Time To End The Farce
Date: December 26, 2011 / Posted by control
It was only going to be a matter of time. And in the end, it has taken less than a day in this Border-Gavaskar duel between Australia and India to raise howls about the refusal of one of the combatants to allow the utilization of the DRS technology.
At a seemingly comfortable 3/205, the home side slumped in the blink of an eye to 5/214 before a crowd of 70,000 fans at the MCG. Two of those dismissals – Mike Hussey and Ed Cowan – would most likely have been overturned had the batsmen been allowed to ask for the third umpire to adjudicate their fate. But that option was not available to the two aggrieved left-handers as India had vetoed the use of technology in this series with the exception of linear referrals by the standing umpires.
For the ICC to allow one team to sit on an island far away from the other nine Test playing nations is farcical.
Several of India’s senior top-order batsmen are not fans of technology being used by those in the middle in a bid to have a decision overturned. They believe that the gadgets currently in use are not reliable. One of the main issues has been their lack of confidence in the Hot Spot technology. This summer in Australia, the cameras used to produce the infrared images produce many more frames per second than the older models that greatly enhance its accuracy.
But, in essence, even that argument is a relatively moot point.
It defies logic that one nation can veto the use of off-field technology. In the early days when it was deemed appropriate to use artificial light to enhance natural light it could only be switched on if both competing teams had agreed to its use prior to the start of the series. India was one of the countries at the forefront of refusing that initiative. On at least one tour of Australia it refused to agree to the use of lights when the home side was more than happy to do so. Crowds at several venues in that series loudly voiced their dismay when players left the field as the light towers that loomed overhead stood unemployed.
It didn’t take long for the ICC to step in and issue a mandate on their own letterhead that stated that the use of light towers was a non-negotiable. Nowadays, at any ground that has lights available, they are switched on under instructions from the field umpires. What used to be an area of the game that brought a divide is no longer an issue.
It is high time that the ICC invoked the same stance when it comes to the DRS. It may not be a perfect tool, but had it been in use today at the MCG, tempers would have been placated, and in Hussey’s instance, perhaps a career-saving innings may have ensued.
Currently, the ICC is working under some sort of half-pregnant logic. Surely, it is a matter of all in or all out, and when 90% of the Test-playing nations have given the DRS a tick it is time that the remaining 10% – India – is simply told that this is the way we will be operating in the future – PERIOD!
I feel sure, that if later in this Test, Tendulkar cops the raw end of the pineapple on the cusp of his history making century Indian fans will be up in arms about their team’s refusal to fall in line with everyone else.
It a perverse situation that at the ICC board table India has voted in favour of the DRS being used in international cricket, yet when it comes to them agreeing to it on the eve of a series in which they are competing they yell a resounding ‘NO’.
It is high time that they were told it’s time to fall in line for the game and the fans demand it.