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The Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS or simply DRS) is a technology-based system used in
cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising two Bail (cricket), bai ...

cricket
to assist the match officials in their decision-making. On-field
umpires An umpire is an official An official is someone who holds an office (function or , regardless whether it carries an actual with it) in an or government and participates in the exercise of , (either their own or that of their superior and/o ...
may choose to consult with the
third umpire The third umpire (or TV Umpire) is an off-field Field may refer to: Expanses of open ground * Field (agriculture), an area of land used for agricultural purposes * Airfield, an aerodrome that lacks the infrastructure of an airport * Battlefield ...
(known as an Umpire Review), and players may request that the third umpire consider a decision of the on-field umpires (known as a Player Review). The main elements that have been used are television replays, technology that tracks the path of the ball and predicts what it would have done, microphones to detect small sounds made as the ball hits bat or pad, and infra-red imaging to detect temperature changes as the ball hits the bat or pad. While on-field Test match umpires have been able to refer some decisions to a third umpire since November 1992, the formal DRS system to add Player Reviews was first used in a Test match in 2008, first used in a
One Day International A One Day International (ODI) is a form of limited overs cricket Limited overs cricket, also known as one-day cricket, is a version of the sport of cricket Cricket is a bat-and-ball gameBat-and-ball may refer to: *Bat-and-ball ga ...
(ODI) in January 2011, and used in a
Twenty20 International A Twenty20 International (T20I) is a form of cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch with a w ...
in October 2017.


History

DRS was preceded by a system to allow on-field umpires to refer some decisions to the third umpire to be decided using TV replays, in place since November 1992. Player Reviews and additional technology were first introduced in
Test cricket Test cricket is the form of the sport of cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch with a wi ...
to review controversial decisions made by the on-field
umpire An umpire is an official An official is someone who holds an office (function or Mandate (politics), mandate, regardless whether it carries an actual Office, working space with it) in an organization or government and participates in the exe ...
s as to whether or not a batter had been
dismissed Dismissal or dismissed may refer to: Dismissal *In litigation, a dismissal is the result of a successful ''motion to dismiss''. See motion (legal), motion *Termination of employment, the end of employee's duration with an employer **Dismissal (e ...
. The Player Referral system was first tested in an India v. Sri Lanka match in 2008, and was officially launched by the
International Cricket Council The International Cricket Council (ICC) is the world governing body A governing body is a group of people that has the authority to exercise governance Governance is all the processes of interactions be they through the laws Law ...
(ICC) on 24 November 2009, during the first Test between
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and
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Pakistan
at the
University Oval
University Oval
in
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Dunedin
. It was first used in
One Day International A One Day International (ODI) is a form of limited overs cricket Limited overs cricket, also known as one-day cricket, is a version of the sport of cricket Cricket is a bat-and-ball gameBat-and-ball may refer to: *Bat-and-ball ga ...
s (ODI) in January 2011 during England's tour of Australia. The ICC initially made the UDRS mandatory in all international matches, but later made its use optional, so that the system would only be used if both teams agree. The ICC has agreed to continue to work on the technology and will try to incorporate its use into all ICC events. In October 2012, the ICC made amendments on lbw protocols, increasing the margin of uncertainty when the ball hits the batsman's pad. In July 2016, the rules were amended once again, reducing the margin of uncertainty. The updated rules were first used in the ODI match between Ireland and South Africa in September 2016. In September 2013, the ICC announced that for a trial period starting in October 2013, a team's referrals would be reset to two after 80 overs in an innings in Test matches. Previously each team had a maximum of two unsuccessful reviews per innings. Starting in November 2014 from Australia's ODI series versus South Africa, the field umpires' communications have also been broadcast to the viewers. Whenever a decision is reviewed by the TV umpire, their communication with the field umpire can be heard. In February 2017, the ICC agreed the use for all future
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tournaments, with one review per team. The first T20 tournament to use the technology was the 2018 ICC Women's World Twenty20. It was used in the knockout stages of
Pakistan Super League 2017 The 2017 Pakistan Super League (also known as PSL 2 or, for sponsorship reasons, HBL PSL 2017), was the second season of the Pakistan Super League, a franchise Twenty20 cricket league established by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) in 2016. On 19 ...
, which was the first time DRS used in a T20 league. DRS was used for the first time in a
Twenty20 International A Twenty20 International (T20I) is a form of cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch with a w ...
in the India–Australia T20I series in October 2017. Under the new ICC rules of November 2017, there would no longer be a top-up of reviews after 80 overs in Test matches, and teams will have only 2 unsuccessful reviews every innings. However, teams would no longer lose a review for an "umpire's call" (a ruling in which the on field's umpire's ruling stands due to inconclusive data) on an LBW review. In 2020, the requirement to appoint neutral match officials was temporarily suspended due to the logistical challenges with international travel during the COVID-19 pandemic. Following from this change, the number of unsuccessful reviews per test innings was raised from 2 to 3 keeping in mind that there may be less experienced umpires on duty at times.


Components

The components in UDRS are: * Video replays, including
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slow motion
. *
Hawk-Eye Hawk-Eye is a computer vision Computer vision is an interdisciplinary scientific field that deals with how computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatic ...
, or
Virtual Eye Virtual Eye, the sports division of Animation Research Limited (ARL), specialises in real time sports animations. Based in Dunedin, New Zealand, the company provides its services to a wide range of sports and sports organisations around the world. ...
(also known as Eagle Eye): ball-tracking technology that plots the trajectory of a bowling delivery that has been interrupted by the batter, often by the pad, and can predict whether it would have hit the stumps. * Real Time Snicko or Ultra-Edge (Hawk-Eye's version): directional microphones to detect small sounds made as the ball hits the bat or pad. The use of the original Snickometer was superseded by Real Time Snicko in 2013. * Hot Spot: Infra-red imaging system that shows where the ball has been in contact with bat or pad. Improved cameras were introduced for the 2012 season. The system came under fire after the 2013 Ashes in England. It was claimed that using silicone tape prevented faint edges being picked by Hot Spot, which was later confirmed by a MIT report.


System


Umpire reviews

In many cases, the event occurs in a fraction of a second. At their discretion, on-field umpires may request the Third Umpire reviews the following dismissal decisions: *
Run out Run out is a method of dismissal in cricket Cricket is a bat-and-ball gameBat-and-ball may refer to: *Bat-and-ball games Bat-and-ball games (or safe haven games) are field games played by two opposing teams, in which the action start ...
. If the on-field umpires are unable to decide if the batsman is out, they may request the third umpire to ascertain whether the batsman had made it home. Also the case where both batsmen have run to the same end and the on-field umpires are uncertain over which batsman made his
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first. An example of this was the Third Test between New Zealand and the West Indies in 2006. *
Caught Caught is a method of dismissing a batsman In cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch with ...

Caught
and
Obstructing the field Obstructing the field is one of the ten methods of dismissing a batsman In cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a ...
if both umpires are unsure. In some cases the fielder may catch the ball a few inches above ground level. If the umpire's vision is obscured or is unsure if the ball bounced before the fielder caught the ball, he can refer the decision. For these dismissals, the on-field umpire must give a “soft-signal” to say whether or not they think it is out and the third umpire must find conclusive evidence that the on-field decision is incorrect in order to overturn. For Caught, the Third Umpire first checks whether the delivery was a no-ball and whether the batsman hit the ball. *Whether the delivery causing any dismissal was a
no-ball In cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising two Bail ...
. Note the on-field umpires may not request the Third Umpire review an LBW decision (apart from whether the delivery was a no-ball). The on-field umpires may also request the Third Umpire reviews the following: *
Boundary Boundary or Boundaries may refer to: * Border, in political geography Entertainment *Boundaries (2016 film), ''Boundaries'' (2016 film), a 2016 Canadian film *Boundaries (2018 film), ''Boundaries'' (2018 film), a 2018 American-Canadian road trip ...
calls (to see if a batter hit a four or a six). In some cases the ball may bounce just a foot inside the boundary rope resulting in four runs. If the umpire needs to ascertain if it had been a 4 or a 6, he may consult the third umpire. Near the boundary, often a fielder may dive to save the ball from travelling beyond the boundary. If the fielder makes any simultaneous contact with the boundary and the cricket ball, 4 runs are declared. A third umpire may also be consulted in such a case. *Whether the ball has hit cameras on or over the field of play. Umpire Reviews are also available to the on-field umpires when there is a Third umpire but the full UDRS is ''not'' in use. In this case, the Third umpire uses television replays (only) to come to a decision, and not the additional technology such as ball-tracking.


Player reviews

A fielding team may use the system to dispute a "not out" decision and a batting team may use it to dispute an "out" decision. The fielding team captain or the batter being dismissed invokes the challenge by signalling a "T" with the arms or arm and bat. A challenge is only used in situations that did or could result in a dismissal: for example, to determine if the ball is a legal catch (making contact with the batter's bat or glove and not touching the ground before being held by a fielder), or if a delivery made the criteria for an LBW dismissal. Once the challenge is invoked, acknowledged, and agreed, the Third Umpire reviews the play. Each team can initiate referrals until they reach the limit of unsuccessful reviews. This limit is two unsuccessful review requests per innings during a Test match, and one unsuccessful review request per innings during a One Day International (This limit has temporarily been raised to three per innings for tests and two for one-day matches from July 2020 as a COVID-19-related rule change). From 2013 until September 2017, the number of reviews available for a team in a Test innings was topped-up to two after 80 overs. From October 2017, if the on-field decision remains unchanged because the DRS shows "umpire's call", the team will not lose its review.


Umpire's call

The Decision Review System was originally introduced in 2008 to remove clear and obvious umpiring errors in the game. However, as DRS become more commonplace in the game, there were perceptions that the game was becoming too forensic and technical in decision-making and that there was a risk on-field umpires would become nothing more than "glorified coat stands". To better finesse the system 'Umpire's Call' was introduced in 2016 by the International Cricket Council. Umpire's Call is a way of saying the original decision made by the on-field umpire should stand. The rules of the referral system say that there needs to be a "clear mistake" by the on-field umpire to reverse the decision. There are numerous parameters by which a leg before wicket (LBW) decision is adjudged to be a clear mistake, including: :i) did the ball pitch in line with the stumps? :ii) did the batsman hit the ball first with his bat? (i.e. the ball hitting the pad first is a pre-condition of any decision to be given out to an LBW call) :iii) did the ball hit the batsman's pad in line with the stumps? :iv) what percentage of the ball hit the stumps? (usually decided by hawk-eye "ball tracking" system) Umpire's Call is a way of saying that there is not a "clear mistake", and therefore the original on-field decision should stand. Furthermore, if the original decision stands as Umpire's Call, then the appealing team retains the review. The implementation of Umpire's Call has been noted in other sports whereby similar issues have arisen in the case of highly-marginal decisions (i.e. not a "clear mistake) which are perceived to be unfairly decided by forensic and technical means. On April 4, 2021, in the
International Cricket Council The International Cricket Council (ICC) is the world governing body A governing body is a group of people that has the authority to exercise governance Governance is all the processes of interactions be they through the laws Law ...
committee meeting led by
Anil Kumble Anil Kumble (; born 17 October 1970) is an Indian Cricket coach, Captain, former cricketer and commentator who was played Tests and ODIs for 18 years. Widely regarded as one of the greatest bowlers in test cricket history, he is a right-arm l ...

Anil Kumble
, the height margin of the Wicket Zone was lifted to the top of the stumps to ensure the same Umpire's Call margin around the stumps for both height and width.


Final decision

The third umpire then looks at various TV replays from different angles, comes to a conclusion, and then reports to the on-field umpire whether their 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. 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.


Officiating replay system

In 2013, ICC tested a broadcaster-free replay system. Under the experiment, a non-match umpire sits in a separate room with a giant monitor and has discretion over which replays to see rather than relying on the broadcaster. The non-match umpire mirrors the role of the third umpire without having the duty of making adjudications. The system was first used in an Ashes Test (where
Nigel Llong Nigel James Llong (born 11 February 1969) is an English umpire (cricket), cricket umpire and former first-class cricketer. Until June 2020, he was a member of the Elite Panel of ICC Umpires and officiates in international matches - Tests, ODIs a ...
performed the duties of non-match umpire) and was repeated in a Pakistan-Sri Lanka ODI. After
The Ashes The Ashes is a Test cricket Test cricket is the form of the sport of cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is ...

The Ashes
in 2013, the ICC has started to take steps to give third umpire access to instant replays. This is regardless of calls being referred to by on-field umpires. By doing so, ICC wants to make sure that any obvious mistakes are avoided in future.


Reception

The Decision Review System has generally received positive response from players and coaches since its launch. Because of its positive response, the ICC has attempted to apply uniform application of DRS in all cricket games around the world, but this has been difficult for some countries to implement. Some countries, especially the poorer ones, are unable to afford the technology and choose to use parts of it or not use it at all. The technology is often used by broadcasters to bring an even more vivid analysis of specific plays and games. It was designed to eradicate the errors of umpires, and it has done so in many games. However, there have been some negative responses to the DRS technology as well. West Indies legend
Joel Garner Joel Garner (born 16 December 1952) is a former West Indies, West Indian cricketer, and a member of the highly regarded late 1970s and early History of the West Indian cricket team#Dominance.2C rebels and blackwashes .281980s.29, 1980s West Ind ...
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 Harold Dennis "Dickie" Bird, (born 19 April 1933) is an English retired international Umpire (cricket), cricket umpire. During his long umpiring career, he became a much-loved figure among players and viewing public, due to his excellence as ...
also criticised the system, saying it undermines the authority of on-field umpires. The cricketing board of India has expressed a skeptical view on the adoption of the system if it is near perfect. Pakistani spinner
Saeed Ajmal Saeed Ajmal (Punjabi Panjābī (pʌnˈdʒɑːbi) (ਪੰਜਾਬੀ) (پنجابی) Punjabi or Panjabi most often refers to: * Something of, from, or related to Punjab Punjab ( Gurmukhi: ; Shahmukhi: ; , ; , ; ; also romanised as P ...

Saeed Ajmal
expressed dissatisfaction over the Decision Review System after a semi-final of the 2011 Cricket World Cup against India. He said that DRS showed the line of the ball deviating more than it actually did. Hawk-Eye officials admitted in December 2014 that their review technology made an error in a decision to give Pakistan opener Shan Masood out in the second Test against New Zealand in Dubai (17-21 November 2014). At a meeting held at the ICC office in Dubai two weeks later, Hawk-Eye is understood to have conceded to Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq and team manager Moin Khan that the projection used by their technology for the Leg before wicket decision was incorrect. Also, a challenge can only be made by the captain within a 15-second window from when an initial decision is made, but it can be lengthened if no clear decision is made, especially they are assumed not out if there is no reaction by the umpire. During the 2012/2013 domestic season Cricket Australia trialed a review system in the domestic one day competition where the third umpire could intervene and review any out or not out decision. The review system was unpopular among players and critics, which the Australian International Twenty20 captain George Bailey (cricketer, born 1982), George Bailey calling the system "shocking and embarrassing". The review system was dropped by Cricket Australia after only two rounds of the competition.


Player Review statistics

An analysis of more than 2,100 Player Reviews between September 2009 and March 2017 found that: * 26% of Player Reviews resulted in on-field decisions being overturned. * Reviews by batsmen were less frequent than reviews by bowling teams, as 41% of reviews were by batsmen and 59% by bowling teams. * Reviews by batsmen were more likely to be successful, with a 34% success rate, compared to a success rate of about 20% for bowling teams. * 74% of referrals were for LBW, 18% for wicketkeeper catches, and the rest for catches elsewhere or indeterminate reason. The success rate was only 22% for LBW, compared to 40% for wicketkeeper catches. * There were on average about 1.4 batting overturns and 1.2 bowling overturns per match. Initial fears that DRS would bring an increase in the number of dismissals have, therefore, not come true. *The UDRS claims to have 90% accuracy


References

{{Reflist, 30em Cricket umpiring 2009 introductions Cricket laws and regulations Sports officiating technology