Agreement on DRS after Hot Spot is made mandatory

The ICC’s chief executives’ committee has unanimously agreed to make a modified version of the Decision Review System (DRS) mandatory in all Tests and one-day internationals. The mandatory terms and conditions for the DRS that have now been recommended to the Executive Board for approval on Tuesday will now consist of infra-red cameras and audio-tracking devices with the “ball-tracker” having been removed from the ICC’s original compulsory list of DRS technologies.

This means that India will, for the first time since 2008, be agreeable to using the DRS in a bilateral series when it tours England from July onwards.

However the DRS used in the England-India series will be without the aid of ball-tracking technology, which means line decisions for lbw appeals cannot be referred. For example, if the ball pitches outside leg stump and the batsman is given out lbw, the batsman can appeal against the verdict but the third umpire will not have the benefit of the ball-tracking technology to ascertain where the ball pitched. On the other hand, if a batsman is given out lbw and he thinks there is an inside-edge involved, the Hot Spot will resolve whether there was an edge or not.

While Hot Spot is the only infrared, thermal imaging camera available on cricket, audio tracking, an ICC official confirmed, referred to the high quality ‘clean and real time” replays from the stump microphones, not the Snicko.

The committee, which also approved the Cricket Committee’s recommendation to reduce the number of unsuccessful reviews in ODIs from two to one, decided that the continued use of the ball-tracking technology as a decision-making aid will depend on the bilateral arrangement between the participating teams. Further independent and expert research will be carried out into ball-tracking technology and its accuracy and reliability

A decision about how the cost of using the DRS technology would be divided will be taken later. Last week, BCCI vice-president Niranjan Shah had said that the cost of using the DRS was as high as $60,000 per match. According to the ICC, however, that figure is close to $5000 per day, with a maximum of $25,000 being spent on DRS per Test.

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