Yet another Test series (even though it is a one-off Test) involving India is upon us. As Virat Kohli’s young team takes onBangladesh in Fatullah from Wednesday, the match will not see the Decision Review System in use. India is the only nation among the Test-playing countries to oppose to DRS saying that there is lack of clarity and that it is not 100 per cent fool proof.
But the International Cricket Council (ICC) is hoping to improve the technology and hopes that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will one day embrace DRS.
David Richardson, ICC chief executive, told a section of the Indian media recently in Dubai that the one of the reasons BCCI was against DRS was that “it though that reviewing umpiring decisions was against the spirit of cricket”.
Richardson explained: “We have always said that we would like have the same rules for everybody as far as DRS is concerned and implement it on a uniform, consistent basis. The fact is though one of our members doesn’t want DRS, they have a number of concerns regarding DRS. The major one being in their view the principle of a player reviewing an umpire’s decision goes against the grain of what the spirit of cricket is all about.
That is an objection in principle that they have.”
Richardson had a counter argument to this. The 55-year-old former South African wicket-keeper asked: “Our argument has always been ‘well, what’s better? An umpire being accused of a cheat, his effigy being burnt, teams threatening to go home in the middle of a series because they are upset with umpiring decisions. Is that good for the game? Or the altercation where an umpiring decision need to be changed even if he is a little bit embarrassed by having to change his decision?
“Ideally, we want the players to accept the decisions and walk off although historically that has not always happened. We think it is better for the game that we get as many decisions correct as possible. Ideally we want to be uniform but we are not there yet. What Geoff (Allardice, ICC General Manager, Cricket) is arranging is the testing of the technology so that everyone believes and trusts what the technology is supposed to be delivering is accurate and reliable. Once we get over that hurdle, the confidence in the DRS will grow and eventually we will end up with everybody accepting it.
“Down the line, may we get to develop the technology to such an extent that we can revert to the umpire being in control, whether the decision is to be reviewed or not. That is not in the realms of possibility but at this stage, the technology isn’t such that a system like that will work.”
Allardice said that a majority of the nations accepting DRS did not mean that the technology did not need improvement. “The decision whether to use DRS or not belongs to the competing countries. I think the decision of Indian board is well known regarding the non-use of it at this stage. From our point of view, every other country will use it either at home or away. Eight of the other nine will use it at home. It is starting to become accepted and the players are starting to get more confidence in it. It does not mean we can’t keep improving it. It is getting acceptance across most countries. We just have to keep trying to improve it and keep talking to the Indian board and if they have some queries about it, hopefully we can address it. And, get everyone use the system at some point.”