India ended its long-standing opposition on Friday to cricket’s Decision Review System (DRS), announcing it would be included on a trial basis in next month’s Test series against England.
The Indian cricket board’s president Anurag Thakur said that its major concerns had been addressed by upgrades to the system which has been used by other Test-playing countries for the best part of a decade.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will deploy the DRS “in toto in the forthcoming series between India and England... on a trial basis to evaluate the improvements made to the system over a period of time,” Thakur said in a statement.
“We recognise the enhanced role of technology in sport and BCCI will lead such initiatives in coming days, and enrich the viewer experience.”
According to the BCCI, the significant changes to the system include the introduction of high-speed ultramotion cameras for predicting the path of the ball and Ultra Edge, which will help in determining the frame of impact.
India, which accounts for the lion’s share of global cricket revenues, has been suspicious of the DRS since making a number of unsuccessful referrals during the 2008 Test series with Sri Lanka, when the technology was on trial.
The DRS uses ball-tracking, high-audio technology known as snicko and ‘hotspot’ thermal imaging to verify umpires’ decisions.
It was made optional, rather than compulsory, at India’s insistence but most other cricketing nations including England and Australia have supported the system.
While the review system applies during ICC tournaments such as the one-day World Cup, for bilateral series it is a matter of agreement between the two teams.
It is no secret that Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar had his reservations against the DRS while current limited-overs skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has also opposed it, saying technology should be used only if it was 100% accurate. But the Board’s stance has softened after Test captain Virat Kohli and coach Anil Kumble expressed their openness to experiment with the technology.
The first Test between India and England will be played in Rajkot from November 9-13.
(With inputs from PTI)