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Boycott asks world cricket to unite against India on UDRS

Former England captain Geoffrey Boycott feels it is time that all countries supported the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) for its use in Tests and did not hesitate in outvoting the powerful Indian cricket board, which has been opposing the review system.

cricket Updated: Jun 23, 2011 20:49 IST

Former England captain Geoffrey Boycott feels it is time that all countries supported the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) for its use in Tests and did not hesitate in outvoting the powerful Indian cricket board, which has been opposing the review system.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has been against the use of UDRS since its inception, saying it is not reliable. The controversial issue is likely to be settled through voting during the International Cricket Council (ICC) Annual Conference in Hong Kong later this month.

Boycott, acknowledging the clout of BCCI in the cricketing world, said all countries which want to vote in favour of the UDRS must not be intimidated by the BCCI.

"If a majority of the ICC countries believe that the UDRS is a good improvement for international cricket, they should vote for it and say, 'Sorry India, you are in a minority'. It's supposed to be a democracy around the world, where the majority takes precedence," Boycott was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo Thursday.

"But there is fear to offend, and some countries are totally afraid to offend India. The sooner they get around to it and say, 'No. Since a majority of us believe it is good, we are going to do it', the better. Simple as that. India won't like it, but you can't be run by one country."

The ICC cricket committee met in May and recommended the implementation of UDRS in Tests and One-day Internationals but with a limit of one failed review instead of two.

Boycott said the countries favouring the technology are in a majority but to get a positive decision in the meeting will not be easy.

"Many countries that play cricket are frightened to death of India's financial power. You have got to understand that before you get to voting on anything at the ICC."

Boycott gave his reasons for other countries not wanting to offend India.

"When you play international cricket, every country has its own television rights with its home broadcaster. When India come, you have got a number of TV stations queuing up in India to get the rights to beam the coverage in India and they pay a lot of money for that. Other countries don't have the same financial buying power.

"So nobody wants to offend India. Nobody wants to create a situation where they say, 'We are not going to tour'. I am not saying India say that, and I am not saying India are putting the pressure on and blackmailing; they don't. But, underneath, these countries are frightened to speak up."

Boycott reckoned that Indian should not follow the example of England and Australia, the financially strong countries of earlier times.

"If you believe it was wrong earlier and there are some people like my friend Sunil Gavaskar. He says that England and Australia ran the Imperial Cricket Conference, when it was called that, and he is right. They used to have two votes each, the other countries had one. That wasn't fair and it wasn't right. Now everybody has one vote.

"If it wasn't right back then, two wrongs don't make a right. It is about time the other countries stood up and said, 'We are going to have the UDRS because it is made more accurate decisions for cricket and it is all players ever want'," he said.