Over the past few years the BCCI has been embroiled in a lot of controversies due to its stand on various issues regarding international cricket and the way it has imposed them on the ICC. One of the most vilified has perhaps been its stand on the ICC’s brainchild of using technology to correct wrong decisions that have been delivered by the on field umpires, better known as the Decision Review System or the DRS. The BCCI has categorically blocked the use of the DRS in bilateral series in which India has participated in that period and has advocated a clause that both the captains should be in agreement regarding the usage of the DRS for it to be part of the decision-making process in a Test series. Ironically, the DRS was first used in a Test series between India and Sri Lanka in 2008 but since then India has not participated in a series in which it has been used. In the midst of all the criticisms by the British and Australian media over the past few years, BCCI’s stand on the DRS now stands vindicated. Let us see how.
The Basis of the BCCI’s Stand
All these years the only argument that the BCCI has put forward regarding the DRS is that it is not a full proof solution to the possible mistakes that the umpire might make and the events of the past few years has suggested that the technology that is in use is not at all sufficient to eradicate all the wrong decision delivered by the on field umpires. The principal argument of the BCCI is that the technology that is used in determining the correctness of an umpiring decision is flawed and if one looks at it closely he will find that the tools which are used most often are hawk eye and hot spot, both of which have been found to be error prone on several occasions.
In addition to that, you need to consider the fact that both sides have a limit to the number of appeals they can lodge and if they are unsuccessful twice then they are not allowed to appeal any further. How can that be justified if the reason for the introduction of the DRS was to eradicate wrong decisions? True, it will perhaps slow the game down but if the ICC is trying to eradicate wrong decisions then there should not be any half measures.
BCCI Stands Vindicated – The Irony
Now that it has been proven beyond reasonable doubt that the DRS-as it stands now- is not a full proof solution, the earlier advocates of it are singing in a different tune altogether. The same Nasser Hussain who called it a ‘disgrace’ that India did not use the DRS during last year’s Test series in England was crying himself hoarse at the decision that saw Jonathon Trott being dismissed due to a technical failure in the first Ashes test last week. In the same Test match, there were plenty of other contentious umpiring decisions that could not be overturned since a review was not available to the captain. The question still remains, if the DRS is only supposed to be a tactical manoeuvre as was witnessed on several occasions in the last Ashes Test and in other cricket matches over the years- then it is something that surely defies the whole purpose of the system.
Last but not the least, perhaps the most ironic development of the past few days was Adam Gilchrist’s column in Cricinfo, where he stated – ‘For the first time, I’m starting to understand India’s reluctance to go with the system.’ Good for you Adam, since the BCCI’s reluctance is completely justified.