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Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Limited DRS has teams fretting; BCCI says full version too expensive

The DRS technology in place for the Ranji Trophy doesn’t have ball-tracker, snickometer, and hotspot. This has already thrown up problems in the final.

Written by Devendra Pandey | Rajkot |
Updated: March 12, 2020 8:40:27 am
Abhimanyu Easwaran walks back after failing to overturn his lbw decision in the Ranji Trophy final (Twitter/CABCricket)

The Indian cricket board, the richest in the world, chose to go with a sub-par limited use of Decision Review System (DRS) in the Ranji Trophy final because the full system was too expensive, it is learnt. The technology in use doesn’t have ball-tracker, snickometer, and hotspot. The absence of snickometer/hot spot affected the detection of edges and the lack of ball-tracker affected the lbw decisions.

Only the pitch map and stump mic are in use in the semi-finals and the final of Ranji Trophy. Since the cost of other tools were high, the Committee of Administrators (COA) last year had given permission to use of limited DRS. Saba Karim, the general manager cricket operations for BCCI, stated that intention of BCCI behind limited DRS was to eliminate howlers and assess umpires. He pointed out that teams were given four reviews per innings (two more than usual). “We have limited DRS that is why we allowed four reviews. All this is explained to both the teams before the game is started. It will help players and umpires to get right decision. The positive sign is that players have started to understand how to use it,” Karim told The Indian Express.

The decision has already thrown up problems in the final. On Wednesday, Bengal captain Abhimanyu Easwaran went for the DRS to try reverse the lbw decision given by the on-field umpireYeshwant Barde. While the replays suggested the ball might have missed the leg stump, the absence of the ball-tracker made the third umpire S Ravi to stick with the original decision.

Apart from the cost to use ball-tracking and hotspot, it also requires more operators and some equipment has to be hired from abroad. Since all the Ranji games weren’t telecasted, the BCCI opted for the sub-par route. The absence of technology meant teams weren’t satisfied with the decisions made. In the final session, Saurashtra’s prolonged appeal for a lbw decision against the Sudip Chatterjee was upheld by the on-field umpire but the batsmen was confident that he had got an inside edge and successfully overturned it through the DRS process. The third umpire arrived at the decision through split-screen replays and visual perception of deviation. Some in Saurashtra camp felt the evidence wasn’t conclusive; Bengal were confident that the right decision was arrived at.

On the first day, Saurashtra’s Chetan Sakariya was ruled not out after a caught-behind appeal. When Bengal went for DRS, the TV umpire C Shamshuddin reversed the decision, going by the sound he heard on stump mic. But the woody sound doesn’t crank up always and things could heat up for the remainder of the final.

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