Softening its stand against use of the controversial umpiring Decision Review System (DRS), the Indian cricket board on Monday agreed to mandatory use of DRS technologies in a modified version in all international matches.
The decision was taken at the ongoing International Cricket Council (ICC) annual conference in Hong Kong.
The modified version, unanimously approved by the ICC’s chief executives’ committee (CEC), would have the Hot-Spot technology, which uses thermal imaging, to check close catches and edges but not the Hawk Eye ball-tracker, which means that LBW decisions would not be within the purview of the DRS.
The mandatory terms and conditions for the DRS that have been recommended by the CEC to the executive board for approval on Tuesday will now consist of the use of thermal imaging and sound technology. It has been agreed to remove the ball tracker from the ICC’s original compulsory list of DRS technologies.
"The BCCI is agreeable to the use of technology in decision-making, which will include infra-red cameras and audio-tracking devices. However, the current ball-tracking technology is not acceptable to the board,” BCCI secretary and president-elect N Srinivasan said in a statement.
“The BCCI has always expressed its willingness to embrace technology for the betterment of the game. However, the current ball-tracking technology, on which the DRS system is based, is not acceptable to the board. This position has not changed," the statement said.
For the first time since 2008, the DRS will be in use in a bilateral series involving India when it tours England starting next month.
Indian cricketers, who toured Sri Lanka in 2008, will vividly remember the image of Mahela Jayawardene animatedly making the 'T' sign, calling for the referral of the on-field umpires' decision to the TV umpire.
That was the first time they had a taste of the DRS (then UDRS), and every time the Sri Lankan skipper sought a review of a leg-before decision, the Indian batsmen's faces would go pale with fear.
Backed by the referral system, Muralitharan and Ajantha Mendis wreaked havoc on the Indians and led the 2-1 rout. Tendulkar, Ganguly, Dravid and Laxman - were reduced to nervous wrecks. Of the 12 reviews that were successful during that series, 11 were referred by Sri Lanka and one by India.