Mumbai: Sep 6, 2013
Former India all-rounder Ravi Shastri on Friday reiterated his stance against the controversial Decision Review System (DRS), saying that it has taken the confidence out of the umpire.
Asked if the Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) was vindicated in their opposition of the technology, which came under criticism during the recently concluded Ashes series, Shastri replied in the affirmative.
“What I said three years ago, I stand by even today,” said Shastri, at the Dilip Sardesai Memorial Lecture, held at the Bombay Gymkhana on Friday.
“We are not against technology, but we want it to improve and take it on board. It’s taken the confidence out of the umpire. The more tech you use, you’re screwing up with the mind of the umpire.”
Questioning the lack of accuracy of the technology, Shastri asked why the technology was “being pushed down the throat” after it “has failed so often”. Shastri added that the decision to use the technology should be taken away from the players. “Don’t question the umpire’s decision. Let’s focus on how you can take the howler out of the game,” he said, referring to the Stuart Broad walking controversy.
Switching the focus to under-fire BCCI President N Srinivasan, Shastri backed him, saying that he was a “terrific” administrator. “He has come under a lot of heat in recent times but he is a genuine, genuine cricket lover,” he said.
Asked if Srinivasan should resign after his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan got embroiled in the IPL spot-fixing controversy, Shastri said, “If I was in the position of BCCI president, or as a captain of a cricket team with three players involved in spot-fixing, there was no freaking way I would have resigned. That would have been the easiest way out. The school I come from, you take the responsibility and bring the house in order.”
Shastri also backed the board, which he said “has been a punching bag for all and sundry.” He asked for detractors to compare where Indian cricket is compared to other sports in India, where associations are “at loggerheads with each other.”
He also asked current and former players to respect the BCCI, which “gives you the platform to play on all levels. You’ve always got to remember where you came from. If they hadn’t given you the first stepping stone, as a cricketer you wouldn’t have been where you are.” Shastri ended the topic by saying that Indian cricket is in safe hands. “If you look at the last 10 years, the Indian team has always been in the top three. As an Indian you should be proud,” he said.