Ending its long-standing opposition to the Decision Review System (DRS), the BCCI on Friday agreed to its usage on a trial basis during India’s home Test series against England starting next month.
“The Board of Control for Cricket in India will deploy the Decision Review System, in toto, in the forthcoming series between India and England starting from the 9th of Nov 2016, on a trial basis to evaluate the improvements made to the system, over a period of time,” the Board said in a statement.
The BCCI and India’s limited-overs skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni have long opposed the system. But the Board’s stance has softened after Test captain Virat Kohli and coach Anil Kumble expressed their openness to experiment with the technology.
Kumble, who heads the ICC Cricket Committee, visited the MIT Laboratory last year to assess the upgraded research on ball tracking technology and the contentious Hot Spot, which had been called unreliable by the BCCI in the past.
India last played a Test series with DRS in use was way back in 2008 when they played an away series against Sri Lanka.
The Board said in a recent meeting with the ICC and the Hawkeye officials, the improvements made to the system were further evaluated by the BCCI team.
The Board said that it was “satisfied” that most of the concerns and suggestions that were expressed by it over a period of time, were “addressed to a significant extent”.
The significant changes, which have been effected, include the introduction of ultramotion cameras which will address issues with regard to calculating the predictive path which allows the ball tracking, to be more accurate.
Another change was manual intervention to set the impact point has been controlled by the introduction of the ‘Ultra edge’, which has been approved by MIT and will help in determining the frame of impact.
“Ultraedge also ensures that post impact, balls do not affect the predicted path or impact point and hence the accuracy has been improved,” the BCCI stated.
“Earlier, there was a possibility that the operator would have missed a delivery and hence a LBW appeal could have been missed. Now, Hawkeye has developed the technology to record and save all images so that in case an operator fails to arm the tracking system, the images can be rewound and replayed.”
The Board said additional cameras have been installed so that there is “redundancy and also provide 100 per cent reliable spin vision for DRS”.
BCCI president Anurag Thakur, who was present throughout the presentation, said the use of DRS post the England series will depend on the feedback given by all the stakeholders including the players and coaching staff.
“We are happy to note that Hawkeye has institutionalised all the recommendations made by BCCI, and we confirm that this improved version of DRS will be used on a trial basis during the forthcoming series against England,” Thakur said.
“Based on the performance of the system (in England series) and the feedback that we will receive, further continuation in forthcoming series will be decided,” he added.
Secretary Ajay Shirke was also in favour of the use of technology in the sport.
” With MIT endorsing the enhancements made in the system on the basis of recommendations made by the BCCI, we are convinced that such technology should be utilised in supporting correct decision making. While recognising that improvements in technology are ongoing, BCCI will continue to include any and all such path breaking interventions, to further the cause of the sport,” he said.