Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The problem with the Decision Review System (DRS)

After years of hotch potch measures and criticism from cricket fans, the International Cricket Council introduced the Umpire Review System in 2008 during the India-Sri Lanka test series. The system became controversial from the first test, with the Indian team censuring the ICC for using a half baked system. As of 2012, the method has become a lot more sophisticated and more accurate, but the BCCI still finds it flawed.
The problem that I see with the current system is not its accuracy. Rather, its the number of reviews allowed per team. When the system was introduced, each team has 3 reviews per innings in Tests. But now that number has been reduced to 2 reviews per team per innings in tests and 1 review in ODIs and T20s.
Due to the low number of review opportunities, teams usually exercise extra caution when going for the TV umpire's opinion as a single wrong review in ODIs means that you will have to go without the review opportunity for the whole innings. This leads to teams not going for referrals unless they are 100% sure of the decision going their way, causing wrong decisions remaining as they are. An example was seen in Pakistan's third ODI vs Australia when Pakistan did not review Billy Bowden's decision on an LBW whereas the TV replays showed that Michael Hussey was out. Such events defy the basic logic behind the introduction of the DRS. The ICC should at least make it 2 reviews per innings per team in ODIs and T20s.