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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Sep 2014
Indian board just can't get no satisfaction
Pradeep Magazine, Hindustan Times
June 28, 2011
First Published: 00:35 IST(28/6/2011)
Last Updated: 00:38 IST(28/6/2011)

The Indian board giving pragmatism preference over cussedness on the Decision Review System (DRS) has to be partially welcomed. That it considers Hawk-eye (ball tracking technology) as imperfect and does not want it to be part of the DRS could well have a scientific basis, but not having the most contentious issue, the LBW, up for review, is embracing technology with blinkered eyes.

The debate whether technology is foolproof or not has its merits, but when players and teams cry foul at umpiring errors and scream murder, it seems logical that anything available to assist the umpires in correcting their errors should be made use of. Especially by a country which believes there is much bias in the umpiring world against them and even goes public with their protests on the evidence of the same technology which they decry.

It is this hypocrisy of the Indians, when on the one hand they refuse to accept Hawk-eye and yet lash out at the umpires if they feel a wrong decision has been given, that is upsetting. Does it behove someone who believes that Hawk-eye is imperfect and needs to be discarded, to still condemn an umpire because the ball tracker disagrees with that decision? Indian captain Dhoni did exactly that after winning the first Test and if reports emanating from the West Indies are to be believed, subtle hints were thrown at the scribes to write that by giving wrong decisions, the umpires want to force DRS on the Indians.

As someone who would rather go with all the errors that the "human eye" makes, than have too much intrusion of technology, which takes something away from the game, DRS may not be a life and death issue. But since the players can tolerate their own failures and mistakes but not that of a judge (fair enough), the use of technology (even if not 100 per cent fool-proof) is a logical progression.

Now that India has partially accepted its use with certain conditions, the India-England series at least will see elimination of howlers which umpires do make on an off day. But in the absence of the use of Hawk-eye for decision making, the LBW based on the line and trajectory of the ball goes out of the purview.

Well, no problem with that, if that is what the Indians are convinced of, but would they please keep their mouths shut if an lbw decision goes against them because the Hawk-eye says so. You can't have it both ways.


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