Mumbai, Sep 7: Former all-rounder Ravi Shastri feels India's consistent stand against the controversial Decision Review System (DRS) has been vindicated by the spate of wrong decisions during the recent Ashes series in England.
"India's stand on DRS is vindicated. Three years ago when I opposed DRS, it was said I had a contract with the BCCI. I stand by even now what I said then," said Shastri, delivering the annual Dilip Sardesai Memorial Lecture at the Bombay Gymkhana here on Friday (September 6).
Shastri said he was not opposed to technology, but wanted it to be used sparingly, as it is not perfect. "You can use technology sparingly like in tennis where there are only three referrals. If a player is inconsistent, or an umpire is inconsistent, they are dropped. Why is this not applied to technology?" said the 51-year-old ex-cricketer.
Instead of the host cricket board paying for use of technological instruments like the costly Hotspot and Hawk Eye, the ICC should find sponsors to underwrite their use, he said.
"DRS is also against the spirit of the game which teaches the player not to question an umpiring decision. I know what our players think about technology, what works and what doesn't," added Shastri.
He also came out in full support of the beleaguered BCCI, which is facing a lot of flak in the aftermath of the spot-fixing scandal that rocked this year's IPL. He also praised former presidents Sharad Pawar and Shashank Manohar as well as embattled incumbent N Srinivasan as excellent administrators.
"Administration is a different ball game (to playing or comnmentating). Indian cricket has consistently ranked in the top three in all formats over the last ten years. See the state of other sports administered in India," he said.
He dismissed the "conflict of interest" charge against BCCI president Srinivasan who owns IPL team Chennai Super Kings. "There is conflict in all walks of life. And no player is complaining about the Board," he retorted when asked about this much-debated issue.
Shastri, a member of IPL's governing council, also praised Pawar for giving the green signal to the T20 tournament that has become a huge money spinner for the Board and its affiliates, and also the sacked former IPL chairman Lalit Modi for making it a big success in the first two years itself.
"In the last six years IPL has become huge and attracts lot of attention. There will be that underbelly (chance of corruption). I don't say BCCI is perfect. There is scope for improvement. There should be a proper PR (public relations) in place and a proper communication in place," he stated.
Shastri, who considers being a part of the triumphant Indian squads of 1983 (World Cup) and 1985 (World Championship) as the high point of his career, hailed current captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni as among the best the country has produced.
"He is quiet, hungry and a man of steel at all times. Even when India were beaten in England and Australia, his body language remained the same. I knew it was only a matter of some change of guard to see the Indian team bounce back again.
"He wanted the Indian ODI side to field well and with some youngsters in, the current side is the best fielding unit. I knew that given the opportunity he can take India places again and that's what he's done," said Shastri. Shastri was referring to India's comprehensive 4-0 Test series whitewash of Australia at home and its victorious runs in the subsequent ICC Champions Trophy in England and the tri-series in the West Indies.
"India has won three World Cups in the last thirty years. There have been several great players during this time. This is one sport India has excelled. Indian team is always in the top three in all forms over the last ten years. That's a tribute to the system," he said. "Indian cricket is in very safe hands," he added.