Umpire Decision Review System
The Umpire Decision Review System (abbreviated as UDRS or DRS) is a technology-based system used in the sport of cricket. The system was first introduced in Test cricket, for the sole purpose of reviewing controversial decisions made by the on-field umpires in the case of a batsman being dismissed or not. The new review system was officially launched by the International Cricket Council on 24 November 2009 during the first Test match between New Zealand and Pakistan at the University Oval in Dunedin. It was first used in One Day Internationals in January 2011, during England's tour of Australia. The ICC had made the UDRS mandatory in all international matches but it later decided to end the mandatory use of DRS and now it will be up to both the teams to mutually agree on DRS use. However, the ICC's executive board made it clear that the DRS would still be part of all ICC events and that they support the use of technology and would continue to work on its development.
On 29 October 2012, the International Cricket Council made amendments on LBW protocols, increasing the margin of uncertainty when the ball hits the batsman's pad. From 1 October 2013, the International Cricket Council will trial an extra two referrals per team after 80 overs have been bowled.
On 18 September 2013, the International Cricket Council announced that a team’s referrals would be topped-up to two after 80 overs in an innings in Tests for a trial period starting October 2013. Previously each team had two unsuccessful reviews in an innings.
- Hawk-Eye, Eagle Eye, or Virtual Eye: ball-tracking technology that plots the trajectory of a bowling delivery that has been interrupted by the batsman, often by the pad, and can determine whether it would have hit the wicket or not.
- Hot Spot: Infra-red imaging system that illuminates where the ball has been in contact with bat or pad.
- Snickometer, which relies on directional microphones to detect small sounds made as the ball hits the bat or pad.
Hot spot's success rate is found to be 90–95%. New cameras were used in Border-Gavaskar series in 2011–12 for viewers, which were vastly superior to those that had been part of the DRS in the past.
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Each team is allowed to make two unsuccessful review requests per innings during a Test Match and one unsuccessful review request per innings during a One Day International. A fielding team may use the system to dispute a "not out" call and a batting team may do so to dispute an "out" call. The fielding team captain or the batsman being dismissed invokes the challenge by signalling a "T" with the arms. Once the challenge is invoked, acknowledged, and agreed, the Third Umpire reviews the play. At their discretion, field umpires may request the Third Umpire for certain close calls such as line calls (to determine run outs and stumpings), boundary calls (to see if a batsman hit a four or a six), or for close catch calls (where neither umpire is sure if a catch was made), a challenge is always used in situations that did or may result in a dismissal: for example, to determine if the ball is a legal catch (making contact with the batsman's bat or glove and not touching the ground before being held by a fielder) or if a delivery made the criteria for a leg before wicket dismissal (hitting the ground in line or on the off side and hitting the batsman in line with a path that would have hit the wicket). The Third Umpire then reports to the on-field umpire whether his analysis supports the original call, contradicts the call, or is inconclusive. The on-field umpire then makes the final decision: either re-signalling a call that is standing or revoking a call that is being reversed and then making the corrected signal. Each team can go for referrals until they use their share of unsuccessful reviews. Under the DRS rule only clearly incorrect decisions are reversed; if the Third Umpire's analysis is within established margins of error or is otherwise inconclusive, the on-field umpire's original call stands.
When a not-out LBW decision is evaluated, and if the replay demonstrates the ball has made impact more than 2.5 m away from the wickets, various additional criteria apply to account for the uncertainty of the ball's potential direction after pitching. For example, if the ball pitches more than 2.5 m from the wicket and travels less than 40 cm before hitting the batsman, then any not-out decision given by the on-field umpire stands. It has also been decided that if the batsman is more than 3.5 m from the wicket, then again not-out decisions will stand. The only picture in which an LBW decision will be reversed in favour of the bowler is if the batsman is 2.5–3.5 m away from the wicket and the ball travels more than 40 cm after pitching before hitting the batsman. In that case, some part of the ball must be hitting the middle stump, and the whole ball must be hitting the stumps below the bails; otherwise, the result is again inconclusive and the call stands. In cases where the original decision is out, the 2.5 m or 40 cm distances do not apply, as in that state Hawk Eye must show the ball to be completely missing the stumps in order for the umpire to undo his decision.
The Decision Review System has generally received positive response from players and coaches since its launch, however there have been some criticisms as well. West Indies legend Joel Garner labelled the system a "gimmick". Another West Indian Ramnaresh Sarwan said that he was not a supporter of the experimental referral system. Former umpire Dickie Bird also criticised the system, saying it undermines the authority of on-field umpires. The cricketing board of India, (BCCI) is not in favour of using the system; as they belief the system is not 100% accurate.
Pakistani spinner Saeed Ajmal expressed dissatisfaction over the Decision Review System after a semi-final of 2011 Cricket World Cup against India. He said that DRS showed the line of the ball deviating more than it actually did.
The first referral of the World Cup came after the 4th ball of the 2nd innings was bowled. India's Santhakumaran Sreesanth had bowled a yorker and the umpire declared it not out. Dhoni referred it to the TV umpire and a replay showed it might have missed the leg stump, so the original decision was upheld. The match marked the debut of the umpire referral system in World Cup cricket. UDRS was used in a thrilling tie between India and England in Bangalore as MS Dhoni was annoyed by the system and said that it is an adulteration of human decision and technology, to which the ICC replied that the players should know the technology before passing judgement on it. ICC later revised the guidelines of the 2.5 m rule. Pakistan used DRS successfully against Australia in their group A match. Australian captain Ricky Ponting edged a delivery from Mohammed Hafeez and the umpire ruled it not out. DRS reversed this decision. This was a critical turning point in the match. The former Australian skipper admitted after the match that he had edged the ball, but said he stayed at the crease because he has never been a walker. "There were no doubts about the nick - I knew I hit it," Ponting said. "But as always, I wait for the umpire to give me out. That's the way I've always played the game."
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- "Official debut for enhanced review system". Cricinfo. 23 Nov 2009. Retrieved 2010-02-18.
- "Referrals to be used in Australia-England ODI series". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 16 January 2011. Retrieved 16 January 2011.
- "Mandatory for all matches". Retrieved 29 June 2011.
- "No mandatory use of Decision Review System, says ICC". The Times Of India. Retrieved 16 July 2013.[dead link]
- "ICC paves way for Day-Night Tests". Wisden India. 29 October 2012.
- "Decision Review System to change for winter Ashes series". BBC News. 18 September 2013. Retrieved 18 September 2013.
- "Reviews to be topped-up after 80 overs". Wisden India. September 18, 2013.
- TNN Jul 7, 2011, 01.13am IST (2011-07-07). "'Hot spot's success rate is 90-95%'". The Times Of India. Retrieved 2013-07-21.
- Hawk-Eye needs a leap of faith - Srinivasan[dead link]
- UDRS new cameras[dead link]
- "Garner labels review system as a 'gimmick'". London: The Independent. 10 Dec 2009. Retrieved 2010-02-18.
- Weaver, Paul (6 Dec 2009). "Sarwan unhappy with umpire review system despite reprieve". London: Guardian. Retrieved 2010-02-18.
- "Dickie Bird criticises review system". Cricinfo. 7 Dec 2009. Retrieved 2010-02-18.
- "Ajmal speaks against DRS". The News International. 2 April 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-03.
- "UDRS, ICC World Cup 2011".
- Decision Review System guide from ICC official website
- www.icc-cricket.com – Full list of playing regulations relating to the implementation of the umpire decision review system is available on the website.
- 'Allow appeals to the Third Umpire' - Senaka Weeraratna (Letter to the Editor 'Sunday Times'- April 6, 1997)
- ‘The field umpire’s immunity limits appeal rights’ – Senaka Weeraratna, ‘The Island’ 21 March 2003
- 'ICC to implement Lankan lawyer’s concept?' - Sa'adi Thawfeek, 'The Nation' 13 January 2008
- 'Lankan lawyer challenges ICC on origin of UDRS' - Sa'adi Thawfeek, 'The Nation' 13 June 2010
- 'Will the UDRS be proved a good thing?' - Rob Steen, 'Cricinfo', 9 Feb. 2011
- 'Point-blank: It’s never too late' - Sa'adi Thawfeek, 'The Nation', 10 June 2012