The 2019-20 Ranji Trophy season saw many firsts. It not only saw Saurashtra clinching the trophy for the first time in the history of India's premier domestic competition, but also saw the maiden usage of Decision Review System (DRS) -- though in limited format -- in the Ranji Trophy.
Speaking to IANS after the successful completion of the Ranji Trophy, BCCI GM Cricket Operations Saba Karim said that limited DRS was able to serve its purpose and the players and the match officials were happy with its introduction. According to Karim, they were able to eliminate a lot of umpiring mistakes which were witnessed in the knockout stages of the last Ranji season, something which pleased him a lot.
"I am very happy to see the results of the limited DRS. I interacted with the players, the coaches and the match officials. The idea was to prepare them as and when the matches are played with full DRS, they are able to understand that and use it accordingly," Karim pointed.
"We were able to eliminate lot of howlers which we had noticed in the last season of the Ranji Trophy knockouts."
When asked about the response from the players and the match officials regarding limited DRS, Karim said the "overall feedback was heartening".
"Largely, the players and the match officials were very happy. Since it was a limited DRS, it was explained to the players and the match officials how to use, the number and the kind of decisions to be referred to the third umpire.
"There were obviously a few misgivings about the decisions. But the overall feedback we received from the players and the coaches was heartening," he said.
Karim further said that as of now, they have not made any decision with regard to continuing with the usage of DRS in Ranji Trophy.
"There is a constant exchange with the players and the match officials as to how to take it forward. And now as the season is over, we will have a brain storming session before the next season starts and see how to take it forward," he said.
"You possibly cannot have it in the entire tournament because all the matches are not televised. It's only the semi-finals and the finals which are televised. That's one issue and it's for that reason in order to bring uniformity, we cannot have DRS in the entire tournament," he added.
Karim, who represented India in one Test and 34 ODIs, also expressed his opinion on the debate between the four-day and five-day Test matches. According to him, the original format, i.e. five-day format should be continued.
"For me, I believe in five-day Test matches. It's not only about the players but also about the curators who prepare the pitch which is sporting enough and help all the aspects of the game till the fifth day," said Karim.
"The entire gambit of a Test match cricketing experience is of five days. Plus, weather plays a big role. You cannot have matches being played for more than 6-7 hours in a day. So, I think, I would prefer to stick with five-day format," he added.