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DRS or no, Pakistan aim to wrap up series

DRS or no, Pakistan aim to wrap up series

THE game of cricket today is not the same as it was a few decades ago. With changing times the game has evolved and have been subjected on a regular basis to new rules and regulations, more so because of the popularity of the limited over formats which now are unquestionably a favourite with the crowds and also bring plenty of funds.

The modern technology, such as now in use in decision-making, is now an integral part of the whole make-up of cricket. ICC’s endeavours to ensure that fair-play remain their top priority has no doubt helped the players and the umpires to run the game without much fuss.

Introduction of third country umpires initiated by Pakistan and later adopted by the controlling body of the game, the TV umpires, referees, snickometer, hot spot, Hawke-Eye technology, the Decision Review System (DRS) and the Duckworth-Lewis System for the rain marred games have all had their share of criticism but their benefits too are well-documented.

However, there is a lack of uniformity in adopting all that technology by respective teams because of certain constraints and lack of funds which is indeed a worrying aspect.

Some prefer not to have a snickometer, some leave the hot spot out because of expenses involved and that makes you think if the use of technology and its benefit is being fairly used. The case in point is a few lowly-placed countries who struggle to keep pace with the technologies in cricket for lack of finances.

And then there is India’s case which is the richest cricket board. It is supposed to be and has a clout for being an organization who generates more funds than any other country and yet they have their own reservations about use of certain technology despite efforts of the ICCand requests for use of gadgets to minimize controversies that raise their its head from time to time.

The system in question is the DRS which India used in only two series - in 2008 against Sri Lanka when the system was first introduced to world cricket, and in 2011 against England. Since then India have been refusing it for their series.

The inconsistency in the predictive path of the ball after delivery and impact in leg before decisions has been repeatedly questioned by the BCCI. But now, after a lot of deliberations with the experts and those who provide this technology, India has now accepted its use in their forthcoming home series against England, though only on experimental basis.

Happy with the upgrades in the system after ICC and BCCI had sittings with the Hawk-Eye people, the Indians seem convinced about improvements in ultra-motion cameras to judge the path of ball-tracking and the Ultra-Edge technology to judge the impact point in leg before decisions.

Pakistan, on the other hand, is one country which has accepted all the technology that is on offer to make the game controversy free. Mistakes at time do occur but there is no doubt in the fact that because what is available, both the home and visiting teams have their share of good and bad decisions, but not too many.

India like other countries would obviously realize in time to come that this will indeed benefit them in the end. I am sure there were times when India must have regretted their refusal of DRS as decisions went against them in matches.

In the Test ongoing series between Pakistan and the West Indies here in UAE, there is no snickometer or hot spot available, may be because of lack of funds, but DRS has surely eased up the pressure.

In Pakistan’s first innings of the second Test here during Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq’s partnership, there were time that DRS had to play its part and at times even decisions were reversed or retained which helped in the controversy being avoided.

The first two days of the match have seen a number of DRS requests and at times unwarranted to get a decision in favour. And at time it is quite annoying too.

Like Younis, Misbah too played a sensibly-paced innings. He was unfortunate to miss a century which was his for the taking but none the less very useful for Pakistan getting to a sizeable score once again.

Sarfraz Ahmed, the moment he walked in to bat, seemed to have a half century in his pocket. Such is his control and consistency in the late order that one can always bank on his contribution. He played a short and sweet innings, 56 off 59 balls, which was very handy for his team.

Shannon Gabriel’s first haul of five wickets in Tests was a just reward for keeping a good line. But over-stepping the line has been a problem with him and so far in the series he has bowled 20 no-balls.

At the end of the day, Pakistan appeared well in the comfort zone having picked four West Indies wickets for just over a hundred runs.

Published in Dawn October 23rd, 2016

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