On the Front Foot: It's decision time on review system – and future of the game

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The Independent Online

India's power, influence and intentions in world cricket will become crystal clear in Hong Kong this week.

If the International Cricket Council, as they intend, adopt the Decision Review System at their annual conference, the game may be able to move forward in harmony. If not, it will demonstrate merely where the real control lies and the game will be going nowhere.

The story so far is that the ICC's cricket committee, consisting of the great, the good and the plain legendary (work down from Clive Lloyd via Kumar Sangakkara), have recommended unanimously that DRS is adopted in all forms of the international game.

DRS has been a big hit for the simple reason that it works. But India have dug in their well-turned heels and refuse to have any part of it, including in the coming series against England. Now the issue will be presented formally to the ICC's chief executives' committee.

It would be a considerable departure from the norm were they to reject the cricket committee's wishes – otherwise what is the point of having input from cricketers? India reiterated their opposition to DRS on the nebulous grounds that they do not believe in the technology.

Should the vote not go through, India's influence will be clear and the governing body and their future tours programme, which is being finalised, may as well be disbanded.

Knott should be a knight

Much ado about gongless cricketers. As discussed here last week, there are glaring examples of players who have never been rewarded in the honours lists (there are also glaring examples of those who have been mentioned).

Alan Knott was championed early and it seems the embodiment of the system's defects that a chap with 95 Test caps was overlooked. Far from declining, as was opined here, he has never been asked, and might like to be.

There are others who should be considered. John Snow, off whom Knott took seven of his 21 catches in the triumphant 1970-71 Ashes, has also been omitted from all the lists when he is so eminently qualified. That Ashes campaign, as impeccably planned by England as the recent one, ended in a 2-0 win and Snow took 31 wickets.

Tony Greig, who led the Packer revolution, got in touch to say that he could quite get accustomed to being Sir Anthony. He was joking, of course, lest the honours committee suspect otherwise. But an all-rounder with a Test batting average of 41 and a bowling average of 32 might have been forgiven for perceived slights by now (are not the British supposed to be able to forgive?).

As a former England captain, Mike Denness stands out for not being part of any orders of the empire. The honours committee – and OTFF will be in touch shortly – could start with Knott and Snow and work their way through after that, before bestowing letters on any more Johnny-come-latelies.

Strauss variations

Last chance to win a pair of Test tickets for England's series against India. All that is to be done is create a phrase from players' initials.

This little game started almost 100 ago when England's captain JWHT Douglas became Johnny Won't Hit Today and was given fresh legs by the glorious numbers of initials enjoyed by the Sri Lankan tourists.

Surely, entrants can do better than Chris Sladen's final effort, penned after reading about Andrew (AJ) Strauss's intention to play for Somerset, to wit Any Jolly Side. Write to the email address below.

Broad classifications

Stuart Broad is the 85th player to be captain of an England side. Of those, 79 have led in Tests, five only in ODIs.

The quintet makes for some reading. It is: Paul Collingwood, Graham Thorpe, Adam Hollioake, 44-year-old Norman Gifford and OTFF hero Sir Alan Knott.

s.brenkley@independent.co.uk

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