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DRS unlikely in Ranji Trophy 2019/20 despite conclave calls

As the standard of the umpiring in domestic cricket continued to hog the limelight at the conclave, few captains had called on the BCCI to include DRS.

Published: 18th May 2019 11:45 PM  |   Last Updated: 19th May 2019 11:29 AM   |  A+A-

Tamil Nadu batsman Washington sundar hits a shot during the Ranji trophy match against Tripura at Chepauk in Chennai.|Express/D Sampath Kumar

Tamil Nadu batsman Washington sundar hits a shot during the Ranji trophy match against Tripura at Chepauk in Chennai. | (File | EPS)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Even as calls were made at the BCCI conclave in Mumbai on Friday to include the use of Decision Review System in the upcoming Ranji Trophy season, the costs involved mean it is unlikely to happen.

Instead, the BCCI is likely to review the allotment of umpires in the coming season to ensure there is at least one experienced official at a Ranji game and if need be, field two seasoned ones for matches involving big teams. 

As the standard of the umpiring in domestic cricket continued to hog the limelight at the conclave, few captains had called on the BCCI to include DRS. While the BCCI shot down the idea as it is impossible to have all the matches equipped with Hawkeye and UltraEdge, it floated a proposal to have one for all televised matches.

However, the randomness in choosing televised matches proved to be a major roadblock as at times, one team has got multiple televised matches in the league stages. Hence, the BCCI has asked the teams to explore the idea of including DRS for all knockout games. 

Last season, while one of the knockout matches were televised, the host broadcaster chose to allot air space on its digital platform Hotstar. But even here, not all the quarterfinals were not telecast. Moreover, the BCCI is also likely to hold talks with the broadcaster to see if it can manage to include DRS in each of these matches even if it isn’t televised, with the board completely bearing the costs involved.

“The chances of all the quarterfinals being telecast is very remote. Even if it’s only live on air digitally, we need to have all the equipment needed for DRS to be in place. It costs a lot and in terms of return, there is little for the broadcaster, which means the BCCI has to bear the entire expense. It has to be approved by the general body too, so the chances of using DRS is far-fetched at the moment,” a board official who was part of the conclave told this daily. 

With most of the captains also raising the issue of two inexperienced umpires taking the field in crucial Ranji fixtures, the BCCI is also set to review the allocation of umpires. Last season, a private firm was involved in the allotment of umpires.

They used a computerised method which only picked the neutrals. This resulted in two inexperienced umpires officiating in few of the matches in Elite league.

“This is something BCCI will look to avoid and be more careful about who officiates which fixture. Last season, because there was a huge jump in the number of matches played, there were some glitches. We have 115 umpires, out of which only 45 officiate in Elite League matches. Based on the valuation, if somebody had performed well in Plate League and age-group, they may be promoted,” the official added.



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