December 30, 2011

Time for the DRS debate to end

This year gave us an excellent World Cup, some quality Test cricket, and an exciting new league. But the discussions about technology have gone on for far too long
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Plus ├ža change plus c'est la meme. And little really changed in cricket in 2011. Yes, players were arrested for fixing for the first time, but that was inevitable - at some point a player was going to say something to the wrong person. But apart from that, we continue to debate the DRS and the IPL, the future of Test cricket, the growth of commerce, the stubbornness of the BCCI, and an Indian defeat in the first Test of a series.

It was the year in which opposition to the DRS replaced the IPL as the source of all evil in the game. The world is increasingly being split between those for the DRS and those against. And, as a corollary, those for India and those against. It is an unnecessary division but one that is increasingly being felt because the BCCI refuses to explain its point of view. There have been occasions in the last two years when the board has had a sound, coherent argument but it has remained shrouded because of the reluctance to enter into a debate.

To be honest, the use of the DRS in 2011 did cause me to question my support for the system, especially with respect to ball-tracking and Hot Spot. The failure of ball-tracking at the World Cup - whether it was to be effective if the point of contact was greater than 2.5 metres from where the ball pitched, or indeed less than 30 centimetres - suggested it was only the speed of the cameras that mattered. In countries with large budgets for production, ball-tracking will work better than in those with lower budgets. So the inequity will remain anyway. And while the creators of Hot Spot will say they have a better product now, it had a forgettable tour of England.

Until we get reliable figures on accuracy for different versions of ball-tracking, we might have to stay with something that will be available everywhere. And so maybe we should stick to eliminating howlers - a pitch map to judge where the ball pitched and hit pad, for line calls, and super-slow-motion cameras to look at inside edges for lbws. But this debate must end soon. It is already boring.

Test cricket was excellent in 2011, as it has been for over a hundred years. If there was criticism at all, it had to do with the ridiculous two-Test series we were subjected to. There is an ebb and flow within a game as there is within a series, and the administration cannot ignore that. Luckily, players are expressing their point of views more strongly now. Hopefully it is a trend that will continue in 2012. Gagging cricketers doesn't help.

The spectators and the patrons seem to like Twenty20 cricket, and it polarised, to borrow a phrase from the Hindi film industry, the classes and masses. The ratings for the IPL, a percentage rather than absolute number, dropped, but the number of viewers still went up, and the first edition of the Big Bash League in Australia opened to encouraging viewership numbers. I will be delighted if the BBL does well, because for cricket to be financially strong, T20 has to be strong. The IPL, which bears the brunt of the assault from the traditionalists, isn't faultless; it isn't entirely virtuous but it is still a teenager, and they are allowed the occasional wildness that they can remember as grown-ups. At one point in England I had to remind people that the problems with the euro, the trouble in Afghanistan, or indeed the 2G scam, weren't all direct outcomes of the IPL.

Meanwhile the subcontinent produced an excellent World Cup; the final had two classic innings from Mahela Jayawardene and MS Dhoni. England, at last, became the team they could always have been, and Australia produced an excellent new crop of fast bowlers.

There was deep personal sadness too. My first cricket hero and an outstanding gentleman, Tiger Pataudi, left us, and so did a person I always looked up to for his writing and intellect, Peter Roebuck. These were custodians of the game and we need as many as we can get.

My image of 2011 was the moment immediately after the World Cup win for India. As the cameras searched for Tendulkar, as the players held him aloft, as sound bytes flowed, the captain receded into the background with dignity. He let Tendulkar have his moment, and for that it will always be Dhoni's World Cup for me.

Harsha Bhogle is a commentator, television presenter and writer. His Twitter feed is here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on January 2, 2012, 18:58 GMT

    On a side-note, since when people have come to watch cricket for its accuracy? Aren't we in love with cricket for the uncertainty of its human and other elements - pitch, outfield, weather, Captaincy, hostile crowds, friendly crowds, condition of the ball, colour of the ball, appealing vociferously or mutedly for a similar situation, good balls purring to the fence, bad balls claiming Legends, dropping sitters, completing jaw-dropping catches, rookies cleaning up Legends, Legends whacked by rookies, Legends teaching rookies some tough lessons AND UMPIRES+PLAYERS? Well, DRS? Sorry, stay out of this great game with your grumpy face and flaws! Good riddance! I'm no fan of BCCI. Not one bit. But give credit where it is due.

  • ansarri on January 2, 2012, 16:59 GMT

    DRS must be used in all the test series becuse the players and the umpires have faith in it

  • ansarri on January 2, 2012, 16:55 GMT

    This unnecessary debate started back in 2008 when the UDRS was used in India and SriLanka test series. Not only did Srilanka went on to win the series but they used their reviews smartly whereas, the Indians did not. As a result the Indian players, board officials, ex players, all the indian analyst, commentators (i feel like mentioning names but i don't want to) and the indian public as well are all against the the DRS. In 2008 if the series would have been won by the indians then the indians would have start worshiping the DRS. It is remarkable that not a single prominent indian figure from the cricket fraternity has spoken in favor of the DRS. the rest of the players from other cricket nations adore the DRS and so does the viewers. All i can say is that no one is bigger than the game and the the right steps need to be taken for the betterment of the game.

  • indianpunter on January 2, 2012, 13:26 GMT

    let there be debate and let there be consensus. Lets at least agree to disagree, Dravid_Gravitas, McGorium and LilianThomson. India's blind opposition to the DRS does not augur well for the greater good of the game. We have to move forwards and technology has to be embraced. This is my 2 cents. 1. Take out the predictive path. Only analyse what's already happened. ( ie, inside edge, pitching outside/ in line etc) 2. No game uses "prediction" for decisions ( in tennis they are tracking something thats already happened). Predictive pathway is flawed ( doesnt work if its too close or more than 2.5 m away, doesnt work in shade and is speculative). 3. Unless there is evidence to the contrary, the umpire's decision stands. That would mean that Hussey would be not out ( 1st inns) but Cowan would be out ( as there was a sound) 4. Alternatively, give it to the on field umpires to check marginal/ tough calls. ( this does have a potential to prolong the game though)

  • on January 2, 2012, 12:02 GMT

    As Fan Guess we need DRS to Eliminate Howlers. Like Harsha & so many Pointed out here we could use Pitch Map, Sniko, Pitch mat and Slow mo cameras to eliminate Howlers. Using expensive technologies like Hawk eye & Hot Spot are not at all required to eliminate howlers. Then the next Point if the effort is to Eliminate Howlers why not give more powers to 3rd umpire rather than wanting players to apeal?!.

  • truthfirst on January 2, 2012, 11:48 GMT

    Write-alots like McGorium and David_Gravitas still don't seem to get it, whereas Lilian Thomson is spot on: it is NOT about 100% DRS perfection to arrive before we can use it. Even if the equipment is installed wrongly for a match, both teams will suffer equally, but only during this one match. T20 is a sub standard format and Lilian could not have phrased it more aptly: "I'm happy for our players to play in the IPL, just as I'd be happy if some fool paid them $1m to paint a wall or pick their noses. But then pay attention to Gambhir and Kohli and Yuvraj and Raina and understand that they are useless Test cricketers because they are being overpaid to slog in T20". Up to such time that the BCCI accepts DRS there remains the question: what have they got to hide?

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on January 2, 2012, 2:26 GMT

    @LillianThomson, Coming to flat track bullies - I really don't know what you have against India but do yourself a favour and have a look at STATSGURU by applying various filters to our batsmen's stats. Coming to popgun attack - Barring Sir Hadlee, The Majestic Shane Bond and The Work-Horse Vettori, I've never known of any NZ bowler who is not an integral part of a popgun attack. Indian attack isn't that great. But if one has to talk of popgun attacks, NZ takes the cake. Were you deeply upset that we defeated you in your own backyard in 2009, for your vitriol against us? Probably!

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on January 2, 2012, 2:17 GMT

    @LillianThomson, you sure realise that McGrath doesn't have much to do with the money from Indian Cricket. Next, you sure realise that there are many normal Aussies on this board who are looking for that 100th century. I'm no huge fan of that century. Just wanted to point out that your premise is flawed. One can look forward for that 100th century on varied premises. Drawing money from Indian Cricket need not be the ONLY premise. Regarding, India is the odd one out - I would take that as a compliment. If insisting on taking an informed decision as opposed to taking an uninformed decision is akin to being the odd one out, I would of course prefer to be the odd one out. In all fairness, I couldn't care any less if the guy who takes uninformed decision continues to complain.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on January 2, 2012, 0:34 GMT

    Part 1: Thanks a lot to Harsha for bringing this up and for saying that this debate has to end. Hot-spot and hawk-eye have too many bugs at this time. Hawk-eye can't see in certain light conditions and hot-spot, well, decides to be cold randomly. Guys can't be serious to take this technology so seriously. Eg: Just imagine you spend 25,000 dollars on a Car and the engine responds as it should, not consistently but randomly, like hot-spot. And the headlights will not work in certain lighting conditions, like hawk-eye. Would all you folks be very glad to buy such a Car and call me a bully if I don't? We are not living in a dinosaur era that you will tell me what is acceptable based on what you wrongly accept. I will not buy that car. In fact, NHTSA (in USA) will slap a notice to that ACCOUNTABLE manufacturer and the manufacturer will have to recall those cars and FIX them free of charge to avoid a class action law-suit. (TBC)

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on January 1, 2012, 22:23 GMT

    Part 6: None of those outcries against umpires were moanings or whinings. Only the indifferent and callous can brand them as such. They are valid concerns and needed to be addressed appropriately. ICC responded appropriately by starting neutral umpires for the former and by asking Bucknor to step down in the latter. Post Sydney 07/08 Kumble rightly said, "Yes it is a sport and we have to be sporting about it. But to lose like this, as you all have seen, it hurts though it is just a sport". When we have neutral umpires we stand a better chance of letting the game progress as it should by reducing the probability of favouritism. But, just because we have neutral umpires doesn't mean boatloads of closely spaced, unintentional howlers will no longer impact the game's progress. (TBC)

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on January 2, 2012, 18:58 GMT

    On a side-note, since when people have come to watch cricket for its accuracy? Aren't we in love with cricket for the uncertainty of its human and other elements - pitch, outfield, weather, Captaincy, hostile crowds, friendly crowds, condition of the ball, colour of the ball, appealing vociferously or mutedly for a similar situation, good balls purring to the fence, bad balls claiming Legends, dropping sitters, completing jaw-dropping catches, rookies cleaning up Legends, Legends whacked by rookies, Legends teaching rookies some tough lessons AND UMPIRES+PLAYERS? Well, DRS? Sorry, stay out of this great game with your grumpy face and flaws! Good riddance! I'm no fan of BCCI. Not one bit. But give credit where it is due.

  • ansarri on January 2, 2012, 16:59 GMT

    DRS must be used in all the test series becuse the players and the umpires have faith in it

  • ansarri on January 2, 2012, 16:55 GMT

    This unnecessary debate started back in 2008 when the UDRS was used in India and SriLanka test series. Not only did Srilanka went on to win the series but they used their reviews smartly whereas, the Indians did not. As a result the Indian players, board officials, ex players, all the indian analyst, commentators (i feel like mentioning names but i don't want to) and the indian public as well are all against the the DRS. In 2008 if the series would have been won by the indians then the indians would have start worshiping the DRS. It is remarkable that not a single prominent indian figure from the cricket fraternity has spoken in favor of the DRS. the rest of the players from other cricket nations adore the DRS and so does the viewers. All i can say is that no one is bigger than the game and the the right steps need to be taken for the betterment of the game.

  • indianpunter on January 2, 2012, 13:26 GMT

    let there be debate and let there be consensus. Lets at least agree to disagree, Dravid_Gravitas, McGorium and LilianThomson. India's blind opposition to the DRS does not augur well for the greater good of the game. We have to move forwards and technology has to be embraced. This is my 2 cents. 1. Take out the predictive path. Only analyse what's already happened. ( ie, inside edge, pitching outside/ in line etc) 2. No game uses "prediction" for decisions ( in tennis they are tracking something thats already happened). Predictive pathway is flawed ( doesnt work if its too close or more than 2.5 m away, doesnt work in shade and is speculative). 3. Unless there is evidence to the contrary, the umpire's decision stands. That would mean that Hussey would be not out ( 1st inns) but Cowan would be out ( as there was a sound) 4. Alternatively, give it to the on field umpires to check marginal/ tough calls. ( this does have a potential to prolong the game though)

  • on January 2, 2012, 12:02 GMT

    As Fan Guess we need DRS to Eliminate Howlers. Like Harsha & so many Pointed out here we could use Pitch Map, Sniko, Pitch mat and Slow mo cameras to eliminate Howlers. Using expensive technologies like Hawk eye & Hot Spot are not at all required to eliminate howlers. Then the next Point if the effort is to Eliminate Howlers why not give more powers to 3rd umpire rather than wanting players to apeal?!.

  • truthfirst on January 2, 2012, 11:48 GMT

    Write-alots like McGorium and David_Gravitas still don't seem to get it, whereas Lilian Thomson is spot on: it is NOT about 100% DRS perfection to arrive before we can use it. Even if the equipment is installed wrongly for a match, both teams will suffer equally, but only during this one match. T20 is a sub standard format and Lilian could not have phrased it more aptly: "I'm happy for our players to play in the IPL, just as I'd be happy if some fool paid them $1m to paint a wall or pick their noses. But then pay attention to Gambhir and Kohli and Yuvraj and Raina and understand that they are useless Test cricketers because they are being overpaid to slog in T20". Up to such time that the BCCI accepts DRS there remains the question: what have they got to hide?

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on January 2, 2012, 2:26 GMT

    @LillianThomson, Coming to flat track bullies - I really don't know what you have against India but do yourself a favour and have a look at STATSGURU by applying various filters to our batsmen's stats. Coming to popgun attack - Barring Sir Hadlee, The Majestic Shane Bond and The Work-Horse Vettori, I've never known of any NZ bowler who is not an integral part of a popgun attack. Indian attack isn't that great. But if one has to talk of popgun attacks, NZ takes the cake. Were you deeply upset that we defeated you in your own backyard in 2009, for your vitriol against us? Probably!

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on January 2, 2012, 2:17 GMT

    @LillianThomson, you sure realise that McGrath doesn't have much to do with the money from Indian Cricket. Next, you sure realise that there are many normal Aussies on this board who are looking for that 100th century. I'm no huge fan of that century. Just wanted to point out that your premise is flawed. One can look forward for that 100th century on varied premises. Drawing money from Indian Cricket need not be the ONLY premise. Regarding, India is the odd one out - I would take that as a compliment. If insisting on taking an informed decision as opposed to taking an uninformed decision is akin to being the odd one out, I would of course prefer to be the odd one out. In all fairness, I couldn't care any less if the guy who takes uninformed decision continues to complain.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on January 2, 2012, 0:34 GMT

    Part 1: Thanks a lot to Harsha for bringing this up and for saying that this debate has to end. Hot-spot and hawk-eye have too many bugs at this time. Hawk-eye can't see in certain light conditions and hot-spot, well, decides to be cold randomly. Guys can't be serious to take this technology so seriously. Eg: Just imagine you spend 25,000 dollars on a Car and the engine responds as it should, not consistently but randomly, like hot-spot. And the headlights will not work in certain lighting conditions, like hawk-eye. Would all you folks be very glad to buy such a Car and call me a bully if I don't? We are not living in a dinosaur era that you will tell me what is acceptable based on what you wrongly accept. I will not buy that car. In fact, NHTSA (in USA) will slap a notice to that ACCOUNTABLE manufacturer and the manufacturer will have to recall those cars and FIX them free of charge to avoid a class action law-suit. (TBC)

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on January 1, 2012, 22:23 GMT

    Part 6: None of those outcries against umpires were moanings or whinings. Only the indifferent and callous can brand them as such. They are valid concerns and needed to be addressed appropriately. ICC responded appropriately by starting neutral umpires for the former and by asking Bucknor to step down in the latter. Post Sydney 07/08 Kumble rightly said, "Yes it is a sport and we have to be sporting about it. But to lose like this, as you all have seen, it hurts though it is just a sport". When we have neutral umpires we stand a better chance of letting the game progress as it should by reducing the probability of favouritism. But, just because we have neutral umpires doesn't mean boatloads of closely spaced, unintentional howlers will no longer impact the game's progress. (TBC)

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on January 1, 2012, 21:00 GMT

    Part 7: Ignoring such intentional and unintentional foul umpiring is akin to doing disservice to this great game. ICC, as the body that is responsible for those umpires, should own up, take it on the chin and address it and I'm glad it did on many occasions. My stand would be the same even if it was New Zealand or Australia that were at the receiving end. This thingy of win at any cost has left us fans less tolerant of each other, more like the religions that we have, and call each other's concerns as moaning and whining. Let us not kid ourselves by equating the DRS 'technology' with cell phones, cars, microwaves and other consumer products. When the latter go wrong, there is accountability and warranty from the manufacturer, even after they were rigorously tested and certified by a regulating government agency. DRS as it stands is hopeless, invalid, unreliable, zero accountability from the manufacturers and yet expect BOATLOADS of money for their JOKE. THE END.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on January 1, 2012, 20:58 GMT

    Part 6: None of those outcries against umpires were moanings or whinings. Only the indifferent and callous can brand them as such. They are valid concerns and needed to be addressed appropriately. ICC responded appropriately by starting neutral umpires for the former and by asking Bucknor to step down in the latter. Post Sydney 07/08 Kumble rightly said, "Yes it is a sport and we have to be sporting about it. But to lose like this, as you all have seen, it hurts though it is just a sport". When we have neutral umpires we stand a better chance of letting the game progress as it should by reducing the probability of favouritism. But, just because we have neutral umpires doesn't mean boatloads of closely spaced, unintentional howlers will no longer impact the game's progress. (TBC)

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on January 1, 2012, 19:52 GMT

    Part 5: I'm more than glad to not to look at those parameters for the umpires because I came to understand and love this great game for what it is - the human element and the respect that we all have pledged, as fans and cricketers, to extend to the fallible human element - the Umpires. This is about time you guys understand and accept this great game, end this debate and say kudos to the logical stand of BCCI. Ask ICC to own this technology and make it a part of cricket's core, instead of ICC trying to be the middle-man between dubious sellers and unsuspecting consumers (us, the fans). That's cheating and BCCI, rightly and logically, opposed it. Let us all stand united and raise our voice against umpires only when there are too many unfair decisions for anybody's comfort (for eg: once upon a time home umpires cheating the visitors eg: Windies in New Zealand 1979/80) or howlers from neutral umpires (03/04 Aus vs Ind, Bucknor+Bowden; 07/08 Aus vs Ind, Bucknor+Benson). (TBC)

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on January 1, 2012, 17:11 GMT

    Part 4: But somehow, from somewhere, this thingy of winning is the only thing that matters and so the result is the only thing that matters and so accuracy of umpires is the only thing that matters reared its ugly head. Numbers are the only things that seem to count. Cricket as it unfolds over 5 days doesn't hold any meaning, it seems. How can we all, collectively, so easily ignore that happiness comes along the way but not at the end? If you guys keep playing the victim of BCCI and want to kill the basic fabric and core spirit of cricket by taking the accuracy (validity) and precision (reliability) argument against our umpires, then I have the following to say. Uncertainty and Umpires are an integral part of this great game with their lovely human element. If you guys have the gall to take a stand against that core spirit, then it goes without saying that I won't hesitate to question the accuracy (validity) and precision (reliability) of a technology which is an outsider to cricket.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on January 1, 2012, 17:08 GMT

    Part 3: If ICC wants to force that UNVERIFIED product down my throat, I'm going to ask them if they have irrefutable data to force that down my throat. The days of 'I'm the omnipotent and I'll do whatever I feel is fair' are long gone. A test's or technology's validity and reliability are not arrived at or decided by popular vote or what the rickshaw wallahs in India think or what the wombats or the Dravid_Gravitas or the LillianThomsons of Cricinfo 'strongly feel'. Hard Data. Cold numbers. Period! Listen guys. We have to enjoy and respect cricket for what it is. Cricket is much more than hard data and cold numbers. The human element in cricket is traditional, exciting and it is ingrained in its fabric and spirit. I don't want to kill that core spirit. (TBC)

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on January 1, 2012, 17:08 GMT

    Part 2: Get a grip guys and move on. DRS technology is a hopelessly defective BUSINESS and it is for the manufacturer(s) to submit themselves to rigorous testing where results have to be REPEATABLE/RELIABLE (ability to produce the same results consistently across the testing situations in varied conditions - think of clustering of all the results close to each other though they are far from the bulls eye) and VALID (degree to which a test measures that which was intended to - think of clustering of all the hits in the bulls eye) if they want to sell it. Their 'awesome' technology has to be both valid and reliable. As we all know, there is no such compelling data with the ICC to prescribe that 'technology' as a life-potion to all and sundry which actually costs BOATLOADS of money. (TBC)

  • on January 1, 2012, 16:15 GMT

    I will support UDRS till ICC shouldnt implement this

  • chapathishot on January 1, 2012, 4:22 GMT

    @kamalaravi: Your views are not correct ,In england Kevin Petersen was given out early in the innigs in the first test where he went on to make a double and decision reversed when there was no hot spot image.Later Rahul Dravid was given out twice and review was not allowed even without any hotspot image .So where is the consistency.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on December 31, 2011, 21:22 GMT

    Part 4: But somehow, from somewhere, this thingy of winning is the only thing that matters and so the result is the only thing that matters and so accuracy of umpires is the only thing that matters reared its ugly head. Numbers are the only things that seem to count. Cricket as it unfolds over 5 days doesn't hold any meaning, it seems. How can we all, collectively, so easily ignore that happiness comes along the way but not at the end? If you guys keep playing the victim of BCCI and want to kill the basic fabric and core spirit of cricket by taking the accuracy (validity) and precision (reliability) argument against our umpires, then I have the following to say. Uncertainty and Umpires are an integral part of this great game with their lovely human element. If you guys have the gall to take a stand against that core, then it goes without saying that I won't hesitate to question the accuracy (validity) and precision (reliability) of a technology which is an outsider to cricket. (TBC)

  • McGorium on December 31, 2011, 18:35 GMT

    ...continued: How are we to know that ball tracking works at all, outside a controlled lab environment (I'm sure Hawkeye has done at least that). I'm not suggesting for once that I oppose DRS; not in the least. I'm suggesting that there's too much of a rush to use DRS, without a rigorous evaluation. Hawkeye, HotSpot or Sky sports have no reason to validate the accuracy or of the technology. The burden of proof is that of the manufacturer and not the BCCI, or any right-minded scientist. The fact is, we only have their word, and it's not enough. Would you accept leech therapy for curing a minor throat infection? Or would you apply snake oil to cure a minor skin irritation? Neither are particularly harmful conditions, and yet I suspect you would demand to see it go through a third-party evaluation (like a government regulator). If the ICC is keen on DRS, let them conduct such tests and publish the data. It's a lot harder arguing for or against facts, as opposed to vehement assertions.

  • McGorium on December 31, 2011, 18:15 GMT

    @LillianThomson: T20 doesn't create bad techniques. Players with lax techniques manage to do well in T20. Correlation is not causation. Warner would never have been picked in the test squad had it not been for Australia's weak batting off late. We've had flat track bullies in the past: Graeme Hick, Michael Bevan, for example. Matty Hayden was no Geoff Boycott either. Gambhir has an OK technique. Remember, he has made runs in NZ, SAF and (maybe) Eng. It might just be an issue with form. Recall that people said the same thing about ODIs. And yet, test cricket produces results more often as a result of the ODI emphasis on run scoring. Even Geoff Boycott acknowledges this! Re. Pakistani fast bowlers, pls look at their batting department. Pak produces fast bowlers because that is what is "revered", for the want of a better word. India reveres batsmen. It's not T20, it's a cultural thing, and has been so for decades. <more on DRS in a subsequent post>

  • on December 31, 2011, 13:45 GMT

    Both ball tracking and hot spot work on extrapolating technology. Hot spot only comes into effect based on heat generated due to impact and ball tracking extrapolates a ball path based on trajectory till then. It would take a lot to make these 100% accurate. Best solution would be to actually embed the balls and bat with sensors and then track the trajectory and impact? Cricket already has far more technology than other games and one should be happy about it. Look at tennis. Focus is more on giving a player an opportunity to appeal something that can be validated using replays. Not question, whether a "let" service would have landed inside the box or not. Football is thinking of using replays, 45 years after replays showed a German goal in a World Cup finals than happens once in 4 years.

    Let us not confuse fascinating TV with foolproof technology and then make it India versus others debate. Are the technology companies behind this campaign as well?

  • kamalaravi on December 31, 2011, 12:54 GMT

    Those opposed to DRs tend to forget that it is always the field umpire who takes the first call and his decision is reversed only if backed by definite video evidence.In marginal cases as we saw in the World cup the umpires decision stands.So why worry if hot spot does not detect an edge.The field umpires decision stands.A wrong decision is righted only if sufficient evidence is available.

  • on December 31, 2011, 12:33 GMT

    @ Dhs2000 Dhoni's innings in WC Final was more precious because Dhoni was totally out of form. His highest score before finals was just 34, and by going in at No.5, in a pressure cooker situation, to face the likes of Malinga and Muralitharan,leaving out in-form Yuvraj Singh in dressing room was a gutsy decision and would have backfired had he not performed. Also, his knock was more precious as he took the team to the finish line, because had he got out soon after Gautam's departure, we would have had a batting collapse as it takes time for new batsman to adjust and the run rate was hovering at 6.00 RPO.. That said, Gambhir was also good, so was Kohli who had a wonderful partnership with Gambhir. BUT DHONI's Innings stood out.. I repeat.. MORE SO, BECAUSE HE WAS OUT OF FORM and played a true Captain's knock. Cricinfo please publish.

  • on December 31, 2011, 12:03 GMT

    im strongly in favor of umpires den this drs thing .. dey r humans n cricket is a game of humans nt of machines .. so we shld back umpires more then these half trusty technologies .. plz publish : cricinfo

  • bohurupi on December 31, 2011, 11:47 GMT

    Its money that talks. Had there been no IPL, India would have thrown out of the DRS equation long time ago. Sorry, money has taken cricket to that extent.

  • LillianThomson on December 31, 2011, 11:28 GMT

    @DravidGravitas, my comments about T20 damaging techniques apply equally to the Australian "Big Bash" as to the IPL. Australia's batsmen played onto their wickets one after another in the second innings at the MCG, as if they are practising the stroke. And two of the culprits, Warner and Marsh, appear to be in the team because of their T20 exploits, with no First Class achievements to speak of. And Phillip Hughes can't even try to work on his technique for two months in the middle of the season because the two months are entirely devoted to Big Bash. Interestingly, Big Bash is on subscription tv only - and no match has even reached half of the tv viewing figures that Australia's home Tests against Bangladesh in mid-winter in 2004 at Darwin and Cairns did. So quite what the public support for the Big Bash is supposed to be defeats me.

  • 5wombats on December 31, 2011, 11:18 GMT

    @LillianThomson; @Dravid_Gravitas and @wombats had a fairly firey conversation about this back during the Summer. The thing is @D_G kind of has a point in India; where IPL is a wealth creator and brings money to the people in the streets. Having said that, we agree with you @LillianT, T20 is destroying the purity of style, temperament and technique. So the problem comes down to; a form of cricket which creates/helps an economy (T20, BBL, IPL, also ODI) Versus The Pure Form (Tests). Money and economic necessity suggests that the former of those will gain ascendancy. My passion, and my fathers, and his fathers' - is/was Test cricket. Call me old fashioned! If India wants to go it's way then let it, but it won't be any use them complaining in a few years time when they don't have the stylish graceful players like Dravid, Tendulkar et al and they lose every Test Match they play because their players don't have the technique and temperament for it due to too much T20. Please publish.

  • LillianThomson on December 31, 2011, 11:09 GMT

    Dravid Gravitas, you don't seem to recognise that all of those Australians you listed as "recognising Tendulkar's 99 hundreds" are Australians who derive a large part of their income from Indian cricket. So of course they adapt what they say to their audience - just as Harsha did in the original article. I've spoken to three current and recent Australian internationals who are enraged by the DRS veto, but they very sensibly won't say so publically because they want to keep their IPL contracts. I supported the players getting better pay through Packer so I support their ability to enrich themselves through IPL. But they are in no way "creating wealth". They are just seeing it funnelled from other sources into their bank accounts. But please take on board this message. People from pretty much every cricket country hate the way BCCI bullies us. But our Boards depend on TV money from India series, and players on IPL money, so noone says what they really think.

  • rkannancrown on December 31, 2011, 8:37 GMT

    Harsha Bhogle has forgotten one more issue with DRS. Technologies like hot spot were tried out in India - England series but proved that it was flawed. The real debate is how good is DRS ? It is good for TV but its utility to the game is questionable.The second part is why should it be restricted to 2 appeals ? The appeal should come in for a doubtful decision and can be for any number of appeals. If the arguement is to increase fairness, with a debatable technology, atleast allow unlimited appeals. BCCI is the only board that can stand up financially to the TV channels. Its stand has been consistent that the technology is unreliable. The 2011 evidence clearly supports the BCCI stand. It is good to see Harsha atleast acknowledge this aspect in his column.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on December 31, 2011, 7:40 GMT

    @LillianThomson, you are taking sour grapes to a different level altogether. Nobody outside India recognises Tendulkar's 99 international hundreds is it? So now, Shane Warne, McGrath, Wasim Akram, Tom Moody, Chappelli are all Indians eh? Next, IPL is irrelevant is it? Since when, money has become irrelevant all of a sudden in this world? Nobody is requesting 'traditionalists' like you to recognise IPL or BBL as cricket. IPL is a business that uses cricket to churn out millions of Dollars. End of story. IPL will adversely effect the quality of test cricket? Humans having better quality of life across the globe is more important than maintaining quality in test cricket. That's humanity. Disagree with me by all means. England and Australia will have to keep the Ashes tradition alive and your country (New Zealand) can also join them to keep quality test cricket alive. But, please spare us poor Indians and don't lecture us that money all of a sudden is irrelevant in this world!

  • on December 31, 2011, 7:40 GMT

    Harsha adopts the BCCI stance. Disappointing. I always thought he's more impartial than others. But he's just like Shastri!

  • asadadek on December 31, 2011, 7:30 GMT

    I think it is futile to blame technology. The blame lies elsewhere. To all those cursing the BCCI for refusing to use DRS, please have a look at all (I repeat ALL) the dismissals involving Rahul Dravid in the Test series against England. Point is ,the DRS is just a human looking at TV replays with certain extra aids like HotSpot and it depends on what he perceives and perception is known to be influenced by one's natural biases.So if it is anyway still going to be human perception, then whats the hue and cry about?

  • on December 31, 2011, 6:57 GMT

    Can anyone tell me 1. Why discussions on DRS devolve into BCCI, sunny, dhoni, tendulkar bashing? Why make it personal when others outside india have questioned DRS too 2. How come BCCI is villainous in having a view and in adopting a stance backing that view? It sounds democratic and fair to me that they are going about it within the legal frameworks of dissent 3. Why so serious when everybody has the right to use DRS. Its only those matches involving Indian team which are contentious. Most indians looking at the debate have taken a pro-bcci stance on these boards as most bcci haters have gone on and done shameless india bashing as well. Harsha is right. It is already boring.

  • LillianThomson on December 31, 2011, 6:54 GMT

    @DravidGravitas, I'm happy for our players to play in the IPL, just as I'd be happy if some fool paid them $1m to paint a wall or pick their noses. It helps my country - NZ - because our players are paid poorly, which is why the likes of Cairns and Parore retired early. But I have two beefs with IPL. Firstly, Packer cricket was the highest standard around, but IPL is garbage on easy tracks. Secondly, the ICL's players' contracts states that if ICL and national duty clashed, they were to play for their country. But IPL is undermining international cricket by having the reverse expectation. So enjoy your "multimillion dollar business", with my sincere blessing. But then pay attention to Gambhir and Kohli and Yuvraj and Raina and understand that they are useless Test cricketers because they are being overpaid to slog in T20. And look across the border to Gul, Asif, Amir, Junaid, Wahab and Cheema and understand that what India needs is a system that encourages fast bowling.

  • cric_fan__ on December 31, 2011, 5:48 GMT

    a question to those who say "Technology is not cent percent perfect and we"ll not use it" Most of devices like cell phones, automobiles invented have a lot of disadvantages, then why do u guys use them? u guys should always be in stone age.....

  • RasCric on December 31, 2011, 5:15 GMT

    Use of DRS and perfection of technology are two different things. Even a normal cvamera can show inside edge on the pad to revert a LBW. Why oppose the system just because some reviews didnt go your way?

  • on December 31, 2011, 5:07 GMT

    i think DRS has many flaws hot spot and ball tracking and i think a human error is better than technological error but the problem is it has showed all its flaws against us and sometimes for us too (tendulkar) . people criticizing BCCI Should remember bcci was the first to try this after scg 2008 but it has been worse .The quality of test cricket was amazing in 2011 many test Bulawayo,joburg,cape town, mumbai ,hobart, being examples and some more too and its up to the administrative to take it forward from here and as an indian fan the image that will stick will be ms dhoni lifting the wc but you have said final had too great innings from jayawardena and ms dhoni well agreed but the most important innings has been forgotten by gautam gambhir it was his innings that won us the world cup finals fully agree with @jonathonjosephs and @DHS200

  • on December 31, 2011, 4:18 GMT

    Yes for DRS ultimately it moves closer to fairness even if it faulters a bit on the way

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on December 31, 2011, 3:57 GMT

    @LillianThomson, IPL will be at a loss if IPL fans move away from it. IPL will benefit if haters stay away from it. Thank you for not showing any interest in our multimillion dollar business.

  • McGorium on December 31, 2011, 3:41 GMT

    ...contd: What would be best to settle the matter is for the Hawk-eye, Eagle Eye, Hot Spot, etc. to be subjected to third party evaluations (commissioned by the ICC) to settle the matter once and for all. It should be easy enough to do. Hopefully, this will provide data on the ease of set up (esp. ball tracking), precision & accuracy under various conditions and limitations, etc. It's no use making unilateral assertions that DRS is good enough to be used: nobody has scientifically shown that it is, so it's reasonable to doubt it. Leech therapy was accepted in the middle ages; it wouldn't stand in a double-blind controlled test. Just because Hawkeye has been around for 5+ yrs doesn't make it anything more than a toy, until demonstrated otherwise through many repeatable experiments. The ICC needs to shell out $$$ for that. A parallax error of say 10cm in setting up the cameras along the x,y,z axes could be the difference between an LBW and n.o. It can't be left up to the broadcasters.

  • Rags57 on December 31, 2011, 3:35 GMT

    While there is a hue and cry about technology in cricket, one of the most technologically advanced countries like the US does not use technology for their baseball games. The umpires standing at the bases and the plate judge run out calls with such correctness that it is almost unbelievable. They don't use slow motion cameras to even debate whether the umpires are right or wrong. I have often wondered why they don't use technology in games out there!!!

  • randyg on December 31, 2011, 3:25 GMT

    @5wombats - Firstly let me preface by saying that I prefer test matches as it clearly shows the level of expertise and temerity that a player has. But, how can you say that T20 is not important financially? T20 clearly is the big money spinner in cricket worldwide (otherwise why start the BBL for instance). Without the revenue for T20 there would be reduced revenue for cricket worldwide (lower interest from viewers, spectators - lower interest from TV companies - lower revenue). I congratulate you on remembering one game from 1994, there are probably people who remember the IPL game that you were at (who knows, it may be beause it got them interested in cricket). For the record I don't remember India complaining about wrong decisions without the DRS - what I do remember is the dignity of Tendulkar et. al. who while shocked at some decisions walked off without any drama.

  • chsj on December 31, 2011, 3:18 GMT

    Sure like what Harsha says the DRS debate got boring because now clamor has replaced debate. One point the DRS backers seem to not realize is that two consenting parties in a series still have DRS, no sir, ICC has not banned DRS because BCCI does not want DRS. The desire to thrust it India's throat even if they dont want it , has to be resisted. So if 99% of Cricket world want it, 99% of them have got it. Now it is for DRS technologists to rope in India too, let them handle that task. No lynch mobs to accomplish that please!

  • on December 31, 2011, 2:53 GMT

    Unfortunately Harsha, the DRS debate will be seen as pro- and anti- India as long as national boards decide its use in Test series, rather than the ICC. You can thank BCCI opposition to DRS for this. (Cynics will suspect this position is to protect Indian batsmen from dismissals, and they care more for their averages than using DRS to help their bowlers and actually WIN Test matches.) DRS needs to be introduced to correct blatant umpire errors (such as Hussey not gloving the ball in 1st inns at MCG). The predictive LBW tracker can be excluded if the technology (frames per second) is not up to scratch, but the other elements (no balls, run outs, fielding catches, bat-pad & LBW edges) should be assessed for legitimate appeals. Always remember, BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT TO THE BATSMAN.

  • McGorium on December 31, 2011, 2:16 GMT

    Whereas BCCI hasn't done a reasonable job of articulating its stance against UDRS, other boards, or the manufacturers, haven't made a convincing case in favour of it either; at least not in public. Let's put it this way: if UDRS were a medical drug or a street-legal car, the lack of rigour in reporting data would be sufficient to reject it. Remember, the burden of proof lies with the manufacturer, and not the BCCI. It is the responsibility of the manufacturer to release a white-paper on how the thing works, how it is set-up in the field, accuracy, sources of error, avoiding human biases, blah. Nothing of that sort has been done, esp for the most controversial one: ball tracking. How can we know that trackin works in the field, with greater accuracy than an ump, without controlled tests, preferably performed by the ICC or a third party? The ICC still doesn't want to take responsibility for UDRS. Who is to know that the broadcaster can't bias ball-tracking to give Indian batsmen not-out?

  • CricLook on December 31, 2011, 2:16 GMT

    I think DRS should make mandatory for each series. If you are expecting full proof technology , then either you are over optimistic or live in the world of full. Technology cant be 100% full proof. What important to notice that the decreasing number of quality umpires and number of wrong decisions are given. With DRS both team can benefit & suffer equally. I dont know why india / BCCI cant understand this. Are they angry that indian companies wont get the order for such technology . How shameless they will be in future time will say, every cricketing nation are in favor of DRS except India ...Ridiculous !!!

  • Nampally on December 31, 2011, 1:57 GMT

    The DRS debate will not end until ICC comes out with a ruling regarding its Use in all international matches. This format must exclude doubtful parts and only use reliable parts. Also the DRS decision should be final. ICC need to take the leadership role rather than be controlled by individual Nations. It needs to implement consistently an acceptable format. It is clear that the Umpiring decision when reviewed by Hawk eye shows how many LBW's are being disallowed. For example in the recently concluded MCG test match in a single long partnership between Ponting & Hussey, Hussey was plumb LBW twice & caught behind once whilst Ponting was LBW once. It must be known thaq this partnership rescued the Aussies from 30 for 4 to a winning total. So it is clear how poor the umpiring decisions are!. Use of reliable part of DRS at least ensures fair umpiring decisions & send the guys packing when OUT!.Unless ICC takes leadership, the debate will exist- Umpiring is inferior to Technology any day!.

  • Doogius on December 31, 2011, 1:31 GMT

    So, apparently the DRS is a 'corrollary' for the world against India. Perhaps its more of an indication of India against the world. Without doubt, the highlight for India was the 1day W/cup at home, on roads :) The best effort for the year was watching England win the No1 ranking for the 1st time in 40 years against the (supposed) number 1 team in the world at the time with one of the best thrashings of the last 10 years. 40 years : 4-0, the synchronicity is beautiful...

  • on December 31, 2011, 0:39 GMT

    In relation to powerplays bringing bowlers back into the game, I love it, there need to be a much better contest between bat and ball in all formats. I think the curators producing non batting paradises is essential in creating contests in tests and if you look back in the past few months, that is what we have had, classic , tense test matches and if it works it one day internationals , all the better. The power play gives a match better contest between bat and ball, even if it is a lower score. Excellent work though to the curators

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on December 31, 2011, 0:26 GMT

    DRS aside, I'm deeply pained that Harsha didn't even make a passing mention of the priceless knock of Gautam Gambhir in the 2011 World Cup final. If Gambhir never came up with that knock, India wouldn't have lifted the World Cup.

  • Lmaotsetung on December 31, 2011, 0:26 GMT

    According to BCCI and Dhoni, DRS needs to be perfect before they'll agree. I guess they believe that 0% of perfect is better than 90% of perfect.

  • LillianThomson on December 30, 2011, 23:50 GMT

    If there is a widening split in world cricket it is not so much for and against DRS as the widening technical gulf between Test cricket and the shorter forms. Harsha's comments about the World Cup Final highlight that. Gambhir and Dhoni are currently being exposed for their fundamental technical flaws as batsmen in Test cricket, but in ODIs without bouncy pitches and slip fielders, or worn pitches and close catchers they can cash in and win a World Cup. It is the reason why no-one outside India recognises Tendulkar as being on "99 international hundreds", because the shorter forms of cricket really are a different game now. It's also the reason why here in Australia there is so little respect for Shaun Tait. Test cricket is the form that the players generally measure themselves by, yet it is being slowly strangled by the refusal to have a World Test Championship.

  • on December 30, 2011, 23:17 GMT

    My own view on DRS (for what it's worth) is that it should be restricted to historic (rather than predictive) elements. Use it for run outs, inside edges (for LBW and catches), whether the batsman is hit in line, or the ball pitched outside leg, and no balls, but not for whether the ball would hit the stumps. As Truthfirst says, the idea is to reduce (rather than eliminate) wrong decisions. Harsha is, perhaps, beiing a little disingenuous in his argument. India is the chief opponent of DRS for reasons the BCCI is unwilling to explain, and the debate is likely to continue until it does so.

  • hsitasP on December 30, 2011, 23:11 GMT

    This debate and the outcry against BCCI's "rigid" stance will not end as long as we continue with the current approach of implementing it only if both parties of a bilateral series agree. A way out is to convince BCCI to its unilateral use for a period of (say) 1 year for all international matches with the caveat that it will be reviewed after that. This trail period will give sufficient evidence for one and all to see its merits (or lack of it) so that the way forward will be less polarized.

  • Kumar_NJ_USA on December 30, 2011, 21:33 GMT

    @Venkatesh018: Harsha is not making this an India and Non-Indian issue but his underlying premise is that if you support the use of the DRS, you are going against the BCCI (and consequently India). Am I right, Harsha?

  • johnathonjosephs on December 30, 2011, 21:26 GMT

    @DHS200 Completely agree with you. Gambhir is perhaps the most underrated batsman in the Indian side. He absorbed all the pressure and built the backbone. When he got out, India needed 100 runs from 100 balls with 7 wickets in hand. Plus, Dhoni's strike rate was near 50 at the time Gambhir got out. Towards the end when the dew factor started kicking in and runs were easier to get, Dhoni started T20 mode in which he raised his strike rate to around 110. But during the hardest moments/most pressure in the match, it was Gambhir in reality who drove the Indians to victory.

  • johnathonjosephs on December 30, 2011, 21:23 GMT

    LOL "the world is increasingly being split between those for the UDRS and those against it" What a joke. The world is not split on any such thing. In fact, every single nation in the world that is part of cricket is for the UDRS. Almost every single Umpire is for the UDRS too, even the die hard conservatives of England/Australia are for the UDRS. Only one body is against it, and that is the BCCI/Team India. Why is there still debate? Surely if 99.9% say go for it, and .1% don't want to, the 99% will prevail? Unless that .1% has so much power? Yes, Harsha, the debate and argument should end, but why the BCCI is dragging it out so (and the ICC allowing them), I do not know. From what I hear 90%+ of all Indian fans are actually for the UDRS (almost all my Indian friends think it ridiculous that it is not being implemented), so it is only a few individuals who are against it

  • SLMaster on December 30, 2011, 21:12 GMT

    Harsha ... "Meanwhile the subcontinent produced an excellent World Cup; the final had two classic innings from Mahela Jayawardene and MS Dhoni" .. while UDRS saved India (aka Sachin Tendulkar) in the semis.

  • MohsinMalik on December 30, 2011, 21:10 GMT

    BCCI and URS Will the BCCI see some light at the end of the DRS tunnel now? It's most disappointing for the fans when decisions are judged for/against when in fact the decision review system would have turned it the other way around, purely on merit. If BCCI or any other proponents of the game (Master Ravi Shastri and Sunil Gavaskar) want to continue to resist the DRS - then, please come up with an innovative technology that would relieve the field umpires from the burden of adjudicating no-balls. This is the only way umpires would be able to retain focus with intensity over prolonged periods of time to minimize errors. Please pass this message on to these two stalwarts of the game who continue to be inflicted with "Conflict of Interest".

    As for Harsha's short sighted vision, Ferrero Rocher has summed it up rather nicely here for the majority of cricket fans: ""It's really sad to see an independent voice like Harsha start singing the BCCI tune"".

    Mohsin Malik USA

  • Leggie on December 30, 2011, 21:01 GMT

    Agree with Harsha. The pro-DRS crowd should start basing their arguments on pure evidence/facts/figures and not on an anti-BCCI bias. India - England series was a finest example of DRS going completely wrong. This is not to suggest that India would have gained in this series if DRS (specifically Hot Spot) was used right. India would have been thrashed anyways. But the point is beyond that. We had a situation where an lbws (WHY???) could not be reviewed even though cameras showed a huge inside edge. Recently, for an umpiring decision where a batsman deliberately batted, Hawk Eye showed that the ball may have missed the stumps. Lucky that the umpire ruled more in favor of the bowling team since the rules related to benefit of doubt for deliberate padding is "different". With so many loopholes in the system, India has every right to reject the system.

  • 5wombats on December 30, 2011, 20:22 GMT

    @LillianThomson - once again, absolutely right. As for the article; what a waste of time..."but this debate must end soon. It is already boring". But this article says nothing. Then Bhogle says; "because for cricket to be financially strong, T20 has to be strong"... Why? This is reducing cricket merely to a "product" to be "consumed". Never! As for DRS; To me there is no debate. The matter is settled = DRS in some form in place in all Tests. If india want to do something else then let them be out of step - but they can't then complain when TV replays show Umpire was wrong! I agree with you too that IPL is irrelevent. Me and the wombats watched an IPL game once. Can't even remember who played who or who won. On the other hand we went to a day/night ODI game at the MCG in 1994 and watched South Africa beat Australia. Gary Kirsten got a ton. It was our first Day/Night game and it was absolutly brilliant and memorable. Now that's what cricket is all about!

  • truthfirst on December 30, 2011, 20:14 GMT

    The issue, of course, is NOT whether DRS is 100% accurate or not, but if it will reduce the number of umpiring howlers, and that in a match both teams will benefit or suffer in equal measure from rare inadequacies of the system, but as a whole, in the long run, much less than without it. Budget for DRS should be no problem with the ICC raking in the kudu's earned with the IPL which, if it doesn't do so already, should start contributing to all forms world cricket considering that it has a crippling effect on real cricket (ODI's and Tests) with players injuring themselves or not showing up for their country in real matches and with scheduling in disarray. We do not have to wait till the technology is 100% and should apply DRS across the board and as we go along make improvements. Sadly the impression is now created that the only real reason why a team would NOT elect to use it is because it thinks it could fool or bluff the umpires without being caught out. And that's just not cricket.

  • BMayuresh on December 30, 2011, 20:03 GMT

    Harsha, for a change it seems you missed one major change in the ODI format.... the power-plays and they seem to have brought the bowlers back in the game, resulting in tough matches with low scores being posted.

  • J._Doe on December 30, 2011, 19:53 GMT

    The DRS is good enough to be used. We will never have an absolutely perfect system so using no technology at all is an argument that does not make sense to me. It has been used long enough now to know the shortcomings of the system and work around them, for example if hot spot technology alone is not conclusive, use it along with the snickometer and if there still remains a doubt, give the batsmen the benefit. If the cost is truly prohibitive then a system of dividing the cost between the 2 nations using the system should be worked out.

  • ROXSPORT on December 30, 2011, 19:31 GMT

    The whole debate about DRS is funded by tech companies who are pushing for its usage at huge costs. And, what a fiasco it turned out to be in the Ind-Eng & Aus-SL series. Nobody is commenting upon them. I wonder why ???

  • ROXSPORT on December 30, 2011, 19:28 GMT

    DRS should be used to eliminate howlers not be made optional at the discretion of the captains. For example, when there was a clear edge from Hussey in the second innings to be caught down the leg side, the third umpire should have intervened to send him on his way. When umpires check to see whether the batsman may have gotten out on a no-ball, I see no harm in the third umpire conveying his decision to the on-field umpires on the matter of such howlers.

  • landl47 on December 30, 2011, 18:56 GMT

    There's a very easy way to end the DRS debate- leave it up to the umpires, all 3 of them. Let the umpires decide on each decision, using whatever technology they think will help them, the availability of which should also be the umpires' decision . Forget about the players having to guess whether or not to have a decision reviewed. The players appeal, the on-field umpires make the decision, referring it if they think it's necessary to do so, and that's it. That happens now in run-outs, stumpings and (increasingly) no-balls and catches which the umpires can't be certain carried, even though the latter is, to my mind, the area in which technology is least helpful. Just extend that to all decisions and allow the control of the game to return to where it should be, with the umpires. The umpires want every decision to be right, unlike the players, who want every decision to be in their side's favor. We have neutral umpires- LET THEM DO THEIR JOB.

  • SaneVoice on December 30, 2011, 18:47 GMT

    Most people are confusing UDRS with hot-spot and hawk-eye and that includes the ICC. UDRS is umpire decision review system and it DOES NOT mean hot-spot or Hawk Eye. Umpire's decision can be reviewed by slow-motion replays and that should be enough. Hawk-eye was invented for analysis (a bowler's pitch map, deviation after pitching etc.) and not for predicting LBWs. Most of the decisions like Hussey Ist innings, Kallis 2nd innings were quite clear on replays. As for Cowan, well in England we saw umpires giving batsman out with the help of snicko when hot-spot showed nothing. It amazes me that the whole world goes blind when India is wronged Then there is the issue of hot/cold weather, vaseline on the edges etc. Is it so difficult for everyone to understand?

  • SaneVoice on December 30, 2011, 18:33 GMT

    venkatesh018 - you don't need Hot-spot and hawk-eye to eliminate howlers! Do you agree? Feather nicks and 75% (or whatever) of ball hitting stumps or pitching outside leg don't constitute a howler. And regarding 95% please speak for yourself only. And Harsha mentioned about how the world sees it!

  • JG2704 on December 30, 2011, 17:55 GMT

    Personally , I'm a fan of DRS. Maybe it's not flawless but it surely helps produce more correct decisions than the umpires decision alone.Also with the DRS re lbw's , if a decision is given not out and it's only just clipping the wicket it stays with the onfield umpire so there is some leeway there. It should also help stop the fielding side from from over zealous appealing and the batsman from showing any unhappiness with the umpires as both have a chance to legitimately appeal against a decision without a show of dissent if the player is unhappy with the decision. I'm not sure what the Indian fans as a whole think about DRS but I do believe that if it is not made compulsory it should be up to the hosts to decide what technology should be used

  • uea2009 on December 30, 2011, 17:24 GMT

    A poor article which misses the very simple point that while the DRS is not 100% accurate it elimanates the shocking descions that have ruined a number of test matches.

  • addsmiles on December 30, 2011, 17:02 GMT

    DRS may not be 100% accurate, but still improves the percentage of correct decisions, so why not. Third umpires were introduced to use technology and make right decisions. But there are times when even third umpire makes a mess and takes a wrong decision. So does that mean we should do away with the third umpires too? Apart from the debate, thanks to technology being inaccurate, Tendulkar survived the lbw to Ajmal in WC 2011 and went on to help India get a winning total. Remember that? There was no way that ball was going to miss the stumps. Not that I am complaining :).

  • crikbuff on December 30, 2011, 17:00 GMT

    HArsha makes a valid point about DRS. But why has he inserted an IPL advertisement in the middle of his article?

  • ksrd on December 30, 2011, 16:46 GMT

    It's amazing that people have forgotten what happened in england and srilanka with DRS.Not once,repeatedly it failed in during india tour of england.

  • on December 30, 2011, 16:38 GMT

    yes u r right....DRS debate should end but harsha why not ending it with the decision by the majority voting and just BCCI rigidness ???? what u say???

  • VijayHanchatey on December 30, 2011, 16:35 GMT

    On field Umpires should be given a video handset on which he can see slow-motion videos. When a player reviews a decision he can see the replay in his handset, and give the decision. Slow-motion camera and the pitch map are the only things the on field umpire needs. If you look at the NBA or Baseball games in US, the onfield umpires make the call. When something has to be reviewed, they just look at the slow motion video replays. Baseball does not even have any cameras. The umpires i have seen in those games rarely make mistakes. Its just that the quality of the umpires their is so high, or may be they are allowed to maintain their status as the Umpire of the game.

  • Bilbo on December 30, 2011, 16:24 GMT

    Harsha - Doni (and others) say the DRS is "not 100%". True. The question that needs to be asked, however, is not "is there a method of guaranteeing 100% of decisions given are correct?", but "how do we minimize incorrect decisions?". Anyone who knows anything about cricket knows the answer to this: Use DRS. It doesn't even matter about the difference in standard of the technology in different places. Using DRS simply gets better results than the umpires only making the decision. Does the use of DRS always work seamlessly? No. Have DRS verdicts always been perfect? No. BUT - using whatever system is available absolutely DOES give a better percentage of correct decision. Why is there such opposition to this in India? I have no idea. Everyone would be better off. UMPIRES should be able to refer as well. Currently on run-outs, for example, they can refer their own decision. Why not go "upstairs" with "is there any reason I should give this not out" (or the opposite). Controversy over.

  • on December 30, 2011, 16:17 GMT

    Hawk eye was used for missile tracking and is a million times better than cheaper alternatives that give it a bad name. That's why Tennis used Hawkeye, not something else.

    Use DRS with the proper tools, not the cheaper alternatives and most of the issues disappear. Including the Howlers that BCCI thinks is part of the game...

  • Dhs2000 on December 30, 2011, 16:17 GMT

    Why does everyone talk about Dhoni's innings? As a Sri Lankan fan it always thought it was Gambhir's innings that won India the Match.

  • coldcoffee123 on December 30, 2011, 15:54 GMT

    leave the LBWs to the umpires. They are the best judge of the trajectory, height, bounce, deviation of the ball. Don't forget, after bouncing off the pitch, the hawk eye just PROJECTS the initial conditions of the ball. It does not take into account the pitch. Umpire does. Barring a faint edge, umpire is the best judge. A batsman should be allowed to challenge ONLY if he thinks it was an edge off the bat. If the 3rd umpire says no edge, the batsman must go. No challenging the trajectory and blah blah. Period. Just accept the umpire's verdict. Keep the game simple.

  • vcricketking on December 30, 2011, 15:36 GMT

    It is sad for one country-India- to hold the impotent ICC to ransom by going against DRS. Then when commentators from India like Shastri and Bhogei add insult to injury by supporting their Board, the game of cricket and its fairness suffers from incompetent umpires.

    The technology is far better than incompetent umpires whom the ICC continue to employ despite their glaring mistakes or not being impartial. Let the debate end now and the DRS become mandatory.

    Victor Ramphal,Florida USA

  • harshacc on December 30, 2011, 15:01 GMT

    To my namesake,not all Indians oppose DRS.It did produce a few howlers but those howlers are better and fewer than howlers produced by the umpires.Is it perfect? No, but it does help the onfield umpires a great deal and prevents an umpiring error from changing the course of the match

  • SomeCents on December 30, 2011, 14:59 GMT

    BCCI & Dhoni are against DRS because the players will abuse it! The likes of Sehwag, Gambhir, Tendulkar, Laxman will question every close call. And the bowlers always feel they've got their man! It will be impossible to control these guys. And Dhoni knows he will not get honest help from his bowlers on the close calls. He's better off letting the umpire do their work!

  • on December 30, 2011, 14:52 GMT

    @Saradha Jitendran and Ferrero Rocher,

    I don't know how you can conclude that Harsha Bhogle is singing the BCCI tune. Because to me, he is not. Do you think it's even remotely possible that he might have an uninfluenced opinion generated out of watching the cricket matches that he watches? And that's the opinion that's coming through in this article?

  • simpleguy2008 on December 30, 2011, 14:44 GMT

    I support UDRS 100% yes it should ne manadate again by the ICC without asking any boards especially BCCI.

  • Cynthia25 on December 30, 2011, 14:30 GMT

    Hi Harsha, I am a huge fan of yours since 1992 Australia tour (radio commentary with Suresh Sarayya) and admire your most recent stint on television. While I can understand that you need to be pro-BCCI (subconsciously, given that you share space with BCCI paid spokesperson) or to be fair to you maybe you genuinely feel BCCI is correct in not implementing UDRS - I feel it is not correct on your part to say this is "India vs non-India". Majority of Indians (including myself) prefer having the UDRS. To be fair probably this is due to couple of batsmen in the team not wanting it (benefit of doubt no longer goes to the batsman) and hence BCCI's stance. They cant/wont justify their stand because they are not doing it for themselves (i.e. no financial gain). Let a particular player retire and see UDRS being embraced by BCCI.

  • on December 30, 2011, 14:27 GMT

    I normally control myself from posting - despite of some absolute nonsense (mostly from the comments, sometimes even in the article) - since different people can have different views. Not about the heart of the conversation here, but .. "World Cup; the final had two classic innings from Mahela Jayawardene and MS Dhoni". How could anyone, let alone Harsha Bhogle, mention it with such absoluteness, yet totally discard Gautam Gambhir's innings? Only reason I could force myself to understand this is because one might feel it would draw attention to mention one innings from one team, and two from another. But well, the truth is the match itself contained three epic knocks, split between two teams with scores in the 270s. Jayawardene made 100+, remained not out while his teammates coontributed 30s-40s (Sanga, Kulasekara etc.) while India had mainly two scores in the 90s, equally important...with some other minor contributions...but to mention Jayawardene & Dhoni, but not Gambhir...ridiculous

  • on December 30, 2011, 14:26 GMT

    well according to me.. this should be a debate based on DRS or no DRS, and not against India and others.. Infact It was India who initially supported this technology, but due to some extremely critical and wrong judgement they have asked the experts to improve the technology in such a way that they can be globally accepted.

    According to me , it is just a matter of time before the technology is improved and UDRS is globally accepted .. Including INDIA.....

  • on December 30, 2011, 14:22 GMT

    I think the DRS should be made standard fare. Let's face it, no technology is going to be 100% right, as is the case with umpires. Doesn't it make sense to use superior technology to get at least SOME of the decisions right, rather than persist with the status quo? Come on India, stop being the big bully on this, and ICC get your posterior off your comfy seat, and make DRS compulsory for ALL international matches.

  • Dabepav on December 30, 2011, 14:21 GMT

    Moot question: Why is BCCI (and others) not in favour of DRS? 1) Is it because the technology is not fit for use? 2) Is it because the control of technology is in hands of private bodies (sponsors etc) and not ICC. 3) Do CA, ECB profit when their sponsors generate profit? 4) Is there possibility of corruption with inclusion of DRS? (Some decisions on the WI and ENG tour beg this thought) 5) Is this really a debate of sponsors interest v/s cricket interest?

    The cricket fans love good, engrossing, at times controversial, at times superlative cricket. The cricketers love fair and hard games.

  • HellDiver on December 30, 2011, 14:07 GMT

    It's interesting to read all the Indian writers here moan about how "we wuz robbed" by the 2.5 m rule against England during the World Cup, or the by faulty Hot Spot during the summer Test Matches against England, but none of them seem to complain about the fact that it was UDRS which reprieved Sachin, at a critical juncture in the game against Pakistan in the World Cup and that could arguably be considered a pivotal moment which eventually led to India winning the semi-final and eventually the World Cup. Would be nice to have at least have one Indian writer bring that up...

  • on December 30, 2011, 14:06 GMT

    One thing seems to have changed: it was a bowlers year. Look at the number of low-scores, games ending early, etc. We had very few high-scoring draws. I think that qualifies as something different.

  • avi82 on December 30, 2011, 13:53 GMT

    I fully agree with Harsha, super slow motion camera's and ball pitch map are enough at the moment. Why should one invest so much on a technology whose reliability is not independently verified on different conditions, pitches, bowlers. But personally I feel that Hawk eye/Hot spot should be optional , those who want can go with it and those who don't want it should not be forced.

  • on December 30, 2011, 13:49 GMT

    It's really sad to see an independent voice like Harsha start singing the BCCI tune. Really sad

  • on December 30, 2011, 13:30 GMT

    DRS debate to end. only have pitch maps. we want the game to move on. post drs umpires willl give out more LBWs. we dont want batsman dominating games. we want results. we want 3-4 day tests. DRS finally gives bowlers a chance to square up against flat tracks

  • venkatesh018 on December 30, 2011, 13:25 GMT

    Harsha, now u have the gall to say that support and opposition for DRS equals support for India and against India. I am absolutely sure that more than 95% of Indian cricket fans, would love to have seen the DRS been made mandatory in all international series. And you have insulted their intelligence in one stroke.

  • on December 30, 2011, 13:12 GMT

    why are you not hosting the cricket extra. it seems to uninteresting to watch it without you.i was disappointed.but you are right in this udrs matter

  • Hodra99 on December 30, 2011, 13:09 GMT

    Yes Harsha you are correct with the title of this article....The argument will end when everyone starts starts using it!

  • DAN22 on December 30, 2011, 13:04 GMT

    I think Indian Cricket fans (like Abhinav Kumar above) need to understand that Test Cricket is a tough sport and most countries are extremely difficult to beat at home. In the first match we won a lot of sessions and we lost some critical ones. In fact at end of day 2, we were favourites to win. The bowling clicked, Sachin played as he can play. We lost because Australia bowled well but we will have our moments if we, and that includes the Indian fans, hold their nerve and come back...After all the next match is not only a new day...its a whole new Year!!!

  • on December 30, 2011, 13:02 GMT

    Now it is strantge to see sane heads also singing BCCI tune aka Bhogle, Shastri. This has become a fiasco. BCCI and indian commentators on one side and rest of the world on other side. In pure democracy everbody knows who will win. But in real world BCCI influence will play differnt scenario. When rest of the world is moving forward with technology BCCI and Indian cricketers want to remain in dark ages. I am an distraght Indian cricket fan.

  • on December 30, 2011, 13:00 GMT

    no comment about pakistani teams performance this year ....how so unfair of u

  • on December 30, 2011, 12:50 GMT

    I think we all generally accept that DRS is good for the game. The issue here is whether the technology available today to support DRS is adequate? Overall Hawk-Eye/Eagle Eye is possibly OK and reliable, Yes? Maybe not, because it doesnt work in fading light. So if u take Haddin's appeal in fading light in the 1st innings, Eagle Eye was not reliable (as confirmed by Mark Nicholas) so does the 3rd umpire go by this OR does he still goes by what he sees on Eagle Eye being fully aware that it is possibly NOT showing the right picture? So on what basis does he decide? OR in such cases the on-field decision stays? If the on-field decision stays, BCCI and India are fully justified in their arguments that tech is not yet there where it belongs and so they will not accept it.. and the world may have their opinions, but we also need to respect others' opinions, right? DRS or no DRS, let's enjoy good test match cricket..

  • on December 30, 2011, 12:10 GMT

    Nice perspective in the last line. Well said....

  • HellDiver on December 30, 2011, 12:07 GMT

    I don't understand what Harsha Bhogle means by ending the debate on UDRS? Does he mean that we should give it up and do what India does, rely on umpires? He, like all other Indian writers on cricinfo, obviously are not enamored by it, but the problem is, the rest of the world prefer UDRS, despite it not being 100% correct, over umpiring mistakes, so I'm afraid, Mr. Bhogle, this debate, whether you consider it boring or not, is not going to come to an end any time soon. Its only just begun. Get used to it.

  • on December 30, 2011, 11:34 GMT

    Thanks Harsha, your thoughts and words are appreciated by this Aussie supporter.

  • Zat. on December 30, 2011, 11:12 GMT

    Always nice to see what Harsha is being paid to think by the BCCI. When was the last time he was remotely critical of it? I think around 2007.

  • on December 30, 2011, 11:09 GMT

    This article is completely ill timed..after ignominious defeat against Australia, it is time either not to talk about Cricket or at least not cry over DRS. World Cup seems a distant memory. When will India again host the WC?? we will watch or listen Cricket only then...Till then it will remain black days for Indian Cricket. --A distraught Indian Cricket fan.

  • Migara on December 30, 2011, 10:40 GMT

    No point in the DRS debate. DRS reduces howlers of decisions. That it self is good enough. Whether a particular team is not good at using them should not be a deciding factor.

  • S.Alis on December 30, 2011, 10:27 GMT

    Debate will end if only BCCI want to end this. other world have too little problem to debate on this.

  • on December 30, 2011, 10:21 GMT

    Where's Pakistan in this whole article, although in related links, Pakistan mentioned?????????????

  • AndyMack on December 30, 2011, 10:12 GMT

    DRS - just get rid of the ball tracking element, if the third umpire cant make an LBW call based on a few different angles and the pitch map then all is lost. Love ya work Harsha, living in the UK at the moment, so missing your call on ABC radio.

  • qpsk123 on December 30, 2011, 9:59 GMT

    As always another indian article by Harsha.not world cricket... i like this person if he reduce talk about india..

  • on December 30, 2011, 9:54 GMT

    "The IPL, which bears the brunt of the assault from the traditionalists, isn't faultless"

    The IPL assaulted the traditionalists, not the other way around. I don't remember Harsha being quite so vocal when it came to the strong-arm tactics employed toward overseas players in the ICL and how international careers were shortened. There's a very tedious victim mentality emerging around the IPL.

  • CricketingStargazer on December 30, 2011, 9:39 GMT

    Harsha, what I don't understand is that the same ball tracking technology is used in tennis all around the world and is accepted by players, fans and administrators alike, even if they only use the pitch map element (which is also contested in cricket). The biggest change that is needed in ball tracking is to display the trajectory errors in an understandable way and that means translating them into a probability that the stumps will be hit by the ball! You then take a level: for example, 75% and say that if the proibabilty reaches this level he's a gonner but, if not, he gets the benefit of the doubt. A very large extrapolation from a very short track will convert into a large uncertainty in where the ball will go (no mystery in that!) and so the evidence will have to be pretty overwhelming for the batsman to be convicted. Hotspot though has a basic problem in that it CAN be tampered with: conduct away the heat with some liquid or with conducting fibres in the bat covering to fool it!

  • rahulcricket007 on December 30, 2011, 9:19 GMT

    MR . HARSHA BHOGLE . FIRST OF ALL WINNING WC IS NOT EVERYTHING . WE DON'T NEED CHAMPIONS LIKE THIS . WIN WC IN APRIL , THEN GETS WHITEWASHED BY ENG IN TESTS & ODIS & T20 & NOW LOSING MCG TEST ( ANOTHER 4-0 ) .

  • dunger.bob on December 30, 2011, 9:13 GMT

    Harshe, I don't think the debate is going to go away anytime soon. I think, like most things concerning cricket these days, it will simply drag on and on and get thrashed to death until some barely suitable compromise is reluctantly reached.

    Personally I like it, and it should always be remembered that it is still the umpire that makes the decision. The technology is there to assist him, not make the decision for him.

    I mainly wanted to say that I really enjoy your stints on ABC radio, especially when you are paired with that mad rabbit, Kerry O'Keefe. There's nothing better than listening to the cricket sitting in the cab of the tractor and cutting lucerne all day listening to you lot. Fantastic. Thanks.

  • spence1324 on December 30, 2011, 9:10 GMT

    Seams the only people against DRS are indian,I wonder why that is???

  • on December 30, 2011, 9:10 GMT

    technology in all forms should be adapted. some old guys who don't understand anything about technology.....just sit in the prominent positions and are not open for changes. you like to eat pizza and burger in place of rice and chapati ...and don't want RDS or other modern technology that can really improve the quality and credibility of umpiring.

  • abhijeet1in on December 30, 2011, 9:04 GMT

    I am 100% for use of technology, 100% against UDRS (in its current form). From what i know the skills needed in cricket are batting, bowling and fielding, not guessing. I don't know how UDRS in its current form (2 reviews flat) is any different from poker or roulette or plain gambling. Players must not be part of the decision system. It creates animosity between teams, match officials and fans alike.

    Hope india gives a better performance in away tests in the new year.

  • naga25french on December 30, 2011, 8:55 GMT

    Nice article ! what a way to end.. loved the last three line :)

  • Melbunite on December 30, 2011, 8:32 GMT

    Fair enough Harsha. May 2012 be a brilliant year for Test Cricket.

  • indpomoz2011 on December 30, 2011, 8:02 GMT

    Harsha - Why should the debate on DRS end? Any debate can end only when one participant defeats another participant by his strong arguments or the most vocal (but not necessarily the right one) participant shouts down the participant. Of course, we don't take into account the debates that remain inconclusive. In the case of the DRS debate, the BCCI denies that it is shouting down its opponents; it does not even come with strong arguments on why they don't want the DRS for any bilateral serires with other cricket boards. Some times, they cite a handful of perceived flaws in the technology in England as the reason for not accepting the DRS; at other times, they cite some other example to justify that DRS just does not work. When an obdurate person shows arrogance and trimphalism even when his line of argument does not cut any ice, should the other person just turn a blind eye and keep his mouth shut. The recent test series btw SAF and AUS was the best testimony to DRS.

  • hattima on December 30, 2011, 7:30 GMT

    You'd know better of course, but as far as I remember the super slow motion pictures take a while to process and hence cannot be used in real time. Otherwise it seems one of the best options, indeed. Frankly I do not see any point in wasting money on technology with low reliability. Also, the available angles for the third umpires seem to vary ball by ball, and there is absolutely no consistency which angles would be made available to the umpires. There should be a common minimum, and broadcasters should be heavily penalised for any wrongdoing, eg. showing wrong footage or not having basic angles available. Right now they have zero accountability.

  • Savanoor on December 30, 2011, 7:19 GMT

    Why isn't Harsha Bhogle & Sunil Gavaskar not commentating in this 'Agneepath' series????

  • on December 30, 2011, 7:10 GMT

    The DSR should be maid permanent because it helps to avoid mistakes. decisions to remove DSR just because India does not agree should not happen if they cant agree its their problem let the other countries use the technology

  • SanjivSanjiv on December 30, 2011, 6:47 GMT

    Use cameras/hot spots for not out run outs, snicks, inside edge LBWs, grassy catches and line ball calls at the boundries. That's it. Rest of the decisions should stay with the onfield umpires. Sanjiv Perth Australia

  • D.V.C. on December 30, 2011, 6:06 GMT

    How can you call for an end to the DRS debate without offering a firm position? A debate can only end when it is settled. So long as there is such division that writers like yourself sit on the fence it cannot be settled.

  • mraviteja on December 30, 2011, 5:28 GMT

    Hey Harsha..Nice Article... Sad that you are not commentating on Star Cricket for Agneepath Series... Its too boring without you.... Please return back for the 2nd test... Its like Life sucked out of Cricket Extra without you... Have found memories of you, 4am, Indian team and Australian series, which I don't want to miss/changed :(...

  • on December 30, 2011, 5:04 GMT

    Spot on Harsha - DRS will never be perfect, but it should be used to remove the howlers and in particular all the padding worn by today's batsmen makes umpire's jobs much harder when it comes to determining whether an edge clipped the bat or not. Allowing 2 unsuccessful DRS appeals per team per innings feels about right, and seems to be working well in practice. If some venues/countries can't afford it, so be it - we either live without it, or preferably someone else can pay to have it implemented. Until the BCCI explains their opposition in terms that make sense given the current state of the technology, DRS will equate to "Don't Review Sachin" in many peoples' minds. Congrats to the Indians, Kiwis and Poms in particular, and I'm confident us Aussies will be back fighting for the #1 spot soon.

  • ashishnigam2002 on December 30, 2011, 4:56 GMT

    As always a very good article and perfectly said Harsha "One man to bind them all, one man behind them all"

  • jmcilhinney on December 30, 2011, 4:41 GMT

    Many Indian supporters and IPL fans accuse those who criticise the IPL of being jealous. I'm guessing that, in many cases, they are partly correct. As an example, any Australian who criticises the IPL and not the BBL is hypocritical. It's not as simple as that though. There are many who simply don't like T20 cricket. Most Indians want the IPL to be the poster child for T20, so they have to take the bad with the good. For those who don't like T20, much of their criticism is obviously going to be directed at what is, by some measures at least, the most successful T20 competition in the world. Apart from T20 itself, one of the issues with the IPL is specifically the large sums of money on offer. Many worry about the detrimental effect that T20 will have on players ability to play first class and test cricket. If they can make so much money playing just IPL, the temptation to ignore the skills required for the longer form is that much greater.

  • jmcilhinney on December 30, 2011, 4:32 GMT

    I agree with Harsha that the BCCI has not, as far as I'm aware, articulated their specific objections to DRS. It seems that the main objection is to the predictive nature of ball-tracking technology, but they seem to have thrown out the baby with the bath water. Other countries have expressed reservations about HotSpot but those countries all still support DRS in some form, so the BCCI is still standing alone in a blanket rejection. The ICC has to shoulder some of the blame. They should tell the BCCI that the two groups need to openly discuss the situation, determine exactly what the BCCI's objections are and then address them specifically. If that means independent testing of technology then so be it. Once that's done, the ICC can then determine exactly what form DRS should take and instruct all members to adhere to the rules it prescribes.

  • on December 30, 2011, 3:58 GMT

    Why does the technology have to be the same in every country for DRS to be viable? Grounds aren't the same size; pitches aren't the same; the same umpires don't officiate in every match, so you'll have a variation in interpretation and adjudication anyway. But conditions for the two teams in any given match/series are identical, and that's all that matters.

    (Simon Taufel is the best umpire in the world but he'll never umpire a Border-Gavaskar or Ashes match - the two most important and prestigious series in Test cricket. Now that's something that needs addressing - why not have one umpire each from the home and visiting nations?

  • LillianThomson on December 30, 2011, 3:54 GMT

    There is no issue with DRS, and there is no reason for the other countries to worry about India's position. The status quo has all the rest of us viewing India as the odd one out, and that's how it should stay. The ICC umpiring committee states that it lifts accuracy from 95 to 97%, which considering only around 10% of decisions are marginal means that it lifts marginal accuracy from 50 to 70%.For around 8 years India's financial clout has been backed up by playing power, but the team is now second rate. For those of us overseas our Boards may want endless series v India, but the public tires quickly of watching a team of flat-track bullies with a popgun bowling attack and an antagonistic Board which insists upon its own set of DRS-less rules. I live in Australia and while I watch over 20 Tests per year on TV can happily say that I haven't seen an IPL match since the first season, and none of my friends in England, New Zealand or here have ever discussed one. It's irrelevant.

  • Blythesville on December 30, 2011, 3:45 GMT

    Harsha is towing the Indian line on the DRS. And that is already boring.

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  • Blythesville on December 30, 2011, 3:45 GMT

    Harsha is towing the Indian line on the DRS. And that is already boring.

  • LillianThomson on December 30, 2011, 3:54 GMT

    There is no issue with DRS, and there is no reason for the other countries to worry about India's position. The status quo has all the rest of us viewing India as the odd one out, and that's how it should stay. The ICC umpiring committee states that it lifts accuracy from 95 to 97%, which considering only around 10% of decisions are marginal means that it lifts marginal accuracy from 50 to 70%.For around 8 years India's financial clout has been backed up by playing power, but the team is now second rate. For those of us overseas our Boards may want endless series v India, but the public tires quickly of watching a team of flat-track bullies with a popgun bowling attack and an antagonistic Board which insists upon its own set of DRS-less rules. I live in Australia and while I watch over 20 Tests per year on TV can happily say that I haven't seen an IPL match since the first season, and none of my friends in England, New Zealand or here have ever discussed one. It's irrelevant.

  • on December 30, 2011, 3:58 GMT

    Why does the technology have to be the same in every country for DRS to be viable? Grounds aren't the same size; pitches aren't the same; the same umpires don't officiate in every match, so you'll have a variation in interpretation and adjudication anyway. But conditions for the two teams in any given match/series are identical, and that's all that matters.

    (Simon Taufel is the best umpire in the world but he'll never umpire a Border-Gavaskar or Ashes match - the two most important and prestigious series in Test cricket. Now that's something that needs addressing - why not have one umpire each from the home and visiting nations?

  • jmcilhinney on December 30, 2011, 4:32 GMT

    I agree with Harsha that the BCCI has not, as far as I'm aware, articulated their specific objections to DRS. It seems that the main objection is to the predictive nature of ball-tracking technology, but they seem to have thrown out the baby with the bath water. Other countries have expressed reservations about HotSpot but those countries all still support DRS in some form, so the BCCI is still standing alone in a blanket rejection. The ICC has to shoulder some of the blame. They should tell the BCCI that the two groups need to openly discuss the situation, determine exactly what the BCCI's objections are and then address them specifically. If that means independent testing of technology then so be it. Once that's done, the ICC can then determine exactly what form DRS should take and instruct all members to adhere to the rules it prescribes.

  • jmcilhinney on December 30, 2011, 4:41 GMT

    Many Indian supporters and IPL fans accuse those who criticise the IPL of being jealous. I'm guessing that, in many cases, they are partly correct. As an example, any Australian who criticises the IPL and not the BBL is hypocritical. It's not as simple as that though. There are many who simply don't like T20 cricket. Most Indians want the IPL to be the poster child for T20, so they have to take the bad with the good. For those who don't like T20, much of their criticism is obviously going to be directed at what is, by some measures at least, the most successful T20 competition in the world. Apart from T20 itself, one of the issues with the IPL is specifically the large sums of money on offer. Many worry about the detrimental effect that T20 will have on players ability to play first class and test cricket. If they can make so much money playing just IPL, the temptation to ignore the skills required for the longer form is that much greater.

  • ashishnigam2002 on December 30, 2011, 4:56 GMT

    As always a very good article and perfectly said Harsha "One man to bind them all, one man behind them all"

  • on December 30, 2011, 5:04 GMT

    Spot on Harsha - DRS will never be perfect, but it should be used to remove the howlers and in particular all the padding worn by today's batsmen makes umpire's jobs much harder when it comes to determining whether an edge clipped the bat or not. Allowing 2 unsuccessful DRS appeals per team per innings feels about right, and seems to be working well in practice. If some venues/countries can't afford it, so be it - we either live without it, or preferably someone else can pay to have it implemented. Until the BCCI explains their opposition in terms that make sense given the current state of the technology, DRS will equate to "Don't Review Sachin" in many peoples' minds. Congrats to the Indians, Kiwis and Poms in particular, and I'm confident us Aussies will be back fighting for the #1 spot soon.

  • mraviteja on December 30, 2011, 5:28 GMT

    Hey Harsha..Nice Article... Sad that you are not commentating on Star Cricket for Agneepath Series... Its too boring without you.... Please return back for the 2nd test... Its like Life sucked out of Cricket Extra without you... Have found memories of you, 4am, Indian team and Australian series, which I don't want to miss/changed :(...

  • D.V.C. on December 30, 2011, 6:06 GMT

    How can you call for an end to the DRS debate without offering a firm position? A debate can only end when it is settled. So long as there is such division that writers like yourself sit on the fence it cannot be settled.

  • SanjivSanjiv on December 30, 2011, 6:47 GMT

    Use cameras/hot spots for not out run outs, snicks, inside edge LBWs, grassy catches and line ball calls at the boundries. That's it. Rest of the decisions should stay with the onfield umpires. Sanjiv Perth Australia