You decide © Getty Images
You decide… © Getty Images

The Decision Review System (DRS) has been accepted across the cricketing world with mixed reactions. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have been the most vocal force against the use of DRS as they claim that it is not “100 per cent accurate.” There have been many instances in cricket that makes a cricket fan more confused than enlightened. Pramod Ananth explains why BCCI’s stand on DRS is justified.

Cricket fans have always wanted a fair game of cricket, wherein all the decisions of the on-field umpire would be accurate. Umpires have made many blunders in the past, some of which have gone undetected as there was no tried and tested technology to make use of. The most obvious example of this is Steve Bucknor and Mark Benson’s blunders, one after the other, in the infamous Sydney Test between India and Australia in 2008. The match and its ramifications could have been avoided if there was a dependable technology in place. While DRS can be used to avoid howlers like the ones in that particular Test, it is not always a safe bet to use DRS for close LBW calls. With the availability of Snickometer and Hot Spot to detect edges in case of catches (also in case of LBW appeals, in case of an inside edge), the main problem lies in getting the LBW decisions spot on. READ: Is India finally ready to embrace DRS?

India have a strong case as to why they have refused to use DRS. The Ian Bell incident in ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 is an example of why India is anti-DRS. Bell was declared not out by the on-field umpire, India took the review, and it was found that the ball was crashing into the wickets. But since the ball struck Bell 2.5 metres from the stumps, he was given not out. India were stunned, and even Bell seem to be walking after India challenged the decision. He too admitted after the match that he did not know about any such 2.5 metre rule.

For a person to be adjudged out LBW, the impact has to be on the stump, should not touch any part of the bat or gloves before it hits the pads, and pitch on or outside off stump. Basically, if your pad or any part of the body is between the wickets when the ball hits you, when you are in line of the stumps, you are out. But the DRS has a new side to it. The ball apparently has to hit at least 50 per cent of the wicket for it to be out. READ: BCCI maintains opposition of Decision Review System

The below video should give you a clear idea.

Here you can see Tharanga Paranavitana is clearly out as the ball is crashing into the middle and leg stump. The ball is pitching on middle and off, straightening and the impact too is in line with the stumps. The only thing that could have saved him is the height. However, the ball is hitting good part of the stumps, yet the umpire’s decision was not overturned and Trent Copeland was denied his wicket. The ball perhaps hit the wickets just under the 50 per cent mark. READ: Should there be room for human errors by umpires?

The question is, shouldn’t it be enough that it is hitting a substantial part of the wickets? Why have these complicated rules? Why not stick to the traditional LBW rule? Over the years many have argued that cricket has become more of a batsman-friendly game, with very few advantages for bowlers. The 2.5 metre rule or the 50 percent rule further adds to their misery, and should be done away with.

The BCCI in the recent past have shown no signs of backing down from their current anti-DRS stand. Without any foolproof evidence that the technology is 100 per cent accurate, they have no reason to do so either.

(Pramod Ananth is a reporter at CricketCountry. He has represented Karnataka table tennis under-15, and is a hardcore supporter of Liverpool FC. His Twitter handle is @pramz)