The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) under the CoA has decided to use the limited decision review system (DRS) in the knockout stages of the Ranji Trophy. The decision comes after poor umpiring in the previous edition of the domestic tournament that earned a lot of flak for the governing body.
Senior BCCI officials are reportedly unhappy with the decision as they fell that the main issue of lack of umpiring standards is being neglected instead of being addressed adequately. A BCCI official said that it has become the policy of the CoA to ensure that the image of the Board remains intact from the outside despite a shaky foundation, according to media reports.
"We are not surprised in the least. This is how things are done these days, in an ad-hoc manner that focuses more on perception than on substance. What is the intent here? Is the intent to ensure a mechanism to resolve bad decisions in the knockouts? What about the other 2010 odd games (BCCI hosted a total of 2017 games in the 2018-19 domestic season)? Who is taking the ownership of bad umpiring in those games? Where is the effort to improve the standard of umpiring? Classic eyewash this is," the official rued.
The decision to introduce the limited DRS in the domestic league comes after incidents of poor umpiring raised an uproar from the players in the previous year.
"Last year, in some of the knockout matches, there was some flak on umpires because there were some terrible howlers. So, we want to avoid all that and use whatever help we can get," GM Cricket Operations Saba Karim explained.
The functionary pointed out at the faulty selection of umpires and the neglecting the issue. "Questions are raised over the process of examination to recruit umpires. Why isn't that being looked into? A fair examination shouldn't be that big a problem. Then, there is an academy for umpires in Nagpur, who takes responsibility of the functioning of that academy? And how many umpires do we have in the international panel? S. Ravi was the last. So clearly, there is lack of ownership," the functionary said.
"After managing to scrape through domestic games, when they are handed duty during the Indian Premier League (IPL), they crumble under pressure. The idea to have Indian umpires in the IPL was to help them experience top-flight games and the pressure that comes with it. But here, they are getting exposed every second game as was seen in this year's matches. So, the same must also be happening in the domestic circuit. Just because it isn't televised, you don't see it," the functionary pointed speaking to a news agency.