John Buchanan blames DRS for Kohli-Smith controversy


Former Australian coach John Buchanan has blamed the use of DRS technology for the current dispute between Indian and Australian camps over who has been looking to the player’s viewing area for a signal.

Speaking exclusively over his mobile from Australia on Thursday morning, he said, “the game administered by the ICC under the rules and regulations of the MCC has presumably considered all these issues and decided that it worth continuing and spending more money on perfecting the technology and imposing this onto all countries and broadcasters around the world”.

“By seeking to get 100% decision making accuracy, only from wicket to wicket, the game is constantly being dragged into disrepute rather than being enhanced”.

“We see the current dispute between Indian and Australian camps over who has been looking to the player’s viewing area for a signal. Such a dispute has arisen due to the tense competition with one side trying to gain some advantage over the other. Two batsmen in the centre of the wicket is glaringly obvious. When it a fielding DRS, what prevents any one of 11 persons on the ground being the designated person to get a signal and rush it to the captain? How do the umpires keep track of all players if that is their job?”, he asks.

Other sports embrace messaging of players onfield, such as baseball with 1st and 3rd base coaches signalling to their batters and runners; soccer coaches yelling instructions from the sidelines; football codes have trainers and runners onfield in and around their players; and with the evolution of new technologies such as google glass there will be the capacity for augmented reality where real time game is ‘on-screen’ , that is on the inside of glasses being worn by an athlete”.

“So, cricket be careful what you wish for with a system that is a paradox. On the one hand, encouraging players to be involved in the decision making process; yet on the other hand, not allowing them access to technology which will assist their decision. ICC has already banned contact between coaches and dressing rooms to players onfield after the innovative move between Bob Woolmer and Hanse Cronje”, he added.

“There were a number of instances in this last Test which I think shows that while technology might or might not work, it is creating game situations that are leading to the behaviours and actions we have seen from two young captains who are learning a lot about leadership and the weighty differences between being a leader and being a captain. This was the Kohli dismissal. Umpire Long gave it out. Kohli knew he had hit it, and signalled immediately. After almost 5 minutes of reviews where technology is supposed to enhance the game, the resultant decision was inconclusive, and as a consequence, the decision went back to where it should always be, on field”.

“Kohli while disappointed accepts then umpire’s decision and walks off. There is no time to labour over decision after decision”.

“I think this example is one of those contributing factors to the game not being enhanced by technology, but to the contrary – it fuels the tensions of the moment, between teams and ultimately between captains, coaches and now their respective associations CA and BCCI

Rather than everyone celebrating the contest, with the series on a knife edge, the game has been sucked into a whirlpool of darkness that will continue to pervade the series. A’ live for the day’ media and social media seize this opportunity to create sufficient controversy to keep pouring fuel onto a fire that is growing in intensity”, Buchanan added.

“Is this what the ICC and MCC wished for when they allowed DRS and the player appeal system to be introduced to cricket?’, her signed off.

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