The use of DRS technology seems to have stirred up a storm in the world of cricket

With all the slips made by the DRS, is technology simply ending up becoming a silly point in cricket?

BC: Hi, have you been following the England vs Australia Test series?

AD: Sad to see Australia’s journey downhill, but if there's something that's become a hotter topic of discussion than the Ashes, it's...

BC: ...the Decision Review System.

AD: Absolutely. But I still don't get what the fuss is all about.

BC: Well, the game was getting along fine without the intrusion of technology. But now, it’s kicked up a nasty storm.

AD: If you had followed the Tests, you would know that there was human error as well. For instance, if someone forgets to activate Hot Spot and keeps it in the replay mode, how can you blame technology? Likewise, if the third umpire makes a mistake in interpreting the DRS, why is it the fault of...

BC: Look, the system was never 100 per cent accurate to start with.

AD: Are you telling me that you will adopt technology only if it's perfect? So your mobile has never suffered signal drops, your laptop has never crashed, your hard disk has never...

BC: They do, but I don't let them decide anything for me, the way DRS is allowed to in cricket. Besides, cricket has this glorious uncertainty that's getting marred by programming technology into it.

AD: Are you suggesting that we go backwards and remove DRS from the game?

BC: But if it doesn't work satisfactorily, what's the point in holding on to it?

AD: Imagine what would have happened had the corporate world rejected computers in the 1940s because they were the size of a room, or if households rejected the PC in the 80s because it had less than 30MB of storage space...

BC: So what's your point?

AD: Technology evolves over the years — we need to give it both space and time...

BC: But think of the controversies until then — remember the 2011 World Cup? There were so many issues back then too.

AD: Look, DRS is meant to be a combination of various technologies, including Hot Spot and Hawk Eye, but for various reasons, Hot Spot was never implemented during the World Cup.

BC: They used super slow motion replays and stump mikes.

AD: How can you expect a system to work if all its components are not in place? Isn't it our mistake that we don't do things the right way and then scream blue murder when they go wrong?

BC: I would still maintain that life was simpler before DRS.

AD: Okay, let me put it this way. On TV, you use technology to get up close and show every little nick and miss, right down to the tiniest millimetre by which a bowler has overstepped or a batsman has fallen short of his crease. If you don't use the same technology to determine whether the batsman is out or not, you will infuriate the fans who will feel hard done by the umpire.

BC: But that's how cricket has always been played. Besides, neutral umpires were introduced to get rid of the home team bias.

AD: Instead of complaining about technology, why can't the umpires and the players be trained to use it better? Besides, technology is already in use by umpires to determine run outs, no-balls, stumpings and illegitimate catches caught after the ball bounced — so what’s wrong in extending it to lbws and other forms of dismissals as well?

BC: You'll have to ask the ICC that. But if the DRS continues, it might pose a health hazard to the Aussies.

AD: How is that?

BC: They are the ones who seem badly affected by it. And with all that exposure to infrared technology and heat signatures, the Australian cricketers may not go home with the Ashes — but they sure could leave with a lot of rashes.

sureshl.india@gmail.com

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