Shashank Manohar, the BCCI president, has closed the door on the Decision Review System (DRS), saying that unless the system became "foolproof", India's stance would remain unchanged. Responding to questions from the public on BCCI's Facebook account, Manohar said that India's sole issue with DRS concerned lbw decisions. Manohar pointed out that he had raised this issue even during his first stint as BCCI president, between 2008 and 2011.
"Actually telling you the truth, the BCCI was never against the DRS system right from the time of my earlier tenure," Manohar said. "We had issues only regarding the leg before decisions to be decided by the DRS system. For everything else we were accepting the DRS system."
Manohar said that in his previous tenure as BCCI president, the ICC had asked India to accept DRS as a whole, which the board rejected.
"At the ICC meeting, it was decided that either we accept the DRS system as a whole or we don't accept a DRS system. We were not willing. And today also we are not willing to accept the DRS system for leg-before system because when you shoot it from a distance, a parallax develops and then you are not able to give the exact direction of the delivery.
"Secondly, instead of the umpire imagining the bounce and the direction of the trajectory, it is the person sitting behind the camera who is going into the DRS. He is going to have his imagination put in the place of the umpire's imagination with regard to the bounce."
According to Manohar, he had posed the same question concerning lbw decisions to the DRS manufacturers at an ICC executive board meeting back in 2011.
"Even the person who has evolved this DRS system was not able to answer me and was not able to satisfy all the members of the ICC," Manohar said. "And as you know, there are lot problems even in the DRS systems which are raised by various countries. Therefore unless and until the DRS system is foolproof with regards to leg-before decisions the BCCI will not accept it."
The BCCI has never favoured the DRS ever since its inception. Manohar's reasoning is similar to his successor N Srinivasan, who served as BCCI president till 2013. Srinivasan consistently opposed the DRS, calling the referrals system "faulty" as there was a lot of luck involved, which he did not support.
Manohar's remarks are bound to hurt the ICC, which has remained optimistic. After the ICC's annual conference in Barbados in June, Dave Richardson, the ICC's CEO was confident that the "modern player was more amenable to new ideas and innovation."
A couple of those modern Indian players, including the country's Test captain Virat Kohli and lead spinner R Ashwin, have expressed openness to the DRS without offering any in-depth view. Kohli had said that he would like to discuss the DRS with his team, while Ashwin had pointed out that he would not mind the DRS minus the predictive element.