India in Sri Lanka 2010 July 12, 2010

Make UDRS mandatory - Kumar Sangakkara


Kumar Sangakkara, the Sri Lanka captain, has asked the ICC to step in and make the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) mandatory for all Test series, following India's refusal to use it for the upcoming series. Sangakkara also said the ICC should perhaps pay for the technology needed to implement the system successfully, because it is something the ICC wants to introduce and the broadcasters have usually paid exorbitant monies for their rights and might not be able to afford extra costs for sophisticated tools such as Hot Spot.

"I was under the impression that the ICC has set the standards on this by saying that everyone should use the DRS system," Sangakkara said, suggesting he was not aware of the results of the latest discussion on UDRS at the ICC's annual conference. "I think last year in India also, the entire team felt a little hard done by when we came to know that we couldn't have the DRS."

The ICC's directive, too, was as ambiguous as the body's role is in international cricket. "The host member would determine whether to use DRS in home Test series (following consultation with the visiting country)," said the ICC release, in one sentence giving the home board the power to "determine" whether the UDRS should be used, and also empowering the visiting team to contest it.

"The role that ICC has to play here is to make sure that all boards are bound to have the DRS," Sangakkara said, "Rather than when one side refuses, the other side can't enforce the DRS, as is under the current playing conditions.

Sangakkara reiterated how the absence of DRS hurt his side on its tour of India ("It cost us close to 500 runs and lots of wickets"), and also how the presence of the same system proved to be an advantage when they hosted India in 2008. Then, Sri Lanka successfully challenged 11 decisions as opposed to India's one.

"There were of course complaints by the Indian team, which led to - I think - subsequent series' being played without the review system," Sangakkara said. "Having reviewed all the matches, there are flaws. You need Hot Spot and all, but even with the existing technology in place, we can still have a very fair DRS."

MS Dhoni explained his side's decision with what has been a genuine concern with the UDRS: why challenge decisions when the best available technology is not being used? "DRS is still not a 100 % correct system," Dhoni said. "We have seen that, in spite of having the DRS, not everything goes correct. Most of the teams have played a series under the DRS, so it is important now to come up with a foolproof plan. See what exactly works. In a bat-pad scenario, Hot Spot really works, it is close to over 98 % correct. Even on LBW decisions, we need to have something like that."

Which brings us to the present conundrum: Several broadcasters pushed themselves to the commercial brink to secure telecast rights, and they obviously hadn't budgeted for the extra cost to make the UDRS successful. Which is what makes the ICC's role important, because essentially the DRS is its baby. "That's another option [paying for the technology] maybe the ICC should look at," Sangakkara said. "Provide the technology, make everything standard, if the costs the exorbitant, subsidise the costs. These are all the things we can look at. Maybe the broadcasters - they of course pay such a lot for cricket, but they also make sure they earn almost as much - maybe they could work out ways of subsiding it."

Sidharth Monga is a staff writer at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Chandimal on July 17, 2010, 1:40 GMT

    Wow, slow down both IND & SL fans. Series hasn't event started. Although I support SL, I am not the biggest Sanga Fan. Me think he talks too much! MJ was better & the reason we did well with UDRS in 2008 when the Capt had the decision to when to ask 4 the UDRS. I have a theory based on the little cricket I play. Albeit it is not test level, but the facts are true here as well. We have a team that appeal for everything regardless of where the ball hits (bat, pad or none). Their idea is to intimidate the umps into giving an out. On the other hand we appeal only when we are 100% sure. The umps are not bombarded & most of the time they give the benefit of the doubt to us. In a UDRS system the team that appeals all the time for everything will be exposed with decisions going against them. This is why Kumble did so bad against MJ in 08 & why IND is against them since. Bottom line is, if there's nothing to hide, why go against a system, which even not perfected is way better than human errors

  • S. on July 16, 2010, 1:43 GMT

    Dear NISH67, Thanks for trying to wake me up from my slumber. Look through the comments and you will realise who started it. I have noticed a pattern - Sri Lankan fans do have a lot of contempt for India and Indian cricketers. Hence I had to hit back this time. No I am not acting like a 2 year old - your countrymen are. Try and advice them first. As for UDRS, just because SL won a series with it you want it implemented. As it is test cricket stretches over 5 days amidst dwindling viewership. How many more interruptions do you want?. Why are SL fans making a hue and cry about this issue - is it because you need all the help you can to win at home? Accept it and move on. Why don't Sanga and co. focus on the cricket instead of coming up with excuses even before the series starts?

  • srinath on July 15, 2010, 19:00 GMT

    I can still remember an ODI series when India played against SL in SL (during feb2009 i guess) Sachin was given LBW in 3 successive matches by SL umpire Jamini de silva,but Team India didn't didn't make any issue out of it ,I mean Dhoni,unlike his counterpart didn't make any statements like " It has cost us 100 runs in every match ,Introduce UDRS system in ODI's too".Sanga needs to grow up and show some maturity as a capable leader

  • srinath on July 15, 2010, 18:27 GMT

    Its not new to Indian Cricket, whenever the world expected 'team India' to lose badly,they came out with flying colors and hit back at their critics.Good luck to team India

  • Lalith on July 15, 2010, 15:52 GMT

    If IND looses, MSD will say, it is too much of cricket against SL. We are nor motivated. LOL!

  • Rumesh on July 15, 2010, 15:43 GMT

    Jarr30@ I partially agree with you..Somehow Sri Lankans can ONLY play in flat tracks of SriLanka.Apart from Murali & sanga, I don't see anybody in lankan team capable of playing outside sub-continent.Prime example is Jayawardene who's average is below 24 outside sub-continent. I won't be suprised if J'wardene, Dilshan, S'verra & sanga score massive centuries. I am sure we will win this series against India.

  • Nataraaj on July 15, 2010, 13:44 GMT

    i surprise to know the UDRS is not in this series.. yes it is to be made compulsory in tests to overcome bad umpiring decissions.

  • nishantha on July 15, 2010, 9:29 GMT

    Is this a discussion about the UDRS system or a slanging match between a set of 2 year old's with disparaging remarks made about cricketers . Grow up people and have a practical discussion without stooping to undesirable levels and exposing not only your own stupidity but also bringing the teams you support to ridicule - The person calling himself Swami should especially wake up from his slumber !

  • S. on July 15, 2010, 5:22 GMT

    Dear yohandf1984 and all other Sri Lankan fans who are gloating over their BP X1 performance - one swallow does not make a summer. You have claims over playing a free spirited, sporting brand of cricket. Yes you can afford to do that in a small insignificant island with nothing but beaches and tourists to worry about. In fact you should have been world beaters like West Indies were for a long time. How come SL has not emulated this? After all you have the greatest spinners, finest batsmen and greatest fast bowlers :-)

  • Dummy4 on July 15, 2010, 4:51 GMT

    Kumara Sangakkara is exactly correct,one match can change completly by some poor decisions of umpairs,so it is mantodary to have this system,i don't know why MS doni refusing this system.I remeber in one match when australia palying with sri lanka in australia,sangakkara has scored 192 runs but becuase of a poor decision of umpair sanga has been given out,becuase of that sanga misses his first 200 with australia.So i think if there is a technology we can use we must use it rather than been traditional.

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