During India v Pakistan today, Ishant Sharma bowled a ball that he, and the rest of his team, suspected had been edged behind by Pakistan’s top-scorer Asad Shafiq. When the umpire rejected the appeal, India captain MS Dhoni decided to review the umpire’s decision. A faint edge was detected, and the decision was overturned – Shafiq given out for 41.
It was at this point I realised how significant this moment was. Since the introduction of DRS in 2009, the BCCI have been firmly against the idea of the system being introduced worldwide. The ICC eventually made it mandatory in all matches, however, the BCCI’s threat to pull out of a 2011 tour to England because of the system forced the ICC to end this plan, and instead leave it up to both sides as to whether it was used. The ICC continued to make changes, attempting to improve the reliability of DRS, yet still unable to impress the BCCI.
This month, we are entertained by the Champions Trophy. An event in which the DRS is used in every match. Rather than throwing a hissy fit and threatening to pull out of the tournament, India got on with it. Now, they have used the system to reverse an incorrect decision by an umpire, and gaining a wicket.
This made me wonder as to where the BCCI will go from here. With the DRS having also helped India in the past, it seems clear to me that their claims that it is unreliable are unsubstantiated. Having gained wickets from the use of DRS, the BCCI should back down. However, knowing the arrogance of the BCCI, they probably won’t.
Cricket is moving forward with the use of technology. Many other sports use this kind of technology to improve the game and decisions within the game, and cricket is attempting to follow suit. The BCCI’s refusal to accept the system is frustrating for all involved with cricket, and is preventing the sport from improving. The BCCI need to realise this fact.