India’s stand against the Decision Review System (DRS) is well known. It’s also an open secret that BCCI president N Srinivasan, who agreed to step aside on Sunday, was no fan of the system, which he and many of India’s top stars felt was not fully accurate.
However, with the all-powerful Board president having moved aside briefly, could we see a change of heart? It certainly seemed so on Saturday. In the post-match presser, Dinesh Karthik was asked if he was excited with the presence of DRS for the Champions Trophy. Just as he started answering, Karthik stammered, maybe realising the Board’s stance on the issue, and looked in the direction of media manager Dr RN Baba, seeking his permission. Given the go-ahead, he praised the technology. “I'm excited to use it because so far I’ve just seen it on TV. So yeah, I’m excited,” he said.
Could this signal a change in the Board’s stance towards DRS? Seems so, if you consider that coach Duncan Fletcher, who had clamoured for the use of DRS when coaching England, had a change of ideology when he became India coach. Many Aussie scribes labeled him a hypocrite when he ducked questions on DRS during the disastrous tour in 2011-12.
Is his name Ali?
India’s media manager Dr RN Baba is a genial man. He's 5’4 and has a wiry frame, but the defining characteristic is his bushy, chevron moustache. Owing to the nature of his work, he hasn’t endeared himself to the English scribes, what with his responsibility to turn down questions on the spot-fixing saga and unrest in the BCCI. He was also the subject of a piece of classic English wit. After the presser, an English journalist came up to yours truly, and on finding out that Baba is also CSK media manager, asked, “Is his first name Ali?” Rather hastily, one replied, “No, it’s Dr RN Baba.” At which point the sly wit dawned. Too late to act smart now, one thought, as the scribe had to spell it out. “You know, like Ali Baba and the forty thieves.”
Talk about being pronounced guilty by association!