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ICC takes U-turn, DRS not mandatory

Dubai: In what came as a shot in the arm for the BCCI, the ICC today reversed its earlier decision of making the controverial Decision Review System(DRS) mandatory by leaving its use subject to bilateral agreements between the participating boards.

The ICC decision, reached at its Executive Board meeting here, was a reversal from the agreement reached between the world body and its member Boards at the annual conference in Hong Kong, when Hot Spot was made mandatory subject to its availability though the use of ball-tracking was left to the playing boards to decide.

The ICC said that it will revert to its previous pre-June position to allow the participating nations to decide bilaterally whether they wished to use the DRS or not. It is a major boost for the BCCI which was opposed to DRS as it felt the technology was not reliable enough. "Following recent experiences and the resultant concern about the effectiveness of Hotspot, the ICC Executive Board decided to revert to its previous position to allow the participating nations to decide bi-laterally whether they wished to use the DRS," an ICC release said after the fourth and final Executive Board meeting here.

"The ICC Executive Board however, supported the use of technology and its continued development and were encouraged by certain Members who were willing to use and work towards improving the technology," it said. ICC Chief Executive Officer Haroon Lorgat conceded that the reliability of the DRS was being questioned at certain quarters. "Although the DRS improves correct umpire decisions by around five per cent and corrects any blatant errors, there are some who are not convinced by its reliability. We will continue to work with interested parties to improve the system while permitting the participating teams to decide whether they wish to use it or not," Lorgat said.

The Executive Board, however, confirmed that DRS would be used in all ICC global events. The ICC, in its last meeting in Hong Kong, had made DRS mandatory though it had allowed the India-England full series in July-August to be played without the ball-tracking technology.

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