It's time to scrap the Decision Review System

Martin Smith December 19, 2012, 4:16 pm


It was supposed to be the answer to all of our prayers, but the Decision Review System has proved to be as popular as Tony Abbott at a feminist rally.

A system designed to make life easier for players, umpires and fans has only added to the confusion and frustration it was supposed to eliminate.

Three years after the DRS was introduced into Test cricket, it's time for the ICC to make some tough decisions (the kind of decisions they normally run from faster than Usain Bolt out of the blocks).

Either they make changes to the DRS or scrap it completely.

Here are two changes that must be made:

1) Eliminate Hot Spot

This chicken-sponsored technology has proven to be incredibly unreliable this summer, highlighted by the Graeme Smith incident during the second Test in Adelaide. Smith was initially given out caught behind by the on-field umpire, but was given a reprieve on review after Hot Spot showed no mark as the ball past Smith's bat. But two frames later, with the ball now well on its way to the wicketkeeper, Smith's bat lit up like a Christmas tree. A similar thing happened to Mike Hussey in the same match and David Warner at the WACA just a few days later. Where did those white marks come from? And how can we differentiate them from the ball hitting the bat?

2) Give each team just one unsuccessful referral each

The DRS was introduced to eliminate 'howlers', yet most referrals come from 50-50 decisions. If the players on the field need a 10-second discussion to decide whether or not to send a decision upstairs, it's not a howler. Unless they are 100 per cent certain that the wrong decision has been made, players should curse their chosen deity and then get on with the game. Giving each team just one referral will reduce the number of 50-50 decisions that are sent upstairs.

Even if these adjustments are made, the thought of scraping the DRS all together has its appeal.

Apart from the confusion and frustration it has brought to the game, the DRS has taken the theatre out of cricket.

Gone is that wonderfully dramatic moment when a wicket falls. When the bowler and his 10 supporting actors appeal at the top of their lungs, the umpire slowly raises his finger and the disconsolate batsman trudges off the ground.

Like the third wheel on a first date, the DRS has killed the moment.

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10 Comments

  1. Ron04:55pm Wednesday 19th December 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Sounds awfully like an Indian demand to me!!!!!!!

    Reply
  2. Dan05:26pm Wednesday 19th December 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Yes, all test matches now should only have Indian umpires. It was #$%$ from the start

    Reply
  3. Chene05:45pm Wednesday 19th December 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Who the hell is Martin Smith and whot is his greatest claim to fame ? ( Sorry, I forgot he is a noted teenaged journalist who knows jack-s**t about anything)

    2 Replies
  4. Chief Justice05:57pm Wednesday 19th December 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Author of article is out LBW. The number of Hotspot errors fades into insignificance compared to some of the umpire 'howlers' during the recent England - India series. The system might need some refining, but it works very well in my view

    Reply
  5. Steve06:45pm Wednesday 19th December 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    your an idiot Smith. DRS gets it right far more times than the human eye/ear. Maybe 5% of DRS proves wrong. Yesterday we saw 2 LBW human decsions that were wrong. After a 5 day match all but you, apparantly, want correct decisions. DRS itself adds to the theatre of test cricket

    1 Reply
  6. Ryan09:22pm Wednesday 19th December 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    You obviously don't play cricket Martin Smith! Lucky the decision is not up to you. The only change that needs to be made is to leave the referral in the hands of the umpires instead of the players. Yes there is occasionally a flaw with hotspot, but how many times has it proven to help make the right decision!

    Reply
  7. Michael01:34pm Thursday 20th December 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Agreed! This is not reporting, its opinion not fact. #$%$ off back to media school.

    Reply
  8. Red Dog12:27am Friday 21st December 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    You are obviously an Indian, with an assumed name. Back in your box Sanjay, just accept DRS. The rest of the world has.

    1 Reply
  9. Luke S01:32pm Friday 21st December 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    I don't think it should be up to the players - rather it should be up to the umpire to make the call whenever an LBW or IF caught dismissal is claimed. I'm sorry but umpires need to be there to carry jumpers/hats and not try and wing it in this day and age. With that said, I must say I miss watching some of the old highlights recently where every man goes ape droppings when the umpire raised his finger. If they were able to speed up the process, it would perfectly.

    Reply
  10. poly03:15pm Friday 21st December 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    This isn't the worst of it. The BIGGEST letdown in test cricket is the umpire checking for no-balls after a wicket. In my opinion, if he didn't call a no-ball, then he missed it and let's move on. What anti-climaxes for bowlers who work slavishly on flat pitches to get a wicket, celebrate with team-mates only to have the umpire check it and then overturn it because it was millimetres over. This distance wouldn't have made any difference to what the batsmen did!!

    Reply