Cricket is becoming an increasingly frustrating sport to watch whenever India are involved.
The Board for Cricket Control in India has too much influence in the world game and other nations appear obliged to pander to their whims; a development that must be arrested before it eats any further into the core of the game.
Perennial heel draggers
The BCCI are the perennial heel draggers of the international game; lest we forget they resisted T20 as a format for the longest time of any of the major nations because they felt it was not a suitable format for cricket - a fact that is risible now that India sets the standard in the game both on the international and domestic level.
So the Indian board has a history of dragging the game back from progress, stopping innovation from fully taking effect. This is epitomised by the Indian tour of England, where at least two things, other than the Jadeja issues, have occurred that show the power the BCCI hold over the other Test playing nations.
Firstly, the length of the series is at least one game too long, in a desperate attempt to put it on a level with the Ashes that has actually only resulted in noticeably smaller crowds as the matches take place during the week whilst most people are working.
The current match in Southampton, for example, began on a Sunday, meaning an almost empty stadium for four of the five days. This is at best ill thought through and at worst astonishingly selfish of the board; to insist upon impractical start days simply to pack as much cricket in as possible.
The second and more important issue is that of DRS. Every other cricketing nation has adopted it, and it has made the game much more exciting and reliable, a match no longer able to turn completely on the bad decision of an umpire.
There is a simple solution; if you don’t like it, don’t use it, but one country should not be able to hold the cricket playing world to ransom and say that they refuse to play with the system in place.
It is the same heel dragging over improvements that we saw with the T20 format and it is spoiling the game. Yes, the human error can help make it more exciting, but often it just makes it more frustrating, and the excitement that comes from a wrong decision has now been replaced by a more suspenseful one as you await the overturning of a bad decision.
Football moves on
Even football has finally embraced goal-line technology after years of resisting; surely India cannot be allowed to hold up progress any longer? It is time for the ICC to reclaim some of its power and make an official ruling on the matter.
The system is much more efficient than the two umpires alone and it is an improvement to the game, that should be enough of a reason to implement it across the board, without pandering to the will of one nation.
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