I had the good fortune, today, to catch the discussion before the match between Sri Lanka and Canada on Star Cricket. The host was the ever-smiling Harsha Bhogle, and with him were an interesting set of characters.
One was Navjot Sidhu. I don’t think I have to tell anyone as to who he is. I don’t know much about Sidhu the player, but Sidhu the pundit I know plenty. He loves to deal in……how do I say it? Let me give an example. One of the panelists had said that Canada might prove to be a slippery customer. To that, Sidhu added “As slippery as an eel”. You get it, right?
However, despite all the jokes and the merriness, Sidhu does have some strong opinions, which many people might find it hard to take seriously largely because you don’t really know whether he’s joking or serious when he’s talking!
The second was Tony Greig, another who is famous for his trademark commentary lines, such as “the little Sri Lankans” and “it’s all happening here at the *insert stadium name*”.
Last, but not least, was Sourav Ganguly. Now, it’s because of this man that this post is coming up.
The pre-match discussion program had featured a segment where Dermot Reeve, former English cricketer, explained the decision review system.
After that, Harsha then threw out the question “Why is India fighting tooth-and-nail against the UDRS?” into the open.
Tony said that it was important because he wouldn’t want to see a situation where, say, Tendulkar or Sehwag got out to a bad decision and it changed the outcome of their campaign. Sidhu strongly voiced his approval.
However, the actual reason for this finally came out into the open when Sourav Ganguly put forth his views. Now, IMHO, Sourav was the perfect person to answer this question as he was part of the only series when India used the UDRS (in the away test series against Sri Lanka in 2008, where India got only one review in their favour, as opposed to the 10-20 decisions that SL got in their favour).
He gave what I felt was a funny reason. He said that, apparently, the Indian players were doubtful that the angle of the cameras being used for Hotspot were correct.
However, Tony intervened. He was, FYI, part of the commentary team for Ten Sports for that series. Tony said that India didn’t use the UDRS well but Sri Lanka had used it perfectly.
They didn’t talk anything else interesting, just a whole load of giggling after that.
However, now we know the reason why India have always opposed the UDRS. It isn’t really about the “100% accuracy” that MS Dhoni and co. keep talking about. It’s about the ANGLES, apparently.
Is anyone capable of shedding some light on what Sourav actually meant by this? I’d be more than glad to incorporate it in the post (with due credit) if someone can give me a good explanation! J