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India threaten pull-out over DRS
India have again struck down the latest attempt to bring more consistency to the implementation of the DRS by threatening to pull out of any tour in which the host country insisted on using the technology.
At the ICC executive meeting in Dubai the ECB, represented by chairman Giles Clarke, was the only board that spoke in favour of a policy change where the approval of the host country would be enough to implement the DRS. N Srinivasan, the BCCI chief, shot down the proposal and ESPNcricinfo understands that the remaining boards did not make a stand.
Srinivasan's concerns are understood to still centre on a belief that the technology could be easily manipulated and is unreliable. It has been learnt that he made the claim that India would pull out of bilateral series if a system was in place where the home side could insist on the DRS.
Though the DRS issue was not even listed on the agenda, or in the post-meeting press release dispatched, it was discussed at length in the wake of a renewed push during the ICC chief executives committee (CEC) meeting last month, for universal implementation of the referral system. At that meeting, held on December 4, every member with the exception of India had backed a change in the DRS implementation policy.
The existing playing conditions require the approval of both countries on DRS during a bilateral series, but the CEC suggested a change in policy that would see the home board having the right to choose the use of the DRS regardless of what the opposition wanted. The CEC recommended that the issue should be resolved via a vote during the executive board meeting.
In the end there was no vote as most of 13-man strong board (10 Full Members plus three Associates) failed to stand up to Srinivasan. Only Clarke, who supported the CEC recommendation, felt it warranted a discussion this week again.
This is not the first time the BCCI has opposed the rest of the members on the DRS. At the ICC's last annual conference in Kuala Lumpur, the CEC had passed the resolution to make the DRS mandatory for all events. The move was then passed to the executive board which had to ratify the decision. But despite the push from the CECs, the head of the Full Member boards refrained from putting the issue to vote.
Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo