Trust Ravi Shastri to step out of the crease when he wants to. The man who once hit six sixes in an over was at his slamming best while delivering the 5th Dilip Sardesai Memorial Lecture to a distinguished audience at the Bombay Gymkhana here on Friday.

Asked to comment on the turbulent times the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is facing, the former India captain shot back, "I don't think it is turbulent. I don't believe there is anything like that. It is just a mindset and the board needs to conquer that. Just see what the BCCI has done for the sport, unlike other sport federations which are at loggerheads."

Praising Sharad Pawar for giving Lalit Modi a free hand to turn the Indian Premier League (IPL) into what it is, Shastri said, "It is so huge, so big that it attracts attention to its underbelly."

The former all-rounder, who is now also a member of the IPL governing council, named former BCCI chief Shashank Manohar as "arguably the best that BCCI has had". "With him it was also in black and white. There was nothing grey. A man of few words, Manohar was totally in control when at the helm."

Shastri defended present head N Srinivasan too. "He's been a terrific administrator. He's a genuine sport lover and has contributed immensely."

Opting to speak about the umpire Decision Review System (DRS), Shastri asked, "Where has the howler gone? The DRS was supposed to remove the howler but it's still there." Reiterating his stand, Shastri said, "India's stand (against DRS) stands vindicated."

"The DRS has taken the confidence out of the umpires. Technology should be 100% correct but the DRS is not even 98%. It has failed so often. One fails to understand why it is being pushed down the throat of the ICC. They say you play in the spirit of the game where you don't question an umpire's decision. DRS does."

Ravi Shastri More stills

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