Umpire Decision Review System

The Umpire Decision Review System (abbreviated as UDRS or DRS) is a new technology based system currently being used on an experimental basis in the sport of cricket. The system was first introduced in Test Cricket for the sole purpose of reviewing the controversial decisions made by the on-field umpires in the case of a batsman being dismissed or not. The new review system was officially launched by International Cricket Council on 24 November 2009 during the first Test match between New Zealand and Pakistan at the University Oval in Dunedin.[1][2] It was first used in One Day Internationals in January 2011, during England's tour of Australia.[3] The ICC had made the UDRS mandatory in all international matches[4] but it later decided to end the mandatory use of DRS and now it will be up to both the teams to mutually agree on DRS use. However, the ICC's executive board made it clear that the DRS would still be part of all ICC events and that they support the use of technology and would continue to work on its development.[5]



Each team is allowed to make two unsuccessful review requests per innings during a match. A fielding team may use the system to dispute a "not out" call and a batting team may do so to dispute an "out" call. The fielding team captain or the batsman being dismissed invokes the challenge by signalling a "T" with the arms. Once the challenge is invoked, acknowledged, and agreed, the Third Umpire reviews the play. While umpires may request the Third Umpire for certain close calls such as line calls (to determine run outs and stumpings) and boundary calls, a challenge is used in situations that may result in a dismissal: for example, to determine if the ball is a legal catch (making contact with the batsman's bat or glove and not touching the ground before being held by a fielder) or if a delivery made the criteria for a leg before wicket dismissal (hitting the ground in line or on the off side and hitting the batsman in line with a path that would have hit the wicket). The Third Umpire then reports to the on-field umpire whether his 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. Each team can go for referrals until they use their share of unsuccessful reviews. Under the DRS rule 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.

When a not-out LBW decision is evaluated, and if the replay demonstrates the ball has made impact more than 2.5m away from the wickets, the umpires also have to consider another feature: the distance the ball has travelled between pitching and hitting the pad. If that distance (between pitching and pad) is less than 40cm and if the ball has to travel more than 2.5m to reach the stumps, then any not-out decision given by the on-field umpire will remain not out. It has also been decided that if the batsman is more than 3.5m from the wicket, then again not-out decisions will not be reversed. The only picture in which an LBW decision will be reversed in favor of the bowler is if the batsman is more than 2.5m away from the wicket, if the distance is less than 3.5m and the distance between pitching and point of impact is more than 40cm. In that case, some part of the ball must be hitting the middle stump, and the whole ball must be hitting the stumps below the bails. In cases where the original decision is out, the 2.5m or 40cm distances do not apply, as in that state Hawk Eye must show the ball to be completely missing the stumps in order for the umpire to undo his decision.


The Decision Review System has generally received positive response from players and coaches since its launch, however there have been some criticisms as well. West Indies legend Joel Garner labelled the system a 'gimmick'.[6] Another West Indian Ramnaresh Sarwan said that he was not a supporter of the experimental referral system.[7] Former umpire Dickie Bird also criticised the system, saying it undermines the authority of on-field umpires.[8] The cricketing board of India, (BCCI) is not in favour of using the system.[9]

Pakistani spinner Saeed Ajmal expressed dissatisfaction over the Decision Review System after semi-final of 2011 Cricket World Cup against India. He said that DRS showed the line of the ball deviating more than it actually did.[10]

The British company HawkEye published an official response on the Sachin Tendulkar review, which proves that the decision reversal was right.[11]

ICC World Cup 2011

The first referral of the World Cup came after the 4th ball of the 2nd innings was bowled. India's Shanthakumaran Sreesanth had bowled a yorker and the umpire declared it not out. Dhoni referred it to the TV umpire and a replay showed it might have missed the leg stump, so the original decision was upheld. The match marked the debut of the controversial umpire referral system in World Cup cricket. UDRS was used in a thrilling tie between India and England in Bangalore as MS Dhoni was annoyed by the system and said that it is an adulteration of human decision and technology, to which the ICC replied that the players should know the technology before passing judgement on it.[12] ICC later revised the guidelines of the 2.5m rule. Pakistan used DRS successfully against Australia in their group A match. Australian captain Ricky Ponting edged a delivery from Mohammed Hafeez and the umpire ruled it not out. The DRS system reversed this decision. This was a critical turning point in the match. The Australian skipper admitted after the match that he had edged the ball, but said he stayed at the crease because he has never been a walker. "There were no doubts about the nick - I knew I hit it," Ponting said. "But as always, I wait for the umpire to give me out. That's the way I've always played the game."


  1. ^ "Decision Review System set for debut". Nov 23, 2009. Retrieved 2010-02-18. 
  2. ^ "Official debut for enhanced review system". Cricinfo. Nov 23, 2009. Retrieved 2010-02-18. 
  3. ^ "Referrals to be used in Australia-England ODI series". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 16 January 2011. Retrieved 16 January 2011. 
  4. ^ "Mandatory for all matches". Retrieved 29 June 2011. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Garner labels review system as a 'gimmick'". London: The Independent. Dec 10, 2009. Retrieved 2010-02-18. 
  7. ^ Weaver, Paul (Dec 6, 2009). "Sarwan unhappy with umpire review system despite reprieve". London: Guardian. Retrieved 2010-02-18. 
  8. ^ "Dickie Bird criticises review system". Cricinfo. Dec 7, 2009. Retrieved 2010-02-18. 
  9. ^ "BCCI to oppose Umpire Decision Review System". The Nation. Nov 12, 2009. Retrieved 2010-02-18. 
  10. ^ "Ajmal speaks against DRS". The News International. 2 April 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-03. 
  11. ^ "Official Response to questions posed on Tendulkar lbw". Hawkeye Innovations,UK. 12 April 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-28. 
  12. ^ "UDRS, ICC World Cup 2011". 

See also


External links

  • – Full list of playing regulations relating to the implementation of the umpire decision review system is available on the website.

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