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Ravi: DRS isn’t 100 per cent foolproof
- ‘BCCI within its rights to have reservations’

Calcutta: Ravi Shastri, the only Indian on the International Cricket Council (ICC)’s cricket committee, has said that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is “within its rights” to have reservations over the review system.

“The cricket committee has merely made a recommendation that the Decision Review System (DRS) be used in all matches... It has to be first approved by the chief executives before it gets to the implementation stage...

“Any Board can have misgivings and the BCCI is within its rights to have reservations. In any case, as it exists, the DRS isn’t 100 per cent foolproof,” Shastri told The Telegraph on Saturday evening.

Speaking from Dubai, in between a round of golf, he added: “Tomorrow, we may have gadgets which will be an improvement on what is currently available... I’m for technology, but nothing (right now) is 100 per cent.”

Shastri, a former India captain and cricket manager, is on the cricket committee as a member of the media. There’s no country-wise representation.

The cricket committee’s recommendations (there are others too) are going to be discussed in Hong Kong on June 26-27, at the very start of the Annual Conference week.

With the BCCI opposed to the DRS, there’s little chance of the chief executives giving their thumbs-up.

As a well-placed source put it: “Nine of the 10 Full Members are for the DRS, yet nobody will actually get on the wrong side of the BCCI. Graeme Swann can say what he wants, but is the England and Wales Cricket Board going to make it an issue? Most unlikely.”

While the DRS-specific recommendation allows for two referrals per team in every Test innings, there’s place for just one in an ODI/T20 innings.

The cricket committee, chaired by Clive ‘Supercat’ Lloyd, met in London on May10-11. A Hawk-Eye representative made a presentation, during the meeting, dwelling on the “predicted pathways.”

Nobody, it seems, had misgivings.

It’s understood that Channel Nine and Sky Sports are the only broadcasters which have the Hot Spot and the Hawk-Eye as part of in-house technology. The rest “buy” the software and take the hi-tech cameras on loan.

So, there’s definitely a financial angle to the DRS business.

At the moment, the Hot Spot technology (strongly approved by the Sachin Tendulkars and the Mahendra Singh Dhonis) is supplied by BBG Sports, but they have just four cameras.

Based in Melbourne, the company specialises in “IT solutions” for the sports broadcasting industry.

The ICC, meanwhile, intends encouraging the Boards to have a DRS clause in their contracts with the broadcasters. Unless that’s in place, they won’t be obliged to offer that technology.

For the record, India’s experience with the DRS has been nightmarish: One successful referral out of 21 during the 2008-09 Test series in Sri Lanka, four out of 14 in the last World Cup.

Perhaps, there’s a need for a DRS coach as well!

Footnote: The BCCI has reiterated that it “does not accept the reliability of the ball-tracking technology, which is an integral part of the DRS.”

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