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DRS in cricket, full form, meaning, work in cricket

Cricket, often called the “Gentleman’s Game,” has embraced technology like other sports. One of the most impactful innovations is the Decision Review System (DRS in cricket), which helps on-field umpires make accurate decisions using technology. This article digs into the details of DRS in cricket, exploring its history, how it works, and its impact on the game.

DRS in cricket

What DRS in cricket

The Decision Review System is a technology-based system used in cricket to assist umpires in reviewing their decisions on dismissals. Players can challenge an umpire’s call of “out” or “not out” for LBW (leg before wicket) and catch dismissals. The DRS in cricket utilizes various technologies, including:

  • Hawk-Eye: This system tracks the ball’s trajectory, showing whether it would have hit the stumps.
  • Snickometer: This technology detects faint edges on the bat using microphones.
  • Ball-Tracking Technology: This advanced system predicts the ball’s path after it pitches, showing if it would have hit the wickets.

A Look Back: The History of DRS in Cricket- Technology Umpiring Cricket’s Evolution

Cricket, steeped in tradition, has embraced technology like few other sports. One of the most impactful innovations is the Decision Review System (DRS in cricket), forever altering the way umpires officiate and players strategize. Let’s embark on a journey through the history of DRS, exploring its inception, controversies, and impact on the game.

From Doubts to Trials: The Early Days (1992-2008)

The seeds of DRS in cricket were sown in 1992 when limited on-field umpire consultations with the third umpire, using replays, were introduced. However, it wasn’t until 2008 that a formal system emerged. Initially called the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS), it faced scepticism and underwent trials during bilateral series. The BCCI, notably, remained apprehensive.

A Debut Remembered: India vs Sri Lanka (2008)

On a balmy Colombo evening in 2008, history unfolded. The India-Sri Lanka Test saw the UDRS debut, with Anil Kumble’s unsuccessful LBW review against Malinga Warnapura marking the first. Soon after, Tillakaratne Dilshan overturned his dismissal, becoming the first beneficiary. Despite teething issues, the potential for fairer results was evident.

Evolution and Expansion: 2009-2016

The UDRS gradually evolved, adopting the now-familiar “Decision Review System” name. The number of reviews per team varied across formats, and debates surrounding the “Umpire’s Call” arose. In 2011, ODIs embraced DRS, followed by T20Is in 2017. However, the BCCI’s continued opposition delayed its universal adoption.

Breaking the Stalemate: The BCCI’s Acceptance (2016-Present)

A five-match Test series against England in 2016 finally saw the BCCI warm up to DRS. Ironically, former captain and DRS critic Anil Kumble, now the coach, witnessed India’s embrace of the system. Since then, DRS has become an integral part of international cricket, albeit with occasional tweaks and controversies.

How Does the Decision Review System Work?

The Decision Review System (DRS in cricket) is a technology-assisted system in cricket that helps umpires make accurate calls, particularly for dismissals like LBW and caught. While it’s not perfect, it’s significantly impacted the game. Let’s delve into how it works:

Two Types of Reviews:

There are two ways DRS can be triggered:

Player Review in DRS in Cricket: A Crucial Element in Cricket Strategy

DRS in cricket

When an umpire makes a dismissal call in cricket, players have the chance to challenge it using the Decision Review System (DRS). This option, known as a Player Review, empowers players to influence the game’s flow and adds a strategic layer to the sport. Here’s what you need to know:

Who can initiate a Player Review?

  • Batsman: After being given “out,” the batsman can challenge the decision.
  • Captain: If the on-field decision results in the dismissal of a teammate, the captain can request a review on behalf of the dismissed player.

When can a Player Review be used?

  • Only on dismissals, specifically LBW and caught decisions (exceptions apply in some formats).
  • Within 15 seconds of the umpire’s call.
  • Players have a limited number of reviews per innings (two in T20Is, three in ODIs, and three during specific periods in Test matches).

How does the Player Review process work?

  1. Signal and Reason: The player raises their bat in a “T” shape to signal a review request and informs the umpire of the suspected reason for overturning the call (e.g., LBW outside the line, no edge for caught behind).
  2. Review Timer: A 15-second timer starts, giving the player time to explain their reasoning to the captain and teammates.
  3. Communication with Third Umpire: If the request falls within the timeframe, the on-field umpire communicates the challenge to the third umpire via hand signals.
  4. Replays and Analysis: The third umpire analyzes replays using Hawk-Eye, Snickometer, and Ball-Tracking Technology, aiming to identify evidence for or against the original decision.
  5. Decision and Explanation: Based on the analysis, the third umpire informs the on-field umpire of their assessment (“out,” “not out,” or “Umpire’s Call”). The on-field umpire makes the final decision and explains it to players and the crowd.

Important points to remember:

  • Even with DRS in cricket, the on-field umpire retains the final say.
  • If the review goes against the player, they lose a review. However, if the original decision is overturned or ruled “Umpire’s Call,” the review remains intact.
  • Teams strategize their review usage carefully, considering factors like the game situation, remaining reviews, and confidence in the challenge.

Impact of Player Reviews:

  • Reduced Umpiring Errors: Gives players some control over potentially incorrect decisions, promoting fairer outcomes.
  • Increased Drama and Tension: Reviews add suspense to the game, keeping fans engaged and on the edge of their seats.
  • Strategic Gameplay: Teams strategize review usage, adding another layer of mental battle and complexity.

Umpire Review in DRS in cricket: When the On-Field Call Needs a Second Look

The Decision Review System (DRS in cricket) isn’t just for players; umpires themselves can also utilize it to ensure accurate decisions. This option, known as an Umpire Review, brings another layer of fairness and scrutiny to the game. Let’s delve into how it works:

When can an Umpire Review be initiated?

  • Doubtful Close Calls: Unlike Player Reviews, which are restricted to dismissals, umpires can use DRS in cricket for any on-field decision where they have genuine doubts or require further clarification. This can include run-outs, stumpings, catches, boundary calls, and even bump balls.
  • No limitations: Unlike players, umpires have no limit on the number of reviews they can take.

How does the Umpire Review process work?

  1. Hand Signal: The on-field umpire raises their hand in a square shape, mimicking a TV screen, to indicate they are requesting a review.
  2. Communication with Third Umpire: The on-field umpire informs the third umpire about the specific aspect of the decision they wish to review.
  3. Replays and Analysis: Similar to Player Reviews, the third umpire analyzes replays using DRS technologies to provide insights and observations.
  4. Decision and Explanation: Based on the analysis, the third umpire recommends a specific outcome to the on-field umpire (e.g., “out,” “not out,” or “indeterminate”).
  5. Final Decision: Ultimately, the on-field umpire has the final say and makes the decision after considering the recommendation and their own observations. They then explain their decision to the players and the crowd.

Key Points to Remember:

  • Unlike Player Reviews, there’s no pressure on the umpire to lose reviews if the analysis contradicts their initial call.
  • Umpires use their discretion and experience to determine when a Umpire Review is necessary.
  • This system helps rectify potential errors in close calls, especially involving complex situations or obscured views.

Impact of Umpire Reviews:

  • Enhanced Fairness: Allows umpires to double-check close calls, contributing to more accurate decisions and fair outcomes.
  • Transparency and Trust: The open communication between umpires and the third umpire fosters transparency and builds trust in the DRS in cricket system.
  • Reduced Controversies: Helps resolve contentious calls more objectively, potentially mitigating post-match disputes.

Understanding the Umpire Review system adds another dimension to appreciating the complex decision-making process in cricket. It highlights the collaborative effort between umpires and technology to ensure the game’s integrity and fairness.

Technologies and Steps in the Decision Review System (DRS in cricket): A Deep Dive

DRS in cricket

The Decision Review System (DRS) in cricket utilizes technology to assist umpires in making accurate decisions, particularly regarding dismissals. Here’s a breakdown of the key technologies and steps involved:


  • Hawk-Eye: This sophisticated system tracks the ball’s trajectory from the bowler’s hand to the point of impact with the batsman or stumps. It uses high-speed cameras and complex algorithms to predict if the ball would have hit the wickets, even after being deflected by the batsman or pad.
  • Snickometer: This technology employs highly sensitive microphones placed around the wicket to detect faint edges on the bat when the ball makes contact. By analyzing the sound waves picked up, it can identify even the slightest nicks that might go unnoticed visually.
  • Ball-Tracking Technology (BTT): An advanced system that predicts the ball’s path after it pitches, considering factors like pitch conditions and spin. This helps determine if the ball would have gone on to hit the stumps even if it missed the batsman altogether.
  • Hot Spot: This infrared imaging technology identifies areas on the bat where friction has generated heat, potentially indicating contact with the ball. While no longer widely used due to limitations, it can be helpful in specific situations.

Steps involved in a DRS in cricket review:

  1. Player/Umpire Request: Either the batsman/captain (Player Review) or the on-field umpire (Umpire Review) can initiate a review within a specific timeframe depending on the format (usually 15 seconds).
  2. Communicating the Reason: The requesting party informs the umpire and the third umpire about the suspected reason for challenging the decision, like LBW outside the line, no edge for caught behind, or a close run-out call.
  3. Replays and Analysis: The third umpire analyzes replays from various angles using Hawk-Eye, Snickometer, BTT, and potentially Hot Spot, depending on the situation.
  4. Third Umpire’s Recommendation: Based on the analysis, the third umpire communicates their assessment to the on-field umpire, suggesting “out,” “not out,” or “Umpire’s Call” if the evidence is inconclusive.
  5. Final Decision: The on-field umpire retains the final say, carefully considering the recommendation, replays, and their own observations before making and explaining the final decision to players and the crowd.

Important Points:

  • Each team has a limited number of reviews per inning (varies across formats).
  • The “Umpire’s Call” stands if the technology cannot conclusively overturn the on-field decision, even if it appears marginal.
  • DRS is not foolproof, as limitations in technology and interpretation can still lead to errors.

Also Read: DLS in Cricket

The Future of DRS in Cricket:

As technology evolves, DRS is expected to become even more sophisticated. More accurate tracking systems, improved ball detection, and integration with other technologies like augmented reality are potential areas of development.

In conclusion, DRS has revolutionized cricket umpiring, making the game fairer, more exciting, and strategically complex. While challenges remain, DRS is likely to continue playing a vital role in ensuring the integrity and drama of the Gentleman’s Game.

FAQ on DRS in Cricket

Question 1. What is DRS?

Answer: DRS stands for Decision Review System. It’s a technology-assisted system used in cricket to help umpires make accurate decisions, particularly on dismissals like LBW and caught.

Question 2. Who can use DRS in cricket?

Answer: Both players and umpires can use DRS.

  • Players: Can challenge an umpire’s “out” or “not out” decision for dismissals within 15 seconds (limited number of reviews per innings).
  • Umpires: Can request a review for any on-field decision where they have doubts (no limit on reviews).

Question 3. What technologies are used in DRS in cricket?

Answer: Hawk-Eye (predicts ball’s trajectory), Snickometer (detects faint bat edges), Ball-Tracking Technology (predicts ball’s path after pitching), and Hot Spot (detects bat-ball contact using heat imaging).

Question 4. How does a review work?

Answer: 1. Request (player/umpire signals). 2. Reason stated. 3. Replays analyzed with technology. 4. Third umpire recommends “out,” “not out,” or “Umpire’s Call.” 5. On-field umpire makes final decision and explains it.

Question 5. How many reviews do teams get?

Answer: The number of reviews per team varies across formats:

  • Test: Three during specific periods.
  • ODI: Three.
  • T20I: Two.

Question 6. What is the “Umpire’s Call”?

Answer: Even with technology, if the on-field call is marginal and inconclusive with DRS, the original decision stands. This can be controversial.

Question 7. What are the benefits of DRS in cricket?

Answer: Reduces umpiring errors, increases fairness, adds drama and tension, and encourages strategic gameplay.

Question 8. What are the criticisms of DRS in cricket?

Answer: Limited reviews, “Umpire’s Call” subjectivity, potential for technical errors, and accessibility differences between nations.

Question 9. Is DRS perfect?

Answer: No. While it significantly improves accuracy, limitations in technology and interpretation can still lead to errors.

Question 10. How will DRS evolve in the future?

Answer: More accurate tracking systems, improved ball detection, and integration with technologies like augmented reality are potential areas of development.

Ankit Singh
Ankit Singh
Meet Ankit Singh, a passionate sports lover and writer for thesportsinsights news portal. With a deep understanding of the sports world and a love for all things athletic, Ankit Singh brings a unique perspective to the team of writers at thesportsinsights.


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