Very few things have haunted the cricketing world as the Decision Review System (DRS) has. Time and again the issue resurfaces and everyone starts arguing with the same old idioms.
Its pros and cons have been much discussed, debated and the ICC has said many times over that though the technology isnt 100 per cent error free, it has achieved tremendous results.
The matter continues to be tricky. If one analyses some of the key decisions in India matches, it would have favoured Indians had there been a DRS system. But with the Board of Control for Cricket in India continuing to be stubborn, players continue to suffer. Now we are to rely on umpires catching the sound of a nick or bat pad amidst the loud stadium noise.
Imran Khan had once suggested employing neutral umpires as the sub-continent umpires always came in for flack. The visiting foreign teams believed their umpiring to be of poor quality. The neutral umpiring in Pakistan, however, underwent far too many problems itself.
However, at least the West Indians accepted the errors because of neutral umpires.
A horrendous instance of umpiring comes to mind. While the MCC was on a tour of Pakistan in 1955, Pakistan umpire Idris Baig committed one umpiring error after another. So disgusted were some of the MCC members that they kidnapped him in a horse cart from his hotel. They virtually dragged him to their room and though he was a teetotaller, spiked his drink and poured buckets of cold water on him. Some of the names in the kidnapping party went on to become famous cricketers.
That was more than half a century ago. The DRS’s arrival should save umpires such treatment.
The umpires continue to make mistakes but at least the review can correct the decision. The deadlock on DRS could be solved by convincing BCCI to play one series with DRS in place.
Even without the DRS, India lost 10 Tests badly. Not even a single decision made a difference to its already pathetic performance.
If the BCCI is really convinced of the flaws of DRS, it should play a series with it and demonstrate the flaws for the whole world to see and shut their mouth.
But just obstinately refusing to consider it shows nothing but their despotism.
Take the case of T20. Till the 2007 Word championship, the BCCI vehemently opposed the introduction of T20. The BCCI rightly felt that it would affect the very essence of cricket. India participated very reluctantly and without any preparation won the championship.
Post T20 championship, the IPL and rebel league of ICL were launched. And look at T20 in this country now. It’s spread all over the country.
From the beginning of the season itself, teenagers look for an opening in IPL.
That doing well in the domestic tournaments will automatically attract the franchises is out of their comprehension. Some players are unfit for most of the time but come April and they are fit for IPL.
However, BCCI too is clearly having a gala time with the popularity of T20. It is funny to think that at one point of time it opposed it so vehemently.
The BCCI has been stubborn about the DRS for too long now giving the impression that it is doing it just for the sake of it.
Whatever is going on in the interactions, it should know that the world can see that it is being unreasonable. That BCCI has no rationale behind its opposition to DRS is too evident. It needs to have open mind while addressing the issue