What’s the DRS brouhaha all about?

Updated: Jul 16, 2013, 16:03 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau

The Stuart Broad incident in the Ashes has ignited the debate on the Decision Review System (DRS) and exposed the inconsistency in its implementation.

The Aussies had every reason to be disappointed with the umpire as their appeal turned out to be genuine. But, since they had already exhausted their two reviews, they were left with no other choice.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) decided to embrace technology in order to get rid of the ‘howler’, the blatantly wrong decision.

Let’s understand what exactly is the DRS.

What is DRS?

• The Umpire Decision Review System (DRS) was first introduced in Test Cricket for reviewing controversial decisions made by the on-field umpires in the case of a batsman being dismissed or not.

• It was officially launched by the ICC on November 24 during the first Test match between New Zealand and Pakistan at the University Oval in Dunedin.

• Towards this purpose, the third umpire can be vested with powers to intervene and alter decisions. This can be done on the fly, as the man with the remote will not need too much time to arrive at a conclusion.

• There are three components in DRS- Hawk Eye, Hot Spot and Snickometer. The practice of using Snickometer has stopped.

• Hawk-Eye is a 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. Hot spot`s success rate is found to be 90-95%.

• Snickometer, relies on directional microphones to detect small sounds made as the ball hits the bat or pad.

How do the teams appeal?

• In a Test match, each team is allowed to make two unsuccessful review requests per innings while in a One Day International, one unsuccessful review request per innings is allowed.

• Both the batting and fielding teams can use the system to dispute a call. The captain of the fielding side or the batsman who has been declared out invokes the system by signalling a ‘T’ with the arms.

• Once the challenge is made, the third umpire reviews it using the technology and then reports to the on-field umpire about the analysis. The on-field umpire then makes the final decision.