The ICC's nod to measures that would refurbish world Cricket may have finally come, yet it would be interesting to note their impact and influence on the dynamics of the game. Let's probe further into each of the modifications made.
DRS minus the Hawkeye
All test matches, irrespective of who the competing teams are, would now be played under the same guidelines. Earlier, a batsman in a particular match could signal 'T' and get a reprieve, while his counterpart in another match would huff over the incapability of asking for a review. Mandatory use of DRS would avert any such disparity. It may not be foolproof yet, but adopting the system might well prove to be the first step in developing it further. Hot Spot is a wonderful technology, eliminating doubts and based on facts and not conjecture. Hence, its use has been welcomed by all.
Unlike Hotspot, the use of Hawkeye has been the sticking point for certain players and boards. While it's believed that the projected path of the ball, even after the impact, is a 100% accurate till 2.4 meters from the stumps, it's difficult to fathom why it becomes unreliable at 2.5 meters. Similarly, the fact that brushing the stumps would not be considered hitting the stumps has left many like me quite stumped. While there's still a lot of work needed for the ball tracking technology to be perfect, it's only just if we continued to use it till the point of impact. The Hawkeye was a brilliant tool to ascertain if the ball pitched in line or outside leg-stump and if the impact was within the stumps or outside in case a shot was offered. Since, there's still a window left open for its use if the two teams playing in a bilateral series agree, I hope most of them make use of its pros.
One aspect though, which seems to have gone completely disregarded, is the possibility of reducing the workload of the on-field umpires, who at the moment have to judge the line no-balls which in turn does not allow them to focus in front. Like Tennis, line-calls can be judged by technology.
Using two new balls from both ends and power-play rules
Well, there's an obvious problem with the white ball remaining white in the course of 50 overs. Even though the problem will now tackled by using a separate ball for each end, it may reduce the role of spinners drastically. These balls won't get old till the 15th over which in the new rule means 30 overs in a game. And just to make matters worse for the tweakers, the power-play overs will now have to be taken between the 16th and 40th over. Now, either the spinners must bowl with the new ball i.e. before the 16th over (with a ball not older than 5-6 overs) or bowl with the chunk of their overs with the field restrictions. Yes, you may argue that spinners can bowl post 40th too with an old ball and no field restrictions but how often do we see spinners operating in the death overs? While the intentions are noble, for an ODI had become rather stale and predictable in the middle overs, the entertainment is coming at the cost of hapless spinners.
We have seen many a big and crucial innings played by injured batsmen, for they had the option to get a runner. But that won't happen anymore, for you must run even if you're unable to walk due to an injury. Well, it sounds really harsh but the fact is that we, the players, are to be blamed for this ruling. A lot of players were guilty of masking injuries, for they knew that the option of a substitute runner was always available. The abuse of this rule has led to its scrapping. It may not be a bad idea to allow a runner in case of an external injury that has taken place on the field.