BCB says TV umpire was correct following controversial ADRS decision
With the regular DRS unavailable, a pared-down system has been in use, triggering multiple flare-ups
The BCB has backed TV umpire Tanvir Ahmed after he was involved in a contentious lbw call during the BPL game between Comilla Victorians and Fortune Barishal on Saturday. After umpire Morshed Ali Khan had given Jaker Ali out lbw in the 14th over of the Comilla innings, the batter reviewed, only for Tanvir to uphold the on-field decision despite replays seeming to suggest the ball had pitched outside leg stump.
The BCB has explained that part of the ball did pitch within the "pitching zone" that is in line with the stumps.
BPL match officials use a technology called the Alternate Decision Review System (ADRS) instead of the standard DRS. On the eve of the tournament, BCB chief executive Nizamuddin Chowdhury said the board had not been able to secure the personnel from Hawkeye to run the DRS, even though the BCB has the technology available at the Shere Bangla National Stadium.
To make decisions via the ADRS, the TV umpires have to go by a blue line for a pitching zone to depict the line of the stumps to make lbw decisions. They have also used zoomed-in camera angles to judge edges or whether the ball has hit bat or bad first. For picking up noise, they use stump mic audio provided by the broadcasters. It is far from a foolproof system, considered inferior to the DRS, and many players and coaches have already questioned its use during the BPL.
The decision on Saturday left Jaker looking shocked while the TV commentator said at the time that he was "lost for words". Comilla coach Mohammad Salahuddin expressed his frustration with the call during the post-match press conference, after which the BCB released its statement.
"The point of pitching [pitching zone] of the ball is indicated with the help of a stump to stump pitch mat in the Alternative Decision Review System [ADRS] being used in the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League T20. In Appendix D1 of the tournament's Match Playing Conditions, it is stated that a ball will be considered to have pitched 'In-Line' in the ADRS if 'Any part of the ball was inside the Pitching Zone'.
"In accordance with this interpretation of the related rule, the TV umpire upheld the LBW [image showing the point of pitching of the ball attached] decision by the on-field umpire against Comilla Victorians batsman Jaker Ali in Comilla's match with Fortune Barishal at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdury Stadium in Chattogram today."
Salahuddin said the tournament may be better off without the ADRS, *which earned him a fine of 50% of his match fees and three demerit points.
"I think it is better not to have ADRS," he said. "It is better to give what the [on-field] umpire gives. The ball pitched totally outside the leg stump… I think a couple of [questionable] decisions... one decision was bad in the first match, and today too."
Salahuddin said he didn't want to make a stronger comment as he could be punished by the BCB. "I don't know... their rules might include something new," he said. "Perhaps there was a shadow [of the ball in line with the stumps]. I would have been happy if the [on-field] umpire had given the [final] decision.
"At the moment I can't really say anything. There is a lot of debate about it. I said at the beginning that one or two decisions will decide the game. What we see with the naked eye is not out, but the third umpire gives it out. Then we have nothing to do.
"Do you want us to shout on the field? That will only lead to suspension. There is no use in protesting. There is no point in writing or protesting. Our hands and feet are tied, there is really nothing to do."
There have been couple of flashpoints during this season's BPL with the use of the ADRS. First, Soumya Sarkar argued with the umpires after both the on-field and TV umpire on January 7. A second review by the umpires suggested that the lbw decision against him didn't stand as the ball had hit his gloves. It was the same replay when the TV umpire had adjudged him out a few minutes earlier.
Three days later, Anamul Haque argued with the umpires but to no avail when he didn't agree with an lbw decision in a match against Rangpur Riders. He was given out lbw by the TV umpire but Anamul didn't want to leave the field, and was later fined for the offence.
The BCB has said that the regular DRS will only be available during the knockout phase of this season's BPL.
January 15 2023, 1635 GMT This story was updated with the BPL penalising Comilla Victorians coach Mohammad Salahuddin
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84