Tuesday, June 14, 2011

1 Angry Board

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In 12 Angry men, Henry Fonda's character dissents on the sole basis that before the accused is sentenced to die, the least he deserves is a discussion amongst the jury of his peers. Eventually the lone  'not guilty' verdict, after an angry evening of arguments is responsible for a 11 others to overcome individual prejudices; in some cases; and change their own 'guilty' verdicts.

A Decision Stalled
India is the Henry Fonda of the cricket world where the system on trial is the DRS and India has taken a 'guilty' stance, just for the heck of it.

While in "12 Angry men", the dissenting character backed his vote by reasoned discussion of the events, India's dissent is backed by pathetic, off the cuff,  explanations like "human adulteration" in technology is unnecessary, technology should be fool proof before its adopted and some irrelevant observations like the Hot Spot being more reliable than the Snico-meter.

The solution is
The first two explanations are of course by Mahendra Singh Dhoni and the third  is by well of course, Sachin Tendulkar. Between these two, I wouldn't be surprised if they recommend that we leave decisions of LBW to astrologers because what other skill is required than the questionable skill of predicting the future. If we have the time to allow challenges, wait for replays and heat maps, surely we have time to allow an astrologer to read a batsman's palm, ask his time and place of birth and conclude if the ball would have hit the stumps.

The beauty of this is, there is no attempt by India to convince the rest of the world of their view point. Its like they don't even care. They seem to be saying..this is what we believe in and we will stick to it no matter what. If you back your dissent by a campaign to spread awareness of your view point then it is meaningful. If you dissent just because you can then its foolish and people begin to look for ulterior motives. BCCI's dissent of the DRS is as flawed as the flaws they point out in the technology used in the DRS.

If there is anything good that is coming out of BCCI's stance, it is that it has helped the rest of the world unify in support of DRS. 

Not long ago, there were murmurs against the system from England, South Africa and Australia but all of that has given way to profuse support for the system from the moment BCCI has been opposed to it.

At the end of the day, everyone needs to get over the technicalities of a dismissal. Especially the LBW law. The way I had understood the law was that, yes it has a lot of factors to be assessed but a batsman is out LBW when the umpire raises his finger, after he has done his best to gather the evidence, extrapolate a few things and interpret the rules. Then the debates can start. You can debate the umpire's competence and his biases. All that is part of the game. 

But this is changed. These days, everyone thinks that the LBW is some eternal truth and that the umpire is supposed to sense when that moment of truth happens. This, in my view, is the problem. Give the umpire all the tools, the technologies, and everything that can be digitized but then a batsman should be out LBW because the umpire raises his finger.


Vaibhav Sharma said...

they are the rulers of cricket.

Vivek said...

DRS is a stupid way of judging things right now..No snicko, no hotspot, so what do they expect to have the system for? Just hawkeye will help in lbw's but that can't tell if a batsman has edged while being appealed for lbw 9 times out of 10. Until they have all 3 or at least hotspot and hawkeye, India are right in opposing the system.

And just because everybody is supporting it doesn't mean it is the right thing to do.

Golandaaz said...

Vivek, the technology is never going to be fool proof...

"just because everybody is supporting it doesn't mean it is the right thing to do"

Of course, but do we have to be right all the time? Is this an issue over which we want to show our balls?

Vivek said...

Well, it may be not 100% fool-proof but you must have some reasonable improvement, otherwise there is no real point in going for it. UDRS as used in the world cup was not using all the available technologies and that is the reason of concern for me. They should make hotspot and hawkeye as the standard for each match and then I dont see any issues with adopting UDRS. But if hotspot is not going outside australia, then we need to wait either it is available or a better option is available.

And we are talking about this issue which is unrelated to other issues where BCCI has been throwing around its weight. So, its not a question of ego or something, UDRS is just not ready for cricket technology-wise.

Golandaaz said...


i think there is no argument that the technology is flawed and in early stages of evolution. The ICC wants early adoption the BCCI want to be laggards.

Vidooshak said...

With the advent of ipads and the like, the umpire should be given all the replays and he should make the final decision. Reviews are a terrible idea because it puts the player over the umpire. If a review is required, why not simply get rid of the umpire? Technology can do everything including call wides. It happens in tennis. BCCI may be wrong, but the DRS in it's present form is a terrible, terrible idea.

Golandaaz said...

Vidooshak, so you are on my side now...

But if you notice the BCCI is not opposing the DRS on the process (challenge - review_ but on technology.

But I agree, the whole challenge thing is 'so not cricket'

Vaibhav Sharma said...

everyone needs to understand that even the best technology in the world cant predicat an event with 100 % accuracy. changes are required in DRS but the fact that it helps reduce the innaccuracy in a decision is reason enough to use it in cricket provided necessary changes are made.

Golandaaz said...

vaibhav, agree 100%