The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has a history of raising the stakes when they perceive injustice against them. When Sachin Tendulkar was charged with ball tampering, the BCCI threatened to pull out of the tour unless the 'racist' match referee was removed. Eventually the official Test was called off. The game that took place at Centurion was not an official Test.
Then, five years later, they again threatened to pull out of a tour if Steve Bucknor was not removed as the umpire on the tour because they lost a Test match due to what they claimed as 'biased' decisions. This time they got their way.
Given this history, speculative reports that the BCCI, in an International Cricket Council (ICC) meeting, threatened to pull out of any tour where the DRS is made mandatory are quite believable.
That the ICC has made a complete mess of implementing the process around the technology of Decision Review System (DRS) is a view shared by many, but the absolute stonewalling that the BCCI has been doing regards the DRS is a massive opportunity lost for the game.
The Indian board is in a position where they can pretty much propose any implementation of adopting the technology and the process behind the DRS and they can get the votes needed to change the existing process. There are many intelligent voices across the globe that the BCCI can propose a system which is better and agreeable to all.
If the BCCI is not being constructive in its opposition to the current system is disappointing, then their absolute insistence that the underlying technology be foolproof is infuriating.
Bats are not foolproof, they can break. So does the seam come off before 80 overs. Both, I presume, are manufactured using some machinery. No one from the BCCI insists that bats and balls be hand-made, so why this insistence on 100% human arrived decisions for snicks and lbws?
The only time I have sensed any passion with BCCI personnel, including the president N Srinivasan, is when they talk finances. They may use its-less-than-perfect-
They are simply using chinks in the technology to their advantage.
If and when the DRS cost is diverted away from the boards or their costs are included in new contracts with sponsors and broadcasters, BCCI's stubbornness will melt away.
And we will be left with the same dumb process of referrals and referral limits and the umpire will pretty much become redundant.
The BCCI can use its influence to give us a better system. A system where the umpire is given all the information he needs to make a right decision the first time. The DRS should not be a tool to measure how good the on-field umpire is, it should be a tool to allow the on-field umpire to make a decision informed by technology.
If the existing system is dumb, BCCI's stonewalling of it is even dumber. An opportunity lost.
(Golandaaz is a blogger @Opinions on Cricket and likes to see the humorous side of the game. He often sketches cricketers in black and white. You can follow Golandaaz his blog on Twitter @oponcrFacebook/Opinions on Cricket)
First Published: February 9, 2013, 11:13 am