually happened. A scientific way to test accuracy. But it sounds like they are doing that now, which is good to see. I'm not sure about IndiaNumeroUno's call to have 3 separate sets of tests - why is it important that IIT (India) be responsible for one of them when the group doing it is independent? But if it would ease Indian minds about 'the great conspiracy' then it might be necessary.

  • Gizza on February 15, 2012, 1:54 GMT

    I still think instead of a review system, the umpires should just send the borderline lbw's and catches upstairs to the third umpire like they do with run-outs. Far better than the players themselves challenging the umpire. And the third umpire still gets to use the technology. The review system benefits top-order batsmen since teams often lose their review near the end of the innings. The fielding team can also use up their reviews quite early. Taking it away from the players remove the tactical element of UDRS. The tactics on the field should only be cricketing tactics.

  • Gizza on February 15, 2012, 1:51 GMT

    @AlbertEinstein, umpires aren't correct 80% they are also correct something like 97% of the time (there were a few Cricinfo articles mentioning that before). The 80% figure means that the umpires are 80% correct when there is a review which the normally the 50-50 decisions. The captains normally don't decide to send plumb decisions upstairs.

  • rienzied on February 15, 2012, 1:46 GMT

    Simple keep everything in the umpires hands, including the DRS with the 3rd umpire being allowed to intervene. Do not allow the players to do so. The 3rd umpire needs to take a more active and proactive role. The players may appeal but NOTHING more than that!

  • Fast_Track_Bully on February 16, 2012, 7:21 GMT

    And at the end of the day we will get more accurate DRS with the resistance of BCCI. Funny to see blind followers of DRS are crying when some bad decisions against them.

  • on February 16, 2012, 6:13 GMT

    Zenboomerang -- "computer technology is over 50 years old" ..? cmon man lets not just make up random facts to suit our theories... Its good that they are testing DRS.. Alot of software etc has bugs that are not always picked up in the initial Beta testing, whch the ICC has said it did..

    Like a car, even software must get a check up once and a while to be better... They call it a patch.. Perhaps DRS will goto versions 2.0 ? haha

  • SpinBounce on February 16, 2012, 3:33 GMT

    I have few clarifications regarding Dave's interview. He mentions that viewers were misled in the past by viewing a different angle camera. You mean to say that 3rd umpire has a different view compared to TV viewers? If so, why not both have the same view. But i heard from TV commentators before that the same video footage has been seen by 3rd umpire.

    Other pt is on the cost. I don't agree on the short-term, long-term. All these financial terms are ridiculous. Why not ICC bear the costs?

  • zenboomerang on February 15, 2012, 23:55 GMT

    So the BCCI fly in jets all over the world that use similar technology to DRS... Special surgery techniques use technology similar to DRS - am I going to miss that operation because the BCCI says they are unsure?... Not on my life I'm not... Simple fact is that computer technology is over 50 years old & way more accurate that the human eye... The umpire has to check for a no-ball, then in less than 0.4 sec has to refocus his eyes & make judgements about whether a batsman is out - its amazing the accuracy of the correct decisions & accounts for the howlers as well... For the sporting fans, correct decisions are the ultimate requirement & only DRS can give that near perfect result...

  • DaGameChanger on February 15, 2012, 14:44 GMT

    @MohammadKhan...DRS cost India the match against England which means India should never be playing Australia in QuarterFinal but NZ..but it ended all good for India. Also if Tendulkar was saved by DRS so correct decision was made..it doesnt mean you change your principal stance which is basically questionable methods to guage DRS. I was staunch supporter of DRS but after seeing few mishaps, I do understand its not 100% correct but yet effective and other thing that BCCI clearly showed that it will cost 10000$ per game for 2% gain and not every country is capable of doing it. Go figure who will be paying major share of it..

  • on February 15, 2012, 8:19 GMT

    i do not understand why the Indians are complaining of the DRS, they should be thankful to it as it saved an early wicket of sachin tendulkar worldcup semi finals against Pakistan..

  • bobagorof on February 15, 2012, 4:42 GMT

    I'm surprised the ICC has taken this long to do another review of the accuracy of the technology, if there have been such doubts. It should be pretty simple really - feed the system information about where the ball pitched and where it reaches the batsman, and compare its results and predictions with what actually happened. A scientific way to test accuracy. But it sounds like they are doing that now, which is good to see. I'm not sure about IndiaNumeroUno's call to have 3 separate sets of tests - why is it important that IIT (India) be responsible for one of them when the group doing it is independent? But if it would ease Indian minds about 'the great conspiracy' then it might be necessary.

  • Gizza on February 15, 2012, 1:54 GMT

    I still think instead of a review system, the umpires should just send the borderline lbw's and catches upstairs to the third umpire like they do with run-outs. Far better than the players themselves challenging the umpire. And the third umpire still gets to use the technology. The review system benefits top-order batsmen since teams often lose their review near the end of the innings. The fielding team can also use up their reviews quite early. Taking it away from the players remove the tactical element of UDRS. The tactics on the field should only be cricketing tactics.

  • Gizza on February 15, 2012, 1:51 GMT

    @AlbertEinstein, umpires aren't correct 80% they are also correct something like 97% of the time (there were a few Cricinfo articles mentioning that before). The 80% figure means that the umpires are 80% correct when there is a review which the normally the 50-50 decisions. The captains normally don't decide to send plumb decisions upstairs.

  • rienzied on February 15, 2012, 1:46 GMT

    Simple keep everything in the umpires hands, including the DRS with the 3rd umpire being allowed to intervene. Do not allow the players to do so. The 3rd umpire needs to take a more active and proactive role. The players may appeal but NOTHING more than that!

  • da_man_ on February 15, 2012, 0:30 GMT

    @ IndiaNumeroUno, what exactly is wrong with "a bunch of Cambridge grads"? They are independent, probably quite smart and most likely possess some pretty nifty equipment. I personally think that umpires, commentators, fans and even the ICC has lost focus on the matter. The aim is TO MINIMISE HOWLERS. Not make marginal calls. Inside edges, balls pitching outside leg, blatantly too high etc etc. Not saying that ball was clipping so blah blah!

  • Smithie on February 14, 2012, 22:38 GMT

    @Indianumerouno- are you seriously suggesting that this Cambridge academic has national bias? I suggest you research his work - has nought to do with cricket! Main thing is that India will achieve more wins at home if you use DRS as evidenced by the UAE results of England/ Pakistan. Get real and get the ADVANTAGE!

  • Mappi on February 14, 2012, 19:19 GMT

    Yes time has come to implement DRS in all Test Series & all Intrnational matches Oops then may be India will just particpate in their domestic IPL because BCCI who are bigger then the game & technology doesnt understand the importance of DRS, nevertheless they LOST 4-0 against Australia without DRS, does it makes any difference??

  • IndiaNumeroUno on February 14, 2012, 19:11 GMT

    "But it's not always possible to ensure that high definition is available - that is dependent on the cabling at the venue, I believe.."

    Says it all really!

  • IndiaNumeroUno on February 14, 2012, 19:08 GMT

    After all the defensive tactics ICC has now done what it should have done long time ago (before trying force DRS down our throats!).

    BCCI was right all along!!

    However, I'm not convinced that a bunch of Cambridge grads alone would cut the mustard.. we need similar studies done in IIT (India) and maybe one more in US (Yale etc).. and have 3 sets of studies and stats to draw some judgement.

  • S.Alis on February 14, 2012, 17:24 GMT

    @Rahul_78: Every human make mistakes and that's what it's to be human. without a doubt Aleem Dar and Simon Taufel are best umpires but they also did mistakes and what about all other umpires? Just yesterday Simon Taufel given a wrong decision by giving english player out while there was a big inside edge. Third Umpire just seen it once on normal camera and it was clear to overturn the decision.

    BCCI argument about 100% foolproof technology is ridiculous and you know it. It's just that you guys don't want to turn back now.

  • Thomas_Ratnam on February 14, 2012, 16:24 GMT

    Mr. Rishardson, thanks for the details and we can now understand what's going on to convince the doubters. It would have been useful if real numbers were published for accuaracy and reliablity during the tests for ball tracking. Too often the authorities underestimate the intelligence of the readership and as you have done here wrongly attributed a test to reliablity. If you were a bit more tranparent from the beginning you would have had everybody on board. Instead the misguided choice to keep the numbers under wraps has cost the world of cricket a great deal of 'correct' decisions. You have also not mentioned if you TEST ball tracking technology in real match conditions, when the path of the ball to the wicket keeper or to the wicket is NOT interupted with bat or person. These are good test cases to see if the REAL path corresponds to the VIRTUAL one.

  • Smithie on February 14, 2012, 15:41 GMT

    Lets just make sure that India Cements Limited does not have a stake in Computer Vision Consulting Limited! If these independent test results prove positive it will be interesting to hear Srinivasan and SRT's next excuse for non acceptance of DRS. Any chance Ashwin and Ojha will stand up and be counted ? More good stuff from @LillianThomson - keep at 'em!

  • Tony..F on February 14, 2012, 14:26 GMT

    @Rahul_78 - if a ball hits the batsman before it lands, it's assumed to continue in a straight line without turning - this has always been the case, even before DRS. As for the amount of bounce, if the batsman has been hit on the full then the ball must still be on the way down and isn't going to bounce over the top, so as far as hitting the wickets is concerned the bounce is pretty much irrelevant.

  • Quazar on February 14, 2012, 14:16 GMT

    By the way, India was the first country to adopt Third umpires for run-outs (in their series in SA in the early 90s) as well as DRS trials in Test cricket in 2008. So the issue wasn't about techno-phobia... it was about faith in a specific aspect -- Hawkeye predictions, which often didn't appear reliable to the players (even Mickey Arthur and SA had misgivings) in the early days (2008, 2009). The ICC should never have introduced a system (which Richardson admits has impacted the game much more than expected or hoped) without rigorous testing and hard data to prove its accuracy and reliability.

  • Quazar on February 14, 2012, 14:06 GMT

    Why the ICC went ahead and sanctioned Hawkeye as part of the DRS before full independent testing is hard to understand. Thankfully, they are now on the right track. Most people think the BCCI is evil (as do I, on ocassion), but their demand for independent and comprehensive tesing was a very legitimate one. Especially since the elimination of howlers (the reason for DRS) was easily achievable using just ultra-slow-mo replays, HotSpot and a pitch mat for determining where the ball pitched... there was no grave need to add Hawkeye's (untested / unverified) predictive paths into the mix.

  • tough_cool on February 14, 2012, 13:35 GMT

    That the DRS is only 97% correct is immaterial isnt it ! The DRS would still be 97% accurate for both the teams, whereas the accuracy of the on-field umpire varies depending on many factors including but not limited to his liking towards a particular player/team/country etc

  • Biggus on February 14, 2012, 11:18 GMT

    The BCCI has painted themselves into a corner on this issue by virtue of their rather ridiculous previous statements that they would not accept a system that was not 100% accurate. Since 100% certainty is not possible in any system we must assume that they will never accept UDRS while those who have made these utterances are still in a position to oppose them. Planes, automobiles, computers and everything else (including umpires) are fallible and yet these apparent technophobes are happy to use them. Sachin is happy to board a plane to fly to Australia even though the consequences of it's failure are death, yet he shuns the use of a review system where the consequences of failure are merely an incorrect decision, something he will have experienced many times over his career at the hands of umpires. I feel the truth is that now these people have made this stand pride and fear of loss of face will prevent any retraction. After all, 'God' is meant to be infallible.

  • LillianThomson on February 14, 2012, 10:03 GMT

    DRS is marvellous: it has restored the balance between bat and ball by ensuring that if the ball was going to dislodge the bails, you're out lbw. It has given spin bowlers a new lease of life. I personally care very little whether or not India wants it: their opinion mattered when they were a powerful Test team, but now that the Top 4 has settled at England, South Africa, Pakistan and Australia from my point of view really India can do whatever it wants - which it will anyway. The rest of us only have to play India once every four years home and away. When we get them on our turf, of course they lose. But even in India their refusal to accept DRS makes it impossible for their spinners to take wickets, which is why they failed to whitewash West Indies or New Zealand. Anyway, the figures are well-known. Without DRS, umpires get 92% of decisions correct, but only 60% of marginal ones. With DRS that rises to 98% overall and 90% of marginal ones, which is superb.

  • Spelele on February 14, 2012, 10:02 GMT

    I have to disagree with the ridiculous idea that Tests will finish in 2/3 days with technology in use. SA has used technology in almost every series not involving India. They have scored numerous 500+ or at least 400+ scores. E.g, in the recently concluded series against Srilanka, SA made scores of 400+ (one being 580 for just 3 wickets). Even in the SA-ENG series in 2009, big scores were scored, and most matches were drawn. The system is good. It will allow only the best and deserving batsmen to be rewarded (this should always have been the case!). The loss of the so-called "benefit of the doubt to the batsman" is over-emphasized. We all know that the 'benefit' has always accrued only/mostly to certain players. It has always meant something different to Tendulkar than it has to Vusi Sibanda for example. This leaves too much room for bias towards big-name players and 'big' teams. That was regrettable for the game. It's time to move on to a new era where the playing field is even.

  • AlbertEinstein on February 14, 2012, 9:58 GMT

    If umpires are correct 80% of the time and technology is correct 97% of the time, and Indians don't want technology because of the 3% wrong decisions, why don't they try to rid the game of umnpires for their 20% wrong decisions ? Oops I just gave BCCI a new idea to gain cheap publicity.

  • world.cricketer on February 14, 2012, 9:58 GMT

    Guess WHO IS HE IN THE SECOND PICTURE??????????????????

  • Romanticstud on February 14, 2012, 8:38 GMT

    Technology has been on the cards for a number of years now ... In South Africa wehave used a number of tools including snicko, hot-spot, frame for frame for run-outs, Hawk-eye amongst others ... In other sports around the world Technology has taken over most decision making ... When in doubt ... Ask the TV ... With Cameras and other tools we as spectators can often see the results before the umpie has made his decision. The best part of it ... reviewing a decision especially if the bowler has overstepped ... can be beneficial for the on-field umpire as often he is blinded by the body especially round the wicket ... So a "wicket" could result in a "free hit" situation, which is the reverse of the LBW scenario mentioned in the article ... A great Interview ... another few years and we will tell if all the "catches" taken by the ground are caught.

  • Rahul_78 on February 14, 2012, 8:37 GMT

    There were some blatant mistakes or shall we say misses on behalf of technology in the past. Hot Spot which was thought of as a great invention and makes for great television viewing is the most susceptible. Even Hot Spot technical staff has admitted that it can be ineffective if the sun light is too bright. Also I dont think that technology still exists to predict the path of the ball 100% accurately specially in case of the ball hitting the batsmen on the toe, how does one predict the bounce and turn it will extract off the pitch in this scenario. It is always a shame if inaccurate technology is allowed to overturn the decisions made from the umpires of the caliber of Alim Dar or Simon Taufell who have the best seat in the ground to make the judgement. It will be better if technology is restricted to only guide the umpires in exactly pinpointing where the ball is pitched and the point of impact it has made with bat or pad. It shouldn't be used to judge the path of the delivery.

  • SharjeelAhmedKhan on February 14, 2012, 8:27 GMT

    Wow George! How can you write so many great articles, debates and various researches everyday? I wish that the concerns acclaim your work and do the needful accordingly after every article of yours. Excellent stuff. Well arguably there's noone near to you in Cricinfo team who could write better for the sake of the game.

  • keralite on February 14, 2012, 8:10 GMT

    @johnathonjosephs who said 1.2 billion fans oppose DRS? Not all Indians even like BCCI...

  • johnathonjosephs on February 14, 2012, 7:02 GMT

    Must be shown to the 1.2 billion Indian fans and the BCCI (not to mention Ravi Shastri). Not implementing the UDRS in every game should be a crime itself.

  • Meety on February 14, 2012, 6:24 GMT

    Great interview. I think the BCCI will change its mind only when Sachin has retired!

  • on February 14, 2012, 6:14 GMT

    checking sensitivity of HOTspot is crucial...hope checking will be done for wide range of temperatures...Hotspot cannot detect edge at temperatures of 45c

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  • on February 14, 2012, 6:14 GMT

    checking sensitivity of HOTspot is crucial...hope checking will be done for wide range of temperatures...Hotspot cannot detect edge at temperatures of 45c

  • Meety on February 14, 2012, 6:24 GMT

    Great interview. I think the BCCI will change its mind only when Sachin has retired!

  • johnathonjosephs on February 14, 2012, 7:02 GMT

    Must be shown to the 1.2 billion Indian fans and the BCCI (not to mention Ravi Shastri). Not implementing the UDRS in every game should be a crime itself.

  • keralite on February 14, 2012, 8:10 GMT

    @johnathonjosephs who said 1.2 billion fans oppose DRS? Not all Indians even like BCCI...

  • SharjeelAhmedKhan on February 14, 2012, 8:27 GMT

    Wow George! How can you write so many great articles, debates and various researches everyday? I wish that the concerns acclaim your work and do the needful accordingly after every article of yours. Excellent stuff. Well arguably there's noone near to you in Cricinfo team who could write better for the sake of the game.

  • Rahul_78 on February 14, 2012, 8:37 GMT

    There were some blatant mistakes or shall we say misses on behalf of technology in the past. Hot Spot which was thought of as a great invention and makes for great television viewing is the most susceptible. Even Hot Spot technical staff has admitted that it can be ineffective if the sun light is too bright. Also I dont think that technology still exists to predict the path of the ball 100% accurately specially in case of the ball hitting the batsmen on the toe, how does one predict the bounce and turn it will extract off the pitch in this scenario. It is always a shame if inaccurate technology is allowed to overturn the decisions made from the umpires of the caliber of Alim Dar or Simon Taufell who have the best seat in the ground to make the judgement. It will be better if technology is restricted to only guide the umpires in exactly pinpointing where the ball is pitched and the point of impact it has made with bat or pad. It shouldn't be used to judge the path of the delivery.

  • Romanticstud on February 14, 2012, 8:38 GMT

    Technology has been on the cards for a number of years now ... In South Africa wehave used a number of tools including snicko, hot-spot, frame for frame for run-outs, Hawk-eye amongst others ... In other sports around the world Technology has taken over most decision making ... When in doubt ... Ask the TV ... With Cameras and other tools we as spectators can often see the results before the umpie has made his decision. The best part of it ... reviewing a decision especially if the bowler has overstepped ... can be beneficial for the on-field umpire as often he is blinded by the body especially round the wicket ... So a "wicket" could result in a "free hit" situation, which is the reverse of the LBW scenario mentioned in the article ... A great Interview ... another few years and we will tell if all the "catches" taken by the ground are caught.

  • world.cricketer on February 14, 2012, 9:58 GMT

    Guess WHO IS HE IN THE SECOND PICTURE??????????????????

  • AlbertEinstein on February 14, 2012, 9:58 GMT

    If umpires are correct 80% of the time and technology is correct 97% of the time, and Indians don't want technology because of the 3% wrong decisions, why don't they try to rid the game of umnpires for their 20% wrong decisions ? Oops I just gave BCCI a new idea to gain cheap publicity.

  • Spelele on February 14, 2012, 10:02 GMT

    I have to disagree with the ridiculous idea that Tests will finish in 2/3 days with technology in use. SA has used technology in almost every series not involving India. They have scored numerous 500+ or at least 400+ scores. E.g, in the recently concluded series against Srilanka, SA made scores of 400+ (one being 580 for just 3 wickets). Even in the SA-ENG series in 2009, big scores were scored, and most matches were drawn. The system is good. It will allow only the best and deserving batsmen to be rewarded (this should always have been the case!). The loss of the so-called "benefit of the doubt to the batsman" is over-emphasized. We all know that the 'benefit' has always accrued only/mostly to certain players. It has always meant something different to Tendulkar than it has to Vusi Sibanda for example. This leaves too much room for bias towards big-name players and 'big' teams. That was regrettable for the game. It's time to move on to a new era where the playing field is even.