A few days ago, over on The Full Toss, James Morgan expressed his thoughts on how enjoyable the India versus England series has been due to the fact that there is no DRS. He took quite a flogging in the comments, and I have to ask: would James be just as dismissive of replay technology if England were down 2-1 instead of up 2-1? Probably not.
That said, I have to say: I agree with him.
After watching Australia v South Africa and all of the appeals and all of the reviews and all of the reversals, it feels quite cleansing to watch a series where when the umpire puts his finger up, the batsman walks. You don’t have to put your joy or sorrow on hold, you get to enjoy the pure moment. It is one of the things I enjoy about County Cricket, and I must stay that I am enjoying it on World Cricket’s biggest stage, as well.
Bear in mind throughout this post that I only started following the sport in the spring of 2007, and DRS came around not two years later, so it is not like I am a hopeless traditionalist longing for the bygone days when men were men and out was out. It is just simply cleansing to watch, like I am enjoying the sport how it was meant to be enjoyed. Like a pacemaker restoring the rhythm of an old man’s heart.
Unfortunately, I feel like a bit of a heel, I feel a little embarrassed, and I feel a little dirty. For over the past few years I have done nothing but extoll the virtues of technology in sport. I have gotten on my high horse and bemoaned the lack of goal line technology in football; I have cried foul at baseball’s reliance on the human eye to judge whether a 98 mile-per-hour tailing away fastball was a millimeter too far outside in game seven of the World Series, not to mention in every other game of the season; and I have nodded approvingly at sports like American football and rugby and cricket and basketball that use technology and use it well.
Getting the call right, that’s the important thing – that’s what I always say: there is too much at stake to fool around with human error.
But maybe I was wrong, maybe all I have wanted my entire life is to debase myself in that quintessential trait of humanity: the fact that we are prone to mistakes, and that is what makes life interesting.
Perfection is boring. Imperfection is what gets us up in the morning.
Or maybe not. Maybe this is just a nice palette cleanser, like a sorbet between courses, before getting back to the nuts and bolts of the real world; a real world where we use all the tools at our disposal to ensure the team that wins deserves to win – and that’s not all that terrible of a world to live in.
Plus DRS or no DRS, we still get plenty of imperfection in cricket: just ask David Warner.