Aussie cricket fans have bemoaned the lack of DRS in the BBL after controversy erupted just four balls into the new season.
Usman Khawaja appeared to be plumb lbw on Tuesday night in the Sydney Thunder’s win over Brisbane Heat in the season opener.
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However the on-field umpire turned down the appeal and the Heat didn’t have the option of using the Decision Referral System.
The umpire appeared to think Khawaja had hit the ball onto his pads, but replays showed he should have been given out.
The league’s stance on the DRS immediately came back to bite them - and fans were furious.
Of particular annoyance was the fact that a new ‘tactical timeout’ is in place this season.
Both teams used their timeouts at the first opportunity on Tuesday night - after seven overs in their batting innings.
One of the main arguments for not having DRS is that it would use up too much time and spoil the fast-paced nature of T20 cricket.
Yet fans were left gobsmacked that timeouts didn’t fall in that same category.
Many on social media derided the 90-second breaks, during which a player and coach can come on to the field to discuss strategy, as nothing more than an opportunity for the host broadcasters to have an extra ad break during play.
Good thing #BBL09 doesn’t have DRS, otherwise they’d be no time in the innings for the "strategic timeout"— Jeffrey Simpson (@FadAstra) December 17, 2019
Imagine having time outs but still skimping on DRS, and then that happens in the first over #BBL09— Ryan Buckland (@RyanBuckland7) December 17, 2019
Timeouts are fine and all, but I won’t cop that we can’t have DRS because it “slows the game down.”— Tom Carpenter (@Carpo34) December 17, 2019
Took barely 2 minutes into the game for an umpiring howler. Let’s get it in. #BBL09
The DRS takes too long argument can’t hold any weight in a strategic timeout era. #bbl09— Daniel Cherny 📰 (@DanielCherny) December 17, 2019
So we can’t have DRS because it might disruptive flow of the game, but timeouts are ok?#BBL09— ck5 (@ckfunk05) December 17, 2019
So we can't have one DRS review per innings because apparently it slows the game down too much, but we've added a tactical time out. K. #bbl09— Andrew (@coolingandy) December 17, 2019
If rather DRS and get decisions right then a stupid time out.— Josh (@gobbles21) December 17, 2019
Get rid of the stupid TV timeouts and bring in one review an innings for teams to address howlers and it’d be fine.— Darththorn (@Darththorn97) December 17, 2019
Why do you need a timeout in a 20/20 game but can't bring a DRS system in?. I know which one i would rather have. #BBL09— Nathan Watson 🇦🇺 (@N_Watson_) December 17, 2019
Did we really need this Time-Out rubbish? It’s an Aussie sport, it’s supposed to be a quick game of cricket. Do we really need to copy the US and add this to our game? Seems ridiculous to me!! #BBL09— Scott Clarke (@My_Vyss) December 17, 2019
If the appeal of T20 Cricket is how quick a match is, who the hell thought it was a good idea to introduce "tactical" timeouts into it? Absolute joke. #BBL09— Darththorn (@Darththorn97) December 17, 2019
Have the DRS instead of rubbish time outs. #ItsNotTheBasketball— Shane Kelly (@ShaneKe82148829) December 17, 2019
It’s unacceptable that was given not out. pic.twitter.com/lK7eelG6nq— Robbie Thornton (@RobbieThornton) December 17, 2019
Thunder coach Shane Bond was a vocal critic of the lack of DRS before the season started.
“Last year there were a number of decisions that took away from the cricket,” Bond told Foxsports.com.au.
“In our game, one ball can make a difference. I would like to take the pressure of the umpires and have a one challenge system.”
Callum Ferguson stars in season opener
An unbeaten half-century by captain Callum Ferguson lifted the Thunder to a 29-run win at the Gabba.
The 35-year-old got the first chance to wear the Golden Cap as the tournament's leading run-scorer in the field after belting 73 not out off just 44 balls.
Ferguson's innings helped the Thunder recover from 3-38 early in their innings to set a victory target of 173 for the Heat.
Alex Ross (30 off 26) and Chris Green (25 off 17) provided support to Ferguson after their underwhelming start, and that rebuild was vital in the captain's opinion.
"You don't plan to win the toss and lose three in the powerplay too often. I knew the stats on that aren't great so it was really important that Rossy and I put together a good partnership without taking our foot off the gas," he said.
In reply the Heat were dismissed for 143 off 19.2 overs.