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Bring on the replays, say World Cup fans

India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and the Board of Control for Cricket in India might not be too happy with the Decision Review System (DRS), but crowds at the World Cup seem to have whole-heartedly embraced the slow-motion replays displayed inside the stadiums. Nilankur Das reports.

cricket Updated: Mar 04, 2011 00:14 IST
Nilankur Das

India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and the Board of Control for Cricket in India might not be too happy with the Decision Review System (DRS), but crowds at the World Cup seem to have whole-heartedly embraced the slow-motion replays displayed inside the stadiums.

The fans at Bangalore and Mirpur in particular sportingly accepted two crucial DRS verdicts that went against the home teams. Football officials are reluctant to show TV replays in the stadium fearing crowd reaction. Similarly, venues in India have in the past refrained from showing even television replays of leg-before appeals in the giant screen fearing crowd backlash.

FRIENDLY FANS
“The crowds in both Mirpur and Bangalore have shown that they are as knowledgeable as they have been in the rest of the world. They have sportingly accepted the decisions and that is definitely “ very good sign for the game,” Colin Gibson, International Cricket Council’s head of media and communications, told HT from Colombo.
In two matches, between India and England in Bangalore, and between Bangladesh and Ireland, there were instances when the on-field umpires’ decisions on leg before appeals were reviewed. Umpires Aleem Dar in Mirpur and Billy Bowden in Bangalore stood by their decisions even after the reviews showed that all three criteria (a legitimate delivery, no inside edge, and ball pitching in line and going on to hit the stumps) were met.

COOL CROWDS
On both occasions, the home supporters had cheered after the displays on the giant screens appeared to favour the hosts, but eventually accepted the decision of the umpires. At least in the case of Ian Bell, who went on to play a important innings, the decision proved crucial.

The ICC have continued to display the entire DRS process on giant screens inside stadiums at the World Cup matches, just like they are during series in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and England.
If things go well, it could encourage the Indian associations to show all the replays on the giant screen. It would make watching cricket from the stands so much better.

But BCCI in particular have been reluctant in allowing TV replays inside venues due to past crowd trouble.