DRS is a great system, says Gary Kirsten

'Has increased consistency of umpiring'

Kirsten, who led India to 50-over World Cup success in April, said the DRS had helped improve the game, though his former employers are not in favour of it.
"Personally, I am very much in favour of it, I think it's a great system," the soft-spoken South African said here.

"I think what it has done .... is that it has increased the consistency of umpiring, so I am a fan of it but I know there are some negative views of it within India."

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has been strongly against the mandatory use of the DRS system, voicing concerns about the technology's accuracy despite the International Cricket Council (ICC) saying it had improved correct decisions by seven percent.

The former South African opening batsman did, however, think the technology could be adapted and teams could still be prevented from using the DRS break for strategising.
"There can be a few adjustments, I know one thing that was discussed at the (ICC) cricket committee (meeting in March) was that they might bring down two appeals per innings to one appeal so that it takes away the strategy around using DRS.

"The tool is there to improve umpiring so it takes away the players using it as a strategic tool. I know that is being floated but I don't know if that has been passed yet."

Kirsten also said it was important that smaller nations outside the top 10, the associate members, were given help and automatic entrance into future 50-over World Cups as they offered some variety.

The ICC initially restricted the 2015 World Cup, to be held in Australia and New Zealand, to the 10 Test-playing member nations, only to backtrack and propose a qualifying tournament for minor nations like Ireland, who recorded memorable victories over England and Pakistan in the past two editions.

“That's what World Cups are about,” Kirsten said of the inclusion of the non-Test playing nations.

“We play enough series against the great teams out there, World Cups are about an indication and illustration of how we are spreading the game to all corners of the globe, which is one of the mission statements of the ICC. It is great that these teams are involved in an event like that.

“Someone like Ireland, as we know is probably the talking point, they have had tremendous success in their limited professional structures they have in place and they could really be an example to other associate countries that this is how you do it.”
However, Kirsten was less open to the idea of day-night Test matches, which some believe will help make the format more commerically attractive.

“Is Test cricket in trouble?” he asked. “The last four Test series I have watched around the world have shown it is still a great product. We must be careful in my view not to tamper with something that is working really well.

“To be honest with you, I would love to see Test cricket being played through the day as I think that is what it stands for.” Kirsten also said Twenty20 cricket should be played less at international level to stop it diluting Test and one-day matches and more in domestic leagues to increase attendances.

Kirsten was full of praise for the shortest form of the game but questioned its use. “I have always had a view that it is a great domestic product,” Kirsten said. “Maybe you can look at the platform soccer works off, where they play mainly domestic soccer through the year and then they have a major tournament at a country level, maybe that's what Twenty20 can do.

“I think international cricket does really well with Test cricket and the 50-over format of the game and I feel Twenty20 cricket will dilute those products a little bit.

“I think it (Twenty20) is a great product, there are going to be teething problems as we go along as it's a new product to world viewership and world sporting entertainment.”

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