UDRS is no issue in West Indies

Unlike the England Cricket Board which is singing the tune and players providing the chorus that the India-England series should include the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS), there’s no such music playing in the West Indies. That is because of the BCCI that holds the remote control to the system.

Here, there’s a different tune being played – that the West Indies Cricket Board will not consider the use of UDRS at any point during this series, including the Tests.

While this decision was made before the series began, some very flawed umpiring in the one-day series till now has also not changed the mind of the administrators in either country. Players from both sides have been victims of some horrible decisions and umpires Peter Nero from Trinidad and Norman Malcolm from Jamaica have been responsible for a few of those.

“The worrying bit is that is been no consistency in the errors either,” says King, a historian who contributed to the movie ‘Fire in Babylon’.

While the mistakes will be forgotten, the point is nobody’s asking the West Indies Cricket Board or the players here if they feel a UDRS should be in place at least for a Test series. The scenario is very unlike England where off-spinner Graeme Swann has no qualms standing up and speaking for his team if he believes that UDRS should be included.

The BCCI, on its part, has been maintaining all along that they won’t be supporting the use of this technology because senior Indian cricketers are not convinced about its use. Further, as senior board officials see it, “who will bear the cost of the system which comes at nothing less than $55,000 per match-day.”

What is certainly clear is that as long as the International Cricket Council decides to leave this decision to the boards, a solution to whether UDRS should be used or not will never be achieved. To expect the broadcasters to pay for the system is ridiculous, feel those who’ve been in the business of cricket and the day is not far when the ICC will have to take a more responsible decision than buckling down to pressure from member boards.

While this cat and mouse game takes place, it is the growing debate between players that is adding to the confusion. And it is sad to note that players from weaker nations (read: financially) do not even get to stand up and speak their mind on the issue unlike a Tendulkar or a Dhoni.

Let’s accept it. When did we last hear Tillakaratne Dilshan or Elton Chigumbura or Shakib-al Hasan or Darren Sammy on quote firmly saying they either want the system or don’t. The ICC has to keep in mind that whether a certain technology is introduced or ignored, the decision cannot be made just from the point of view of the financially privileged.

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