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The Decision Review System, also called DRS in cricket, is a method in which either of the teams can get the third umpire to review the decision made by the on-field umpires.
Earlier called the Umpire Decision Review System, DRS in cricket uses technology to aid umpires in making an accurate decision after a player review has been taken.
What is the process to use DRS in cricket?
DRS in cricket can be used by either the batter who thinks he/she has been wrongly given out or by a fielding team which reckons they have been robbed of a wicket.
Both the batter and the fielding team have 15 seconds from the time the on-field umpire has decided to challenge it. The aggrieved party needs to signal to the on-field umpire by making a T sign using both hands.
Batters typically use DRS in case they think they have been wrongly given out LBW or caught behind. The fielding team use it when they reckon the umpire has mistakenly given a batter not-out off a caught-behind appeal or for an LBW.
What technology is used in the Decision Review System?
The third umpire has the following pieces of technology at his/her display while using the DRS in cricket:
- Slow-motion replays
- Hawk-Eye or Virtual Eye
- Hot Spot
Slow-motion replays have been used even before the advent of DRS to decide on run-outs. They are now a part of the DRS as a starting point for the rest of the technology on display.
Hawk-Eye or Virtual Eye is one of the most important pieces of technology which predictively plots the trajectory of the ball after it has been stopped in its delivery by the batter (either by the batter’s bat or a part of his body or equipment).
It is used to decide on LBW decisions.
— Bharat Sundaresan (@beastieboy07) October 12, 2023
The Snickometer or the Snicko, as it’s called, is used to check for any edges on the ball off the bat or pad. This technology shows a sound spike when the ball hits anything on its path to the wicketkeeper, allowing the umpires to check on caught decisions or if it’s the bat before hitting the pad in case of LBW decisions.
Hot Spot used to be used as a part of the DRS but hasn’t been used in a while because of the error margin associated with it. It used infra-red technology to capture a spot on the nicks on the bat or touches on the pad.
What is the Umpire’s Call in DRS cricket?
There is a built-in error margin in DRS in cricket, which has changed over time. If the decision is within that error margin, the on-field umpire’s decision stands and there is no change to the original decision.
History of DRS in cricket
The DRS in cricket was first introduced in cricket in a Test series between India and Sri Lanka. The ICC went on to launch it in 2009 in Test match cricket after that trial.
ODI cricket saw its first use in 2011 before it was then used at the World Cup that was played later that year.
For most part of its initial years, DRS wasn’t mandatory to be used in bilateral series with its use restricted to only when both teams agree to it.
The Indian Cricket Board, BCCI, was an opponent of its use in its initial phase and most of the series involving India did not have DRS used.
Teams were allowed two unsuccessful reviews in an innings in a Test but this was later changed to two in the first 80 overs before they were reset again. This was later introduced in T20I cricket as well, with teams allowed one unsuccessful review per innings.
Test cricket has seen another change with teams now allowed two unsuccessful reviews per innings but an umpire’s call decision allows them to keep their review.
This same rule is applicable in ODI and T20I cricket along with World Cups as well.
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