ONE-UPMANSHIP AT CRICKET
Posted on September 9th, 2015

BY GOMIN DAYASRI

India’s refusal to take DRS [Decision Review System] on board is just not cricket. Call it adulterated cricket.

ICC has a queer boardroom. If respected journalist Scyld Berry’s [Telegraph-UK] description of the last CEO’s meeting in Singapore, is credible – is ICC Indo-centric after suffering from a bout of Anglo Australian hangovers where the two countries formed a regal club over their former colonies to hold a veto power till 1996: stunted the growth of the game. India never attempted to democratize cricket instead joined the big boys to make it a triumvirate. Cricket administrators are like politicians: currency takes precedent over cricket. If Australia and England played duopoly, India upended playing monopoly without a partner.

Scyld Berry moans: “Before the afternoon, all the chief executives except India’s were in favor of the new umpires Decision Review System (DRS) for all international matches. After the tea break, the chief executives … voted to give … India-the veto power”. What happened over tea and cucumber sandwiches is a story untold? Let’s open the landscape.

Every test playing nation [9 in number] excluding India – make calls for DRS inspection, where errors made by umpires are subject to an appeal that is tested by a verified scrutiny. That rule is presently in operation where all Test playing nations compete at multi-polar contests – India included [World Cup 20/50 & Champions Trophy]. When India plays against another at an international fixture under a bi-lateral arrangement [Test match or 50/20 internationals] it is the Indian Board of Control for Cricket [BCCI] that calls the shots, which leads to double standards with DRS extracted.

If India opts out of the World Cup on refusing DRS, it would have to twiddle its thumbs away from the boundary ropes while other nations hog the limelight in the center pitch.  India relents and participates: prudently without getting pick-pocketed. Otherwise in India, occult would be in business, media channels would turn chatter- box, suicide rate will increase, public premises would be gutted and premiums paid to insurance companies to protect homes of administrators.

As much, no nation will dare refuse to play India – just because India refuses to adopt DRS, the prime consideration takes precedent: filthy lucre fills the coffers of the host nation – when India enters the field. ICC, if it’s writ runs, should lay down the rule of uniformity, as it does in other cricketing matters. ICC is lax: eyeing the treasury.

In DRS, the umpire’s decision made at ground level is rightfully upheld unless it is palpably bad. A ruling by an umpire in a controversial leg before wicket decision (lbw) is revised, when the prime pointers are against his decision. That’s a tough hurdle to overcome but is frequently overturned to reveal the extent of the fault element is in the making of decisions by umpires. Mind you its two unsuccessful appeals per 80 overs, giving umpires a comfort zone to reign supreme. If there is a slightest element of doubt, the decision stays with the umpire. An umpire is always right, is a myth that existed before cricket came under the sway of television and technology to make them almost infallible. There lived one Don Bradman, in the days of faulty decisions; if DRS were available his average will rise further than the late nineties where it finally rested on retirement.

It appears India prefers faulty umpiring carrying the warts of human error to tested impassionate technological advancements that are degrees more reliable. Array in the armory of the DRS are Hawk Eye/Virtual Eye, Hot Spot. Snicko’ Meter, Freeze Pic, Slow Motion, Frame to Frame pics and Tracking Devices yet India prefers the sight and sound of one man upfront and of another in the square counting marbles. They doubt the veracity of the tracking device, because of pitch condition, forgetting other support instruments.

Why more reliable? Records reveal umpires make more judgmental errors than the technical know-how in usage. Does India prefer a determination made in a split second by an umpire, who can, due to a momentary lapse be subject to an human error as against a decision after observing several re runs of a camera in slow motion with the required freezes with the help of tracking devices observed from several angles by a third umpire.  If so, there is more to it and India does so intentionally to include the possibility of an error in umpiring determinations. Forget sportsmanship and let’s take a step further to the target area – Cricket India wants to play the game in the spirit where error remains without minimizing its possibilities. Deep within, India knows but is too guilty to admit, error is to its advantage. Greed to Win takes over. Like the rest of the cricket administration, umpires too are vulnerable.

If the call is advantageous to India, what lies beyond? Presumption is – more of incorrect decisions, incapable of rectification, is to the advantage of the party declining to take on DRS. Undoubtedly technology is not perfect – that is India’s grievance and carries an element of truth. India had its share of hard decisions with DRS in operation (as much as others) but had more in its favor after DRS was omitted (more than others). Is there an iota of evidence that umpires’ decisions are more accurate than DRS? Umpires being human do make genuine human errors. Hopefully not contrived errors; India knows it and wants it either way. When ICCs’ top administrators bow in obedience to India, what makes a richly paid umpire per match not to make a call in favor when it’s a decision too close to call – takes cover under the rule when in doubt do nothing. Revert back to the Sycld Berry point where officialdom sipped tea and nibbled cucumber sandwiches in Singapore: collectively varied decision to fall in line with India under command or for comfort?

In other sports too, technological assistance is sought and adhered to and participating India raises no objection since the erratic Indian rupee carries no clout in those orbits. If an umpire fouls a decision the Indian press howls at umpires, more so, if the loss is to India. Otherwise it is glossed over. It happened in Galle a few weeks ago when India lost a test where errors counted. No choice-India has to accept it, in months or years to come, if that is their selected choice after hard talk and iron fist. It happened to Sri Lanka too when it lost a test to India. That received a feint squeak from the Indian media. Sri Lanka, like the rest of the world of cricket goes back to the DRS understanding the vagaries of cricket. Howlers cannot be erased. Give it to India, if they can, will take the best of both worlds.

Cricket, a great social leveler in India, percolates across social barriers to capture 80% of the worldwide viewers (live/television) and brings corresponding revenues to ICC: makes ICC a grumpy dwarf to India’s disfigured Snow White. India rules the waves from the Indian Ocean and the ICC waive the rules, bending to the Indian monetary juggernaut.

Judge of every court of law except the Supreme Court is subject to a check by a higher court by way of an appeal or revision: for the sake of maintaining the purity of a decision. Remember in cricket the decision is instantaneous and needs prompt rectification if it to be meaningful. If a judgment of the Supreme Court is mistakenly made it could be overturned and replaced by a rectified restitution process.   It is, so in Justice India: but not so, in Cricket India.

Is an umpire at cricket more sacrosanct than a judge: who is lesser paid for a better mind? A judge has to give reasons in writing for every decision made by him but an umpire merely chews gum, if inclined, after making the decision and look nonchalant. Importance is in purifying the purity of the decision – otherwise cricket can be handed over to gaming gentleman with a dice instead of a stump mike.

India lives on its cricketing public especially the diaspora abroad. They turn the turnstiles and for that the decision matters. Look, as India comes close to losing, crowds take to the exit. In India cricket is more than a mere sport –national pride requires a win manipulated or otherwise. India can kill cricket by overdoing it. More on India, ask any neighbor?

10 Responses to “ONE-UPMANSHIP AT CRICKET”

  1. Ratanapala Says:

    With much happening in and around Sri Lankan politics it is sad to see Gomin turned out to become a Cricket commentator. Perhaps he is trying to rival Nero, fiddling while the motherland is in flames!

  2. Lorenzo Says:

    Gomin is a GREAT PATRIOT no doubt.

    But I have the same concern as Ratanapala.

    Nowadays people don’t care what happens in cricket. World cup came and went, Pakistan came and went (and RACE RIOTS), Endia came and went. No one cares.

    The country is in flames thanks to the 13 amendment. Now NPC council directly demands INTERNATIONAL INVESTIGATIONS from the UN!! Passed GENOCIDE RESOLUTIONS against SL.

    SL will pay a VERY HEAVY PRICE for not scrapping the 13 amendment when we could.

  3. Independent Says:

    Agree with Gomin. India is like MR, expecting all to respect him and worship.

  4. Hiranthe Says:

    I too share the same thing as Lorenzo and Ratnapala.

    Gomin was behind many good things happened in the past in favour of Mother Lanka.

    If it is something to do with Mavan’s resignation as the coach is a different matter. We don’t want to hear stories about India.

  5. . Says:

    Gomin DAYASRI Says;
    “Thank you good people for the remarks made which amuses me and is nevertheless appreciated.

    My interest are multiple and i write on matters that I am reasonably knowledgable such as cricket,mountaineering and travel amongst law, politics and literature to many papers. i sent an article which I wrote to another paper that I thought might interest readers. Don’t worry I wont disturb you with such writings or for that matter any writing in these columns as i have better perception of the readers of Lanka Web presently.

    I have done my small contribution for Sri Lanka and will continue to do so. and will continue to supply papers with inputs of the little I know of subjects that interest me.

    I thank the editor,publisher and readers of Lanka Web as I bow out for sparing space and offering a hearing the three commentators especially Lorenso who is entertainingly readable.

    Little may you know I was testing reactions and have analysed results to reach the present conclusion which I expected. from some.Thank you once again for bearing with me.

    Gomin DAYASRI

  6. LANKAPUTHRA Says:

    Gomin, many disagree with your timing but I whole heartedly agree with you for this timely article. To get a better idea, one must read the Daily News articles submitted to Lanka web. Example is the West Indies Tour of SL. “West Indies are putting salt and Vinegar to the wound of SL cricket. Now who organized this tour? If I am right, it is MR’s sports minister. So a negative article. If it was organized by Sirisena President, then, a positive article. Gomin has given excellent view of how the Indo Centric ICC is and who controls as far as Sri Lanka is on the agenda. How Indian BCCI controls Cricket is clearly shown in Gomins article.

    Very many negative comments clearly shows that Anti Indian write-ups are not tolerated. No comments from Ananda-USA means that some one silenced him. Why because Factious Lorenzo group wants to keep the Mudson-McLean live. Yes cricket is the same as what is happening in the political scene. Today all the streets going to the parliament are blocked by RANIL PUNKS Private army, which is now referred as Special task Force. Why isn’t negative comment writers to Gomin’s article writing about it.

    I do not know who Ratnapala is but he certainly a anti MR person pretending to be a supporter of MR. Ratnepala, states, “Nero Fiddling while the mother land in flames”. There is no comparison, what you wanted do was to take the attention away from INDIA. Gomin is a great patriot so was his father Flex. I am sure his mother is as well. Now Lorenzo states that Gomin is a great Patriot there is no doubt about it. He has a concern and it is the 13th amendment. Now what about the 6th amendment?

    Harianthe states “We do not want to hear stories about INDIA” Now it very clear that INDIA pays good money get the focus away for what is happening in Colombo and why are the streets blocked at all entrances to the Parliament. Independent; Who got people to worship him? His private secretariat, with full of planted saboteurs. His meetings were arranged in Northern province for Tamils to come and cry. His meetings were arranged in Eastern province for Muslims to come and cry.

    Gomin, I have answered all the negative writers, so please do not give up. At lease there is one person who will want to read your insight. What CBK has ordered is to shut down all PRO MR web sites, and may be Lanka web is one of them? She said this at the news conference of NEW HUNDUSTAN TIMES, in New Delhi.

  7. samurai Says:

    For similar views drawing an analogy between the decision of a ground umpire and a judge in a court of law which is subject to review by a higher court see previous articles on this subject

    The field umpire’s immunity limits appeal rights
    http://www.island.lk/2003/03/21/sports08.html
    http://sriexpress.com/articles/item/476-authorship-of-the-udrs-evidence-in-the-london-times-may-2,-1997.html

  8. LANKAPUTHRA Says:

    Samurai, please give a little more description of your complain. All what Gomin has written is on rule book. If you don’t like the rule book say so. I can defend Gomin on any of the paragraphs he has written. Gomin has been on all sides of the government, so he can get a better understanding of the process required. Samurai, what you must understand is that RANIL PUNK said openly as soon after the election victory of Sirisena President: I do not need a Parliament to Rule Sri Lanka Similarly India does not want any other country to change the cricket rules because India can over write any decision by changing the rule book unilaterally. Samurai, can you understand? I doubt it. Nice side of Gomin is that he never reply my comments. (He knows who I am) Since I questioned him on his first article “Musical Chairs.”

  9. samurai Says:

    Lankaputhra, I am NOT complaining. I feel you have a tendency misunderstand things. I am only drawing attention to two articles NOT written by me. I gave the links so that it could generate a discussion. The subject here is cricket.

    As for politics I fully agree with you Gomin is a great patriot and almost always share his views on national issues. You need not educate me on Ranil since we all know who he is. He is the man who wanted to celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the arrival of Portuguese in Sri Lanka. Fortunately he was no longer Prime Minister by 2005.

  10. LANKAPUTHRA Says:

    samurai, Thank you for the reply

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