More technology at umpires' disposal for Ranji Trophy knock-outs

Despite enhancing technological assistance, the BCCI will not be able to use highly expensive components like Hawk-Eye and UltraEdge.

Last season's Ranji Trophy semifinal between Karnataka and Saurashtra was marred by umpiring howlers.   -  Sudhakara Jain

After being severely criticised for howlers by umpires in domestic cricket, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to enhance technological assistance to the officials for Ranji Trophy knock-outs for the forthcoming season.

“The idea is to eradicate as many howlers as possible. If we can achieve that, then we can go ahead with this. That is why we are introducing it only for the knockout stages for the coming season,” Saba Karim, the BCCI general manager - cricket operations, told Sportstar.

It is understood that despite the BCCI’s initiative to get rid of howlers, the Board will not be able to use highly expensive components Hawk-Eye and UltraEdge, which are a must for DRS in international cricket.

Karim remained non-committal when specifically asked if the technology will used to determine lbw decisions.

“That we will decide once we have a meeting with the umpires, match referees and the broadcasters. What I am trying to say right now is with whatever technology we have, we will try and use that for the decision referral system. Whether it is the lbw or something else, it will be up to them to decide because they are the experts.”

It may result in limiting the technological assistance to determine close caught-behind calls with extended camera angles. Nevertheless, the development - according to a domestic team’s coach - would be a “starting point in forcing the BCCI to take domestic cricket more seriously”.

Even during the captains and coaches’ conclave in May, multiple domestic teams had underlined on the error-prone umpiring in key matches and had demanded the introduction of DRS.

Last season, after benefitting with a couple of close calls during its Ranji Trophy quarterfinal against Rajasthan, Karnataka was on the wrong side with umpires erring consistently in its semifinal against Saurashtra.