In cricket, not all match results are equal. At times, factors other than team performance and talent, come into play. The result could be effected by umpires’ decisions, the unavailability of DRS, match bans passed on captains for slow over rate, etc.
As the ICC sits down to discuss once again whether to make the DRS mandatory for all series, the first test of the Pakistan – Sri Lanka series provides hard evidence of what the lack of DRS could do to a match. So many decisions going wrong and effecting the match result is one thing and could have been acceptable as human errors. But the fact that the next series might have the DRS and that DRS might revert wrong decisions, would create bias for one team or the other. Just imagine the aftermath this would have on the psychology of the players and the level of confidence it would give the players.
Somehow everybody at the ICC understands this – all except one, the cricket’s problem child is having a problem again. He says that since the bat belongs to him, he will do the bating (Pakistani joke). Every excuse in the book has been put forward. It all started when Virender Sehwag became the first player to be given out after the umpire’s decision was overturned by the DRS. In a three Test series, India were able to make only one successful review while Sri Lanka made eleven. Things haven’t been right since.
The accuracy of hotspot might require a little fine tuning but that does not mean that you have to do away with the whole concept of the DRS. If India feels that none of the technologies is acceptable, then at least the facility for the third umpire to watch replays and reverse decisions should be made available. The obvious errors like a clear nick could be corrected. What is wrong with that. Everybody wants better decision and fair play and if technology can provide you that, I fail to understand the reason behind resisting such an improvement to the game.
Obviously, in the present situation, no country can put pressure on India to change its mind. India is no Bangladesh. And Australia or England are not that powerful anymore. The balance of power has shifted and with it the fate of cricket. The only way out is to persuade India and convince them to join hands in the betterment of the game. Certainly some tweaking and fine tuning of the hotspot technology should also be carried out side by side.
Cricket is such a game that one bad decision at a crucial moment can change the fate of the whole game. Every possible step should be taken to improve correct decisions and eliminate any chances of error. I am hopeful that the ICC member nations would be able to collectively resolve the issue and come up with a workable solution. Until then the chances of 13 against 11 would continue to haunt the game of cricket.