Ranji Trophy final: ‘We trust our umpires’ says BCCI in absence of DRS

India’s marquee red ball cricket competition, Ranji Trophy, is being played without Decision Review System (DRS).

Mumbai and Madhya Pradesh are playing the Ranji Trophy final in Bengaluru. Image: Twitter/BCCIDomestic

Ranji Trophy final between Mumbai and Madhya Pradesh that got underway on Wednesday is being played in the absence of the Decision Review System (DRS). The onus thus lies entirely on the on-field umpires – KN Ananthapadmanabhan and Virender Sharma – to get decisions right in the final of the prestigious domestic cricket competition.

On the opening day, Madhya Pradesh almost paid dearly in the absence of DRS. In-form Sarfaraz Khan survived a close call for leg before which could have hurt their chances going forward.

This isn’t the first instance of no DRS in the Ranji Trophy final. During the 2018-19 season, in the semi-final between Saurashtra and Karnataka, Cheteshwar Pujara twice benefitted from lack of technology.

Pujara was twice out caught-behind but was adjudged not out. He went on to score 45 runs in the first innings and an unbeaten 131 in the second as Saurashtra won by five wickets.

As per a media report, BCCI has put their faith in the umpires and claim DRS is an expensive exercise.

“We believe in our umpires,” Times of India quoted a BCCI official as saying.

“It’s an expensive exercise to use the DRS. The costs shoot up. How does it matter if there’s no DRS in the final. It’s time we trusted the umpires. India’s two best umpires are officiating in this game. And what’s the end result? If you use it in the final, you will want to introduce it in the league stage of the Ranji Trophy,” he went on to add.

Another source said implementing DRS will also increase the cost for televising the game.

“The rigging (wiring) and derigging of all the equipment will be extremely costly. HawkEye means extra cameras needed. Ranji is done with limited equipment. The argument will then be that why not for all televised games. Look, you can’t have a half-baked DRS. The last time, it was used for limited replays to see if there’s an edge or not. You can’t use the ball trajectory — a critical element of DRS” a source said.

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