Venkataraghavan supports BCCI's anti-DRS stand

Srinivas Venkataraghavan was the last ICC Elite Panel umpire from India Getty Images

Mumbai: Jun 18, 2011

Former ICC Elite Panel umpire, Srinivas Venkataraghavan on Saturday gave a big thumbs down to the controversial Decision Review System (DRS) and backed the Indian cricket board’s stand against its use.

“I am against the DRS. When you want technology you want to make sure that you don’t leave any ambiguity. It’s got to be one hundred per cent foolproof,” the former India captain told reporters.

“Whatever is the stand of the BCCI is also my stand,” he added.

Venkat, who led India in the first two World Cups, was incidentally the last ICC Elite Panel umpire from India and none of his compatriots has made it to the list since his retirement from umpiring duties.

Venkat, the director of the BCCI umpires sub-committee, pointed out the shortcomings of the DRS system using Hawkeye technology to track the ball’s trajectory once it pitches. It was used by the ICC during the last World Cup held in the sub-continent.

“You can see the fallout of the ball tracking technology in the recent World Cup. If you have seen the World Cup matches you would yourself know; I don’t have to say anything. You can see the percentage of the number of correct decisions (challenges) taken by the players,” he said.

The BCCI, which has opposed DRS since its very inception, has been facing flak from several countries for refusing to use the technology in Test matches. Recently English players such as James Anderson, Graeme Swann and Chris Tremlett criticised the Indian cricket board for rejecting it for next month’s Test series.

In fact, Swann went on to suggest that India was intimidated by the prospect of losing out on close calls due to DRS.

Indian cricketers in batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni are opposed to it in its current form, while Rahul Dravid and Virender Sehwag have, in the past, supported it.

Tendulkar recently stated that he was not against the system as such but would want it to be more consistent by incorporating Hot Spot and snickometer for close LBW and caught-behind decisions.

“I am not against DRS, but I feel it will be more effective with the support of the Snickometer and Hot Spot technology. This will give more consistent results,” he said.

Dhoni has repeatedly said he was not comfortable with a product that does not come with a life warranty.

However, neither Hot Spot nor the Snickometer, is part of the ICC’s list of minimum technology requirements for the DRS.

Seeking to put a lid on the controversy, the BCCI issued a statement today that it does not consider DRS reliable in its present form.

“The BCCI would like to reiterate that it does not accept the reliability of the ball-tracking technology, which is an integral part of the DRS. The BCCI’s position has been consistent,” the Indian Board said.