Ian Chappell
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Former Australia captain, now a cricket commentator and columnist

Take the DRS out of the players' hands

Umpires should be empowered to use technology to improve their decision-making

Ian Chappell

January 27, 2013

Comments: 123 | Text size: A | A

The spectators wait for a review on Kevin Pietersen's lbw decision, England v Pakistan, 1st Test, Trent Bridge, 1st day, July 29, 2010
More often than not, the limited reviews each team has are taken by its best batsmen © AFP

If the BCCI had more faith in its hand-picked television commentators and allowed them to discuss the DRS on air, it might discover there are some like-minded souls out there - i.e. people who are equally sceptical of the system.

If ever evidence was needed that there are flaws in the Decision Review System, they were amply provided in the SCG one-dayer between Australia and Sri Lanka. With Michael Clarke having used up Australia's sole review, David Warner and Moises Henriques were then ambushed by incorrect umpiring decisions. Both batsmen got healthy inside edges to deliveries but were adjudged lbw.

Those SCG examples contradict the assertion of Dave Richardson, who was the ICC general manager when he spoke to a gathering of Channel 9 commentators at the Gabba prior to the 2009-10 series against West Indies. He told the commentators: "The DRS is designed to eradicate howlers and get the right decision." At the time I thought, how can you guarantee the correct decision will be reached when there are a finite number of unsuccessful reviews?

I suspected the individual aspect of a team game would ensure the bulk of the reviews would be utilised by top-order batsmen. As former Australian prime minister Paul Keating shrewdly observed, "Always bet on self-interest because you know it's a goer."

Little did I realise that the DRS would also become more of a tactical ploy than a review system. In the same way that West Indies in their heyday slowed the over rate down on the odd occasion they were in danger of losing a game, the DRS is often used as an unwarranted trick in strategy. Umpiring decisions and over rates should never be a part of cricket's tactical fabric.

The DRS, in the unreliable hands of players, is being used more for 50-50 decisions than to eradicate howlers. If a team's best batsman is at the crease and the side is in trouble, a review will almost always result - more a case of self-preservation than any highly principled attempt to be a part of improving the umpiring standard.

The constant reviewing of 50-50 decisions can only undermine the confidence of the umpires, and more importantly, is likely to change their decision-making thought process.

There never has been, nor will there ever be, a case where a 50-50 decision causes animosity on the cricket field. Players are conditioned to accept that one day these decisions will go your way and the next they'll go against you. What does cause animosity on the field is the absolute howler that can change the course of a match. Andrew Symonds being given not out to an obvious caught-behind early in his innings and then going on to score 162 not out in Sydney is a classic example of a howler that caused great animosity on the field. It also led to a terse retort from the normally equitable Anil Kumble at the after-match press conference.

One of the founding principles of the game is also flouted when the DRS is put in the hands of players. As kids we were told the umpire is right, so always accept his decision without question.

The DRS also interrupts the flow of the game. Some of the more exciting moments, like the celebration of a crucial wicket or a brilliant catch, are put on hold, never to be recaptured, as the review process grinds to a conclusion. It would be a case of criminal interference to interrupt the celebration of a hat-trick with a torturous review.

Surely it's time to put any review system in the hands of the umpires so that it stops being a tactic, rids the game of the howler, and on most occasions, brings a satisfactory outcome. Trying to devise a system that produces the correct decision is not possible at the moment (and probably never will be) and attempting to achieve that aim robs the game of one part of the delightfully enticing human element.

It's time to seriously rethink the DRS. It's a topic that should involve a lot of discussion and input from ex-players and some robust debate on commentary.

Former Australia captain Ian Chappell is now a cricket commentator for Channel 9, and a columnist

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Posted by atheros1672 on (January 29, 2013, 17:56 GMT)

@ JoieDeVivre: Brilliant suggestion mate!!! If we have a resource (no offense to any 3rd umpires), why not use it. Give him powers to intervene if the decision was an absolute cracker jack!!!!!!!!!

get the player back in/out......move on with the game.....

Posted by atheros1672 on (January 29, 2013, 17:52 GMT)

Continued from above:

Adding DRS into his kitty is just going to be an redundant addition. And besides, theoretically the reason why they do go for the 3rd umpire is because they believe it is out or not out. Why else would he give his decision. Giving DRS is not going to make him refer to review because he already believess it is out/notout. THe only thing that it might do is prolong some of the decision that would normally be given out/notout instantaneously.

I am a firm believer that adding DRS is not a major plus. The decision is supposed to be spontaneous. THe umpire's decision if given with unbiased intentions in mind is to be accepted by the team regardless. Yes, they will go against you sometime and for you the other, but that is the beautiful part and parcel of cricket and makes it beautiful.

Why rob cricket of its beauty... It is like robbing Basketball of the rebound points and hockey off its assist points or tennis off its volley points. JUST PLAIN CRAZY...

Posted by atheros1672 on (January 29, 2013, 17:45 GMT)

I agree that the DRS is being used as a tactical ploy and not for the purpose it was introduced for. As a bowling captain I want to ensure that the opposition has run out of the DRS available asap so I appeal for far more cases than I should and it is quite possible that one of 100 would be given by umpire just on pressure. Now it does not quite work that ways completely, but I am sure there is a thread of possible impact on the umpire pschologically. And it might in turn force an error. Not definitely effective but as a opposition captain it does not hurt me trying. Self preservation is the other aspect of it when key players like Clarke use up the review and robbing Warner off his chance to "Eliminate howlers". But thats the way game is played.

But i do not agree with the suggestion to give the power to the umpire. How is that going to work? An umpire at present makes his decision based on his read and gut feel. He still has the option of going to the 3rd umpire anytime.

Posted by Faizan_Bahadur on (January 29, 2013, 15:15 GMT)

Asking umpire to take assistance from 3rd umpire in making a decision is not going to work.We should keep in mind that umpires dont give a batsman out if they are 50-50.They give out when they are 100% sure. so they have no doubt in their mind that they are making right decision. I think the current way is the best way DRS can be used coz the bastmen who are using that for tactics have to pay if some other batman of their team is given out wrongly.Just like Clarke used it for tactics coz he is best batsman of Australia and as a result two of his batsmen bear for his wrong doing.Sooner every batsman will realize that I dont have to be selfish and I should only challenge if there is a howler,not for any tactics.

Posted by Cricket_theBestGame on (January 29, 2013, 3:58 GMT)

i've said it before and i hope you read it too Mr chappel.

get the 3rd umpire to earn his money a bit more. let him watch every ball like the on field umpire but with zoomed in camera (like the one they use forDRS). then as soon as he sees the edge or thigh pad, shirt etc, get on the mic and tell the on field umpire "not out. edge". "not out off thigh/shirt" etc. umpires are human but those two edges of warner and moises were bewildering really!

players will be then content that 3rd umpire has seen it on the t.v and has made the right decision.

either the above or put away drs for good or give unlimited reviews!

Posted by TRAM on (January 29, 2013, 1:16 GMT)

The aim : Correct umpiring decisions without undue delay in the match.Solution: Replace the onfield & 3rd umpires with one "Decision Review Team (DRT)" comprising umpires and computer technicians, which reviews every case (doubtful in their opinion). There will be only one onfield "Game Conductor" (not umpire) whose job is only to conduct the game such as count the balls,overs, start/stop delivery etc. Let the game move on and not wait for DRT's decision. The DRT can press a button on their decisions, which is displayed on screens. The DRT can also easily monitor the players' conduct, such as if a batsman continues to play even after he is obviously out. The DRT holds the authority to declare the subsequent balls dead or valid balls - case by case. If the batsman was out 2 balls back the last 2 balls become dead obviously. But if it is a question of 4 or 6 no need for dead ball in most cases. and so on. Thus all decisions are good and no delays, including the umpiring signals !

Posted by Alexk400 on (January 28, 2013, 21:27 GMT)

There is no technology is perfect and fool proof. It is how to apply can be fool proof. Hotspot do not work well on sunlight. Hawk eye just guessimate. It may have some formulas..god only know how it can be accurate. The problem always where to draw the line? Do we trust 100% hawkeye? We need competition. We have to have more vendors who comes out with better technology. Eventually we end up with better technology which can cover all aspects. I still think appeal system is ok if it is with coaches. You need to make money anyway. We want people with better sight should appeal. I do not like third umpire make decision without appeal. I always felt sometime third umpires sleeping.

Posted by PPD123 on (January 28, 2013, 20:46 GMT)

I agree a support with Ian Chappell's views. Players are definitely using DRS as a strategy and almost invariably the 2-3 top batsmen in the team end up using the DRS. I see some practical problems though - ball has pitched just outside the legstump. The umpire thinks he is out and gives it, the batsman will have to go. I think this will get the discussion goiong the other way. If the player had the right to challenge it, he would have done it, got a reprive and, who knows scored a match winning innings. Another problem that I see is, if any batsman is given out and he speaks to the umpire and asks for a DRS review, cos he genuinly felt he was not out (say a slight inside edge) he could be in trouble for showing dissent. So I think the way forward could be to keep the current DRS of the players and also empower the umpires to take DRS aid to make a decision. Agree it could slow the game down a bit, but lets ask ourselves, do we need more correct decisions or have a non-stop game.

Posted by hhillbumper on (January 28, 2013, 19:25 GMT)

DRS should be compulsory.Lets face it though what state would india be in if it had been used.They would have been massacred

Posted by cricmatters on (January 28, 2013, 19:09 GMT)

Finally a voice of reason and common sense. I still find it hard to believe that with all the technology available, they haven't found a uniform way of implementing it to assist the umpires. I always believe the third umpire should be part of the game watching each and every ball and should be allowed to intervene if he sees something which can improve the on-field decision making. When a wrong decision is given, the whole world knows instantly except the on-field umpires. DRS has already changed the momentum of the game as we see many decisions overturned after the initial celebrations. We should at least ensure that it improves the quality of the game.

Posted by   on (January 28, 2013, 18:57 GMT)

Ian Chappell's Issues with DRS, as I understand it: 1- Players use it for 50-50 chance rather than for howlers. 2- Finite reviews don't guarantee howlers to be eliminated. 3- Undermines umpire's authority. 4- Dampens fielding team's celebration. 5- It is tactic to acheive other ends rather than a mechanism for correct result. 6- It wastes a lot of time.

Solution: The DRS for LBW is fairly automated. We don't need to watch the full replay for the computer to come up with it's verdict of 'out', 'not-out', or 'umpire's call'. Why not have the computer's verdict appear on the screen for EVERY delivery imediately (as soon as the computer can generate it). That way, when the umpire calls it - his descision stands or is overturned by the indication on the screen. No time wasted, no review in player hands, upmires authority stands, howlers removed!

Posted by AllanofSouza on (January 28, 2013, 18:41 GMT)

I think the DRS should be used for all game. However the way it is used should be changed. The on field umpires can give the initial decision. The third umpire ALWAYS confirms it. This way nothing gets passed the slow mo, heat sensor and other tools that is advantigeous and available to the third umpire.

Posted by aby_prasad on (January 28, 2013, 18:22 GMT)

ICC has given a choice for all individual cricketing boards to either accept/avoid it. Now why would they give that choice is a mystery unless they have some reasons for it. BCCI has taken the option of avoiding it. They have preferred to wait till they are satisfied. Its the board's discretion, and the ICC gave them approval. So if anyone is to be 'blamed', it should the icc. But im sure both the icc and the other boards have their reasoning. Wonder why the fuss then by people here who arent even qualified to authoritatively speak about it. Yes you can give opinions but to outright rubbish some boards or the ICC speaks volume of the positions you have held in your life. Even when the inaugural t20 was being planned, it was bcci who joined in last. But once they did, we all know how t20 has developed in india! So give it some time!

Posted by cricket-india on (January 28, 2013, 16:36 GMT)

don't agree with chappell here...if the DRS is being used as a tactical ploy, it also means the players are aware of (or rather, should be aware of) the pitfalls. it's up to the players, really. if clarke hadn't been boneheaded enough to waste the available review, warner and henriques would have used it to save themselves - and the oz would still have had a review available to eliminate any future howler. the howlers in the cases of warner and henriques would not have happened, which has always been the purpose of the DRS. the limit on the number of unsuccessful reviews is what keeps the DRS from becoming a player's toy - no limit obviously ensures the on-field umpire becomes a joke. a set limit ensures no player refers a decision without thinking it thro'. today's players, even the experienced ones as clarke has shown, still have no idea how to use the DRS for the purpose for which it was designed. that's not the DRS' fault.

Posted by KanAloshFozter on (January 28, 2013, 16:25 GMT)

I completely agree with the point that the DRS should only be accessible for the third umpire. If he examine every ball for over stepping he can surely look into dismissals. That too, I think he should only look into howlers. Otherwise there isn't a need of progress. If the on field umpire misses a faint nick it's fine. Don't rob cricket of it's human element.

Posted by Amit_13 on (January 28, 2013, 12:50 GMT)

This seems to be a classic case of what a rulebook means. It tells you clearly what you can and cannot do but at the same time highlights the areas in the shadows. The fact that a decision is a howler is only known to the public and the third umpire at the time of play. And the use of DRS was written from a spectator (umpires included) point of view. None of whom are actually involved in the course of the game. Totally agree with Ian Chappell that the players, former and current, need to sit down and discuss what happens on the field between a wicket falling and the batsman crossing the boundary line. Surely, it is enough time for a smart computer to work out if there was an edge. Or an umpire and an assistant to work out if it would hit the sticks. DRS needs to be a passive or anonymous system that only buts in when there is a decision error. Not an active choice for every man and his dog to use it strategically.

Posted by IndiaNumeroUno on (January 28, 2013, 12:22 GMT)

Looks like DRS is opening a new can of worms all the time! Why doesn't ICC think this through and implement in a standardised manner? Remove the nonsense that is ball tracking (using astrology might be more precise!), get some agreement on the cost sharing, make the rules of using it clear.. don't see any reason why anyone would oppose it then?. I actually like this idea from Ian of letting the umpire/ third umpire use it themselves rather than building another sub plot in the name of "cricket strategy" to the main theme.. i.e playing the actual game!

Posted by Veritas_Aequitas on (January 28, 2013, 11:40 GMT)

The DRS is fine as it is. firsty, you can't blame the DRS system or its implementation when Clarke reviews a 50/50 call and gets it wrong. If he had accepted the decision, which was not a howler, the other howlers could've been avoided. It's Clarke's fault for not using the system as intended. Secondly, the review system has significantly decreased the endless over-the-top appealing that used to take place. If you think the umpire is incompetent then review. If you get it wrong twice (in tests) then you're clearly more incompetent that the umpire, so shut up! Thirdly, leaving the review decision to the umpire would lead to more reviews, not less, and really slow the came down. finally, the system isn't 100%, so that's why there is the 'umpires call' option for close decision, whcih essentially revert back to the old pre DRS days.

If the players respect the system, howlers will be avoided; if not, then they won't and the palyers pay the price. The system is not the problem.

Posted by amitgarg78 on (January 28, 2013, 11:26 GMT)

Cost, reliability/ accuracy and implementation - 3 things that are wrong with the system, as it exists now. So why is everyone still rooting for DRS? And criticizing BCCI for not supporting it? Ironic.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (January 28, 2013, 10:43 GMT)

@IndianPunter: although I believe that the predictive element is worth keeping with the proviso that the 'umpire's call' territory is maintained (because it emphasizes the lack of doubt of the fairness of the dismissal), the unseen-inside-edge decision (prob the major source of howlers, I think) can, & shd, be speedily corrected by the 3rd umpire alerting his on-field colleague. A vibrating ear-piece would be sufficient without any dialogue! (I considered a small electric shock, but thought better of it;-). All in all, we're agreed that technology needs to be used more than it is in India, because it removes the 'I wuz robbed!' element that so bedevils our game & gives it a poor & unsportsman-like image. With money, careers & reputations riding on officaldom, it does professional cricket no favours to resist change by not using all the technology available to get it right. The matter of maintaining tempo by swift & accurate decisions should now be the major concern of administrators.

Posted by PhaniBhaskar24 on (January 28, 2013, 10:36 GMT)

Now for all BCCI bashers, here is a deep analysis from emotional aspect to technical flaws of DRS from Ian...well, this gives deep insight of DRS flaws...Now pls repect BCCI for its stand on not allowing DRS in its games..afterall, Cricket is a game played by humans & not Robos

Posted by Sanjana_p on (January 28, 2013, 8:53 GMT)

Kiwirocker needs his head checked for excess green jealousy lol keeps blabbing about india winning wc and series bcos umpires favoured them! hahaha I dont hear anyone say anything about biased umpiring in sharjah or the erred rule in 92 wc without which pak wudnt hav won many matches including 92 wc where they were 75 all out and still got a point due to technical stupidity after the rain! But we all accept pak as true champions. but green eyed delusionals will have serious delusions when they lose like kiwirockers lol, just like his name suggests kiwi and he supports pak or goes anti india.

Posted by TheCricketeer on (January 28, 2013, 8:07 GMT)

I think DRS should be used immediately for certain decisions and not at all for others:

1. Every single wicket - while the batsman is walking off the field - the no ball should be quickly checked.

2. Every single LBW - while the batsman is walking off the field - the pitched in line and hit in line aspects should be checked.

The only time the batsman can request a review is when he has edged a ball onto his pads and has been given out LBW. He should be able to say to the umpire that he believes he hit the ball and the umpire should have the option of validating it. However - batsman who incorrectly request this referral should be tracked. One offense - warning. Two offenses - fine. Third offense - suspension. etc.

I think the caught behinds are much harder to adjudicate and the only time umpires should refer them is when there is doubt what the ball has hit. e.g. was it glove or thigh pad, glove or forearm. Batsman and fielding teams should not have an option here.

Posted by Zahidsaltin on (January 28, 2013, 7:56 GMT)

I feel it unfair that DRS only tests a bowler, WK or captains judgement in calling for a review. So in other words the bowler and the keeper have to be a near perfect umpire for not loosing the finit chances. I would suggest (1) checking of no-ball should go out of review as this should be left to the umpires initial judgement. It will make DRS a bit quicker (2) it should be allowed for both teams and also the umpires to call for a review (3) Each team should have 3 reviews (4) Umpires should have infinit reviews and should be allowed to ask for a review whenever they feel unsure (5) Any player pressing an umpire to ask for an umpres review should be heavily fined.

Posted by karthik_raja on (January 28, 2013, 6:46 GMT)

For once, I agree with Ian. Sensible ppl will find that BCCI is not against DRS(Decision review), bt only bothered about how its done. DRS without Hawkeye and Hotspot is the way to go. I mean, the NOT OUT decision of faint nick which ONLY Hotspot can detect is by no means a howler. And if you can get right decision for "inside edges", "not pitching in line" LBWs,(which doesn't need Hawkeye) you will have all howlers removed from decision making. Only bad decisions left are very marginal and can go either way(the umpire thinks). And thats why we have umpires in the center - to make decisions. Few more amendments can be like - No player is allowed to question umpire. Instead, the third umpire/match referee is given that authority - Obviously, they are not payed for sitting idle until some1 calls him. Frnds, How many of you accept that this kinda system will remove 99% of really bad decisions. Suggestions are welcome. TBH, I am not a big fan of BCCI. Bt, BCCI is almost right here.

Posted by wongwright on (January 28, 2013, 5:57 GMT)

So, the problem is of course, who determines whether decision is reviewed? Can't be the on-field umps. That means that the third umpire has to review. I still think leave it with the players but lets face it, what happened when there was no DRS??!! You copped it sweet ... end of story ... if there is no DRS, then that's it. However, as I argue with myself here, perhaps if there was NO DRS then the umpires may lift their game ... perhaps more intensive training is needed ... but, like the endless loop, this argument goes on. If you gave the umpires the power to refer to the DRS, then perhaps THEY would be free to admit it if they were unsure ... however you are then relying on umpires to self censure, so to speak. Ah, the cosmic wonder of it all!!

Posted by Green_Team on (January 28, 2013, 5:56 GMT)

Instead of forcing DRS, ICC Should need to view their umpire panel, Em not against DRS because of these umpires who will not hear a thick edge and gave players not out or some time gave them lbw. Last 2 India series a same umpire has been given chance again n again and every one saw the results. If ICC have umpires of these calibers then DRS should be imposed on every match . . .

Posted by samincolumbia on (January 28, 2013, 5:00 GMT)

BCCI stands vindicated...thank you Ian for finally able to see the light. It was a waste of lot of money for very marginal benefit. Also, if not used properly, it does not stop any howlers.

Posted by CandidIndian on (January 28, 2013, 3:46 GMT)

Well ICC introduced a new rule that thrid umpire will check that bowler has overstepped or not.In same way third umpire can assist on field umpires regarding LBW and caught behind decisions too.I mentioned this in comments section on another article that Aussies commentators were spot on with their comments on DRS when this Ckarke incident happened in Aus-SL match and they made same points which Ian has written here.Also to make it more controversy free neutral umpires should be third umpire not the home umpires.

Posted by Sydney66 on (January 28, 2013, 3:36 GMT)

Since the DRS is apparently being used primarily for the top-order batsman then why not make the DRS fair for all batsman and give each of the eleven batsman one review, and one only. It is possible that batsman maybe unfortunate to suffer two of more umpiring 'howlers' in an innings, but that is quite a rare occurance. Umpires are just not that bad (I think).

Posted by indianpunter on (January 28, 2013, 2:18 GMT)

@Nutcutlet, i generally agree with your comments, but i beg to differ in this case. I agree that a modified DRS has to be made mandatory ( and as an indian, i am ashamed at BCCI's bone headedness about this). It is not a perfect system and to me the predictive path has to be removed before DRS being applied across the board. But, if you give it to the umpires to make the call, there are 2 major issues i can forsee. 1. How does the umpire know that he has made a howler?. Sample this, big inside edge, given out. Obviously the umpire gave it out becoz he thought there was none. And then the 3rd umpire corrects him and sheepishly, the field ump has to call the batsman back. It would only take 1/2 such howlers for the field umpires to refer everything on and that would be dreary. 2. This has the potential to prolong the game. there are issues like inside/ outside edges, which can take a long time to come thru. i cannot imagine what multiple referrals would do to the game length

Posted by fazald on (January 28, 2013, 2:10 GMT)

The third umpire should come into play only when there's a very close LBW decision or a close caught behind decision to be made which may not be possible to judge in an instant by the naked eye by the field umpire. Since the third umpire would have the necessary facilities like the snickometer, the hotspot, ball trajectory etc at his disposal he should be consulted whilst the rest of the decisions should be left to the on field umpires for their verdict. Frankly speaking when I first mooted this idea of the DRS five years ago during the India v Australia test series downunder due to many controversial decisions concerning umpire Bucknor I proposed that there should be three chances per innings for each team to make use of this facility. Atleast I am happy that it has become a reality and needs only some fine tuning as what I have suggested above since these are the two main issues which needs urgent atrention.

Posted by kwdael on (January 28, 2013, 1:53 GMT)

The trouble is defining what is a 'howler' is - there is no clear cut differentiation between a 50:50 and a howler. There will always be a grey area - there have been many decisions for example that commentators have thought out (or not out), but that have been overturned to everyone's surprise.

Posted by corzaNZ on (January 28, 2013, 1:25 GMT)

Typical from Oz, when it doesn't go in their favor its wrong and should be changed..... just use it properly, Clarke shouldnt have used it and none of this would be talked about.... Remember Hobart?? Herath was out from inside edge on to pad and Chappell and the rest of the commentary team basically laughed at the Sri Lankan batsmen for wasting it.... Pure double standards right here

Posted by Chris_Howard on (January 28, 2013, 0:11 GMT)

Agreed, Ian. But if the ICC is to keep it in the hands of the players, then the first thing they must do is set a time limit on asking for a review. If you need to think about it or ask team mates, then it's obviously 50-50. For batsmen, make it immediate. For the fielding team, first make it only the bowler who can call for it, and again, make it immediate. At worst, give them 5 seconds. Also, set a time limit for the reviewing umpire. If he has to look at it for more than 30 seconds or so, it's obviously 50-50 and should stay with the onfield decision. Another thing I'd like to see changed is the margin of error allowed for no balls. Waiting 3 mins to see if the reviewing umpire can determine if a millimeter of the bowler's foot was behind the line is ridiculous. Again, if it's not clear in 30 seconds, go with the onfield decision. It's not a howler if you need time to think about it.

Posted by   on (January 27, 2013, 23:55 GMT)

Unfortunately this idea will not work. It will just further favour batsmen, as the on field or TV umpire might review an out decision and there is time to reprieve the departing batsmen. However, if the batsmen is given not out, it's unlikely the on field umpire will review it and by the time the TV umpire does another ball has been bowed, or we have big delays after every appeal.

I would suggest a better method would be to allow each team a certain number of reviews per match, for both fielding and batting. Say 6 for tests and 2 for ODIs, that way batsmen, particuarly batting first, will be more circumspect in case the review is needed later. But if they were 100% convinced they should still have one available to use.

Posted by RogerC on (January 27, 2013, 23:25 GMT)

Spot on. Lesser players will be worried of wasting DRS decisions and end up accepting bad decisions. Also, having paid a large sum of money for DRS, it is criminal not to use it for correcting howlers just because of per-innings limit. I feel umpires should use DRS at their own discretion when in doubt, very similar to how to refer stumpings and run-outs to the 3rd umpire.

Posted by Rolfardeo on (January 27, 2013, 22:55 GMT)

I agree that the DRS should be taken out of the hands of the players; however, it should not be up to the on field umpires either. After all they are the ones who have just given the "howler" that we are trying to eradicate. The third umpire should be given the power to intervene when he sees a questionable decision has been made. It is usually immediately obvious to all that are watching the television coverage when a really bad decision has been made and the third umpire is one who has access to that coverage. This way it is taken out of the hands of anyone who may have self interest in the decision.

Posted by blink182alex on (January 27, 2013, 22:08 GMT)

This is what they should do:

No batsmen get the chance to refer dismissals, instead EVERY wicket (1-11 batters) is quickly checked upstairs by the 3rd umpire for every dismissal mode, they check the no ball and then what ever else is needed, hawk-eye or hotspot etc. If its umpires call it stays with the on field call, if there is clear evidence to overall the umpire e.g. Warner and Henriques lbw's then the decision is changed.

This way no batsmen will ever be given out when they are not out, it wont take long to check every dimissal as think about it replays and hawk eyes are up seconds after a wicket on reply anyway.

Fielding side remains with 2 test and 1 odi reviews, they just need to use it better!

Posted by SnowSnake on (January 27, 2013, 21:16 GMT)

DRS will remain flawed no matter how it is employed. By putting it in the hands of Umpires the DRS becomes no-DRS because umpires may not review close decisions. Human judgement (to review a call) whether it is part of the players or the umpire is still the part of DRS. As long as human judgement remains a part of DRS, it remains susceptible to human fallacies. Add technological inaccuracies and limited reviews then DRS looks totally useless.

Posted by binojpeter on (January 27, 2013, 20:58 GMT)

I don't think any player would ask for a review unnecessarily. He asks for it because he feels deep in his heart that he did not get the right decision. He in most situations do not ask for obvious dismissals. So I am not for any penalty for unsuccessful reviews. Also giving that job to umpires does not make any sense. Umpires gives a decision because he feels he is right deep in his mind. So why would he review it if he is convinced of his decision?

Posted by Vishnz on (January 27, 2013, 20:55 GMT)

It is not very often that I find myself heartily agreeing with Ian (what with his very Oz oriented comments and views!), but he is absolutely correct in this situation. If DRS is touted to improve decision making then let the decision makers use it not the protagonists. In my humble view, DRS has resulted in poorer standard of umpiring (I am talking about the raw decisions before the possible use of DRS by the affected party) as umpires seem to have fallen into a false sense of "if the decision is wrong they will use DRS and it will all be ok". In my view, the third umpire should have access to super fast replays of every decision and have the mandate to inform the umpires on the field if a bad decision has been made. If this results in the over-rate being slightly impacted, so be it. In the IPL influenced days that we live in, most tests seem to finish round about day 4 or early on Day 5, so the loss of a few overs due to DRS may not matter at all.

Posted by LakMak on (January 27, 2013, 20:21 GMT)

Well, here my 2 cents. 1) First let's make DRS compulsory (ICC needs to foot the bill). No need to blame BCCI as several series have been played with DRS as hosting board could not afford the cost of DRS. 2) To deal with the issue mentioned in the article, cricket can follow the example of NFL. Every successful review, team will keep the review (team won't loose it) but every unsuccessful review team will not only loose it but will be charged 10 runs in tests and 5 runs in ODI and T20. This way team will be more sensible in using the available review.

Posted by sifter132 on (January 27, 2013, 20:03 GMT)

If the umpires can use it efficiently, appropriately and in a timely fashion, then I would support this move. My fear is we'll get batsmen hanging around on the boundary rope for 3 minutes, probably out, but umpires 'just checking' leading every non-umpire on the ground and in the crowd frustrated. I think the better answer is more reviews - maybe 5 in total, but a maximum of one per batsman/bowler in any innings (so that top order players don't spend them completely frivolously). I feel that it would work better than an umpire controlled DRS because crowds and viewers will be more accepting of player driven reviews than umpire driven ones.

Posted by Alexk400 on (January 27, 2013, 20:03 GMT)

if you are captain , the limited amount of appeals will make him use it for their best batsman as many times possible. So getting correct decision is not the goal. Its more of using DRS as a tool to take advantage of situation. As a fielding team also i feel fielders who is in different angle and bowlers in awkward position to judge anything. Its more of blind appealing and wasting evryone time except entertainment for crowd because it looks kinda gambling and hope they get lucky. DRS is fine but the APPLICATION OF DRS is flawed and badly designed by inexperienced people. I will appoint Ian chappel to make the new DRS. He seems best person because he always like to be neutral and fine tune the system. For me DRS appeal should be part of coach just for entertainment and also better decision can happen because they have better view. I do not like to put all pressure on third umpire to make every call on his own. He needs to relax and let others appeal first.

Posted by mattblacknaki on (January 27, 2013, 20:00 GMT)

Chappeli is spot on as usual. Why not use the 3rd & 4th umpires to improve this critical area and make the game more enjoyable for all - the players, umpires and mostly the viewing public!

Posted by padscant on (January 27, 2013, 19:55 GMT)

The DRS have gone a long way in helping better dicisions in the game, now that i have read this article by Ian Chappell i would like to make a suggestion that i beleive will make it a bit better. If the fielding team ask for a review of a LBW given by the umpire and the ball is hitting less than 50% off the stump the dicision stands. If the ball hit the stump the same percentage and the umpire dicision was not out the dicision still stand. It would help the fielding team in such a case if they can retain their appeal if the DRS show the ball hitting the stump despite the umpire retaining the LBW.

Posted by yorkshire-86 on (January 27, 2013, 19:48 GMT)

The incorrect dismissals of Warner and Henriquez were the fault of one person and one person only. Clarke. Clarke selfishly used up the one recourse the batsmen has to correct a bad umpiring desicion, to selfishly and futilely try and reverse a descision he was not sure was 100% wrong. Dont blame the umpires or the DRS system, blame the selfish Michael Clarke for wasting the teams review. If I was the Aussie selector I would strip the captaincy from him for a couple of Tests to let it be known it is unacceptable to cost the team 2 wickets to satisfy his own vanity. This would soon put an end to top order batsmen costing the team wickets, and possibly the match, by wasting the teams valuable review on 'self interest'

Posted by kirksland on (January 27, 2013, 19:16 GMT)

Fully believe that the DRS system, should be firly left in the hands of and for the sole discretion of the third umpire in consultation at times with the on field umpire. In the NFL now all Touch Downs and chage of possesion (i think) are subject to immediate review and it takes next to no time, lets do that for LBWs and thin edges.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (January 27, 2013, 19:00 GMT)

Quite. The issue whether or not players should call for its use when someone feels that the decision given by the ump is wrong, is probably a sensible way forward. Not using it at all (as the BCCI enforces for home series) should NOT be an option! So, it's a question of HOW the technology should be used, not WHETHER the technology used. That argument has been won & lost already, but no matter what Ian Chappell (or anyone) considers a sensible way forward, it is up to that fine, fearless body, the ICC, to put its size 12 down, very firmly: all internat matches shall utilise the technology available & that technology will be overseen by the 3rd umpire, so that a higher number of correct decisons are reached. This, as I have said many times before, will stop the spectacles of the sulking batsman as he leaves the crease, condemned on wrong, or no, evidence & the angry bowler who has been deprived of a hard-won scalp by an umpire who NEEDS & shd be granted some assistance to get it right!

Posted by Kapil_Choudhary on (January 27, 2013, 18:56 GMT)

Don't quite understand Ian's suggestion as he doesn't outline a method. If he's saying that umpires should be able to refer all decisions, then eventually even the smallest of appeals will get referred - just as it is today with run outs - as the umpire cant risk looking stupid giving a wrong decision when a TV replay is available. If he's saying that third umpire should unilaterally over-rule the on field umpire, then either players will waste time after every appeal hoping that the third umpire over-rules, or we may have a horrible situation where a howler is not overturned just because the next ball has already been bowled. In both cases, the interruptions in play - which is the most irritating aspect of referrals - will just increase, not decrease. At least currently, fans like me - who care more about the team doing well than any individual - can take solace in the fact that its the team itself who made a wrong review and hence suffered as opposed to an outside entity like the ump

Posted by hitesh288 on (January 27, 2013, 18:12 GMT)

I am an of an opinion that the 3rd empire should be glued to the TV and give the umpire on field instruction to recall batsman if there is huge mistake. DRS should be scrapped as it depends on the software to calculate the ball movement, well sometimes you just cant predict the movement, hence the best of the best batsmen gets out, but more to the point someone can recalibrate to change the game.

Posted by Shlok_Goyal on (January 27, 2013, 17:47 GMT)

I agree with much of what Chappell said, but at the same time his method of fixing the situation just brings us back to the era before the DRS when only umpires could consult the 3rd umpire. It has been proven that umpires don't use the 3rd umpire for lbw appeals. Also, if the umpire thinks it's quite clear that the person is out/not out, why should the umpire consult the 3rd umpire? 50-50 decisions that go the wrong way should also be eradicated and at least now, a team can't say that the decision made by the umpire was the wrong one as they had the opportunity to fix the error. If they wasted it on making tactical decisions, that's their fault. I believe the DRS can be improved, but its iteration right now is the best we have come with.

Posted by tally1983 on (January 27, 2013, 17:08 GMT)

in order to make drs compulsary, icc need to pay for it i assume??? as i cant see bangladesh, west indies, zimbabwe paying for the hotspot cameras. no point making it compulsary if some countries can't have some aspects of it or cant afford to have them. and to be honest with you, as india fan, if this was the case, i think most if not all india fans would accept it too. no point saying bcci pay fr it, as icc want it, they should pay for it.

but i think its better without it, as it creates the drama aspect also, i remember going to school when i was younger always talking about some umpire decisions that were game changing, this gets kids talking about it and also improves quality of 'entertainment' also. some people may not agree with this thought, but i think without this the game would die, esp test cricket.

Posted by ygkd on (January 27, 2013, 16:57 GMT)

I also dislike the tactical nature of the current DRS laws. Maybe there's some poetic justice in openers and first drops getting the lion's share of the batting review opportunities, but ultimately it's more important to get decisions right. Give it to the 3rd umpire - he's already doing all stumpings, all run-outs and checking a lot of dismissals for no-balls so I can't see the problem in extending that. At least you would know that a tight decision will be checked instead of waiting to see if the T-sign goes up - that is what spoils the flow of a game - the will-they-review-or-won't-they saga. I've had enough of it. Just use the technology, give as close to the right decision as possible and leave the players out of it.

Posted by CaptainKool on (January 27, 2013, 16:54 GMT)

See how many problems we have with DRS and I wonder how smart BCCI and India are not to use the system unlike many countries who follow each and every other ones.

Posted by Rohan1210 on (January 27, 2013, 16:48 GMT)

The idea of the DRS not at all bad bcoz it might not be 100% perfect but it helps in correcting some mistaken decisions up2 a great extent. Sometimes there r no. of poor decisions by umpires in a match against a particular team which costs them badly. So, in my opinion DRS shud be made compulsory n each side shud get atleast 2 n atmost 3 reviews in a match.

Posted by tickcric on (January 27, 2013, 16:36 GMT)

Ian Chappell makes some important points here and I agree with all of them. Technology allows the advantage of a re-look. Further it can undo many factors like human limitations in vision, hearing or role of emotions, which can negatively affect decision making. On field umpires and players are subjected to these human and circumstantial limitations. A DRS system in the hands of players actually does not make the full use of this fact... For instance in the example cited by Chappell, let's say, Michel Clarke actually felt he was not out. Then he felt that on the basis of a single experience of the incident. When he calls for the challenge he doesn't have the luxury of technology.So basically we have a case of a player's technology unaided judgement challenging umpires technology unaided judgement! And if its a wrong challenge penalizing the team by subsequently not allowing to do so! Quite silly when we have technology just to avoid these human errors.

Posted by drlimpel on (January 27, 2013, 16:35 GMT)

I don't know what kind of utopia Mr Chappell likes to live in, but I am pretty much certain its one where there have been no rows over biased umpiring in bilateral series. In the real world though this has been a recurring problem, especially with subcontinent teams, probably because usually any white skinned umpire's decision that goes against them is looked at with suspicion but also because in some cases the accusations do seem to carry some weight as well. The beauty of the DRS in its current iteration is that such complaints have been almost non-existent since its inception. Instead of raising a lot of hue and cry about dodgy umpiring decisions off the field and creating a lot of bad blood and acrimony, now players and captains have the power to contest decisions that they feel are harsh and settle matters ON THE FIELD. People need to realize that with these technological advancements the days of umpires being treated as holy cows are long gone and it has made the game fairer.

Posted by rkrdxb on (January 27, 2013, 16:29 GMT)

With the excellent TV coverage and technology, every mistake of the umpire is highlighted to the world and is embarrassing to all followers of the game, apart from of course the injustice done to the concerned player(s). '3rd umpire" reviews were first introduced for run out decisions and everybody is happy now with this development. Similarly there should be some reliable technology for other types of dismissals too...somehow I am not convinced with the 'ball tracking' technology for LBWs and that should be left to the on flied umpires. Anyone who has played cricket knows that no one can accurately predict the path of a cricket ball after pitching on the turf wicket and benefit of doubt can be given only by on field umpires and not machines. However obvious howlers like inside edges or pitching outside the leg stump, over stepping (no ball) etc. merits more attention from the organisers and I think the 3rd umpire should automatically intervene to tip off the on field umpires.

Posted by eggyroe on (January 27, 2013, 16:26 GMT)

With regard to the D.R.S.,it appears to me that certain player's are using it as a personal Get out of Jail Free Card, and wasting a precious review.Then a lower order Batsman who gets a bad decision has no recourse to reverse the decision. I personally would do away with the D.R.S.completely,bearing in mind that the Standing Umpire has to make a Decision instantly,having to weigh up the pro's and cons of what he has seen and heard.Player's do not help themselves when they have obviously hit the ball,they stand there hoping to be given Not Out,and if Given Not Out is that not a form of Cheating.The Standing Umpires should make all Decisions minus D.R.S. and the Player's will have to learn to take the Rough with the Smooth after all Umpires are only human.There is also another aspect,that the Player's could become Qualified Umpires and look at the game from the Other Side Of The Fence.

Posted by LeoE on (January 27, 2013, 16:15 GMT)

Ian Chappell is way off target. He wants the DRS taken away from the players, because it is used as a time wasting tactic. Secondly, it can lead to the umpires losing confidence. Thirdly, it robs the excitement of a wicket falling and the ensuing celebrations. Fourthly, it will be used for 50-50 decisions and could also be utilized by the best batsman in the side attempting to protect his wicket. Mr. Chappell that's what this game is about. Tactics, and utilizing technology to eliminate human error. 50 overs have to be bowled . How can one tactically waste time ? Umpires are gaining in confidence everyday. They love this DRS. The celebrations take place when the DRS decision is signalled by the on field umpire. They scream and yell as in the past. No loss of exuberance there. The top batsmen are the best qualified to review decisions, as they are more valuable than the late order or the tail. However, there will come a day in the very near future when there will be five reviews.

Posted by   on (January 27, 2013, 15:51 GMT)

Hope this method is never adopted by the ICC, the umpires can never be certain about a decision most of the time and what would it do to the flow of the game if they keep referring upstairs for confirmation? sure there might be instances where the umpire might decide there is no need for a review and give the decision on field but WHAT IF that turns out to be a howler? after all they make mistakes, the easiest and the most obvious remedy is to change the number of unsuccessful REVIEWS from 1 to 2 this would work beautifully in most cases, definitely would have for australia at the SCG . but no the more controversial less sensible approach is always preferred.

Posted by Billz1130 on (January 27, 2013, 14:52 GMT)

Okay. The DRS was brought in to provide fairness to the game. Whether, it was a howler or a marginal decision, the idea was to correct a decision. I know that the DRS technology is not 100% but then technology overall has never been fool-proof. We are living in a world where systems like GPS can take you to an incorrect address and we deal with it.

Like any organization, where the CEO/President takes all the highly critical decision, the ICC as a governing body, should take matters in their hand and should stop member boards from opposing to the implementation. My point is not to talk trash about BCCI, but if it was any other board, I would've said that same thing. Majority should rule

I truly respect Mr. Chappell but I don't agree with him over here. I think this is the best solution where teams are given 1 review and its upto them however they chose to use it. Whether they utilize it to save their best batsman, so be it. IF there is a wrong decision made, it should be overturned.

Posted by SSJG on (January 27, 2013, 14:42 GMT)

I prefer the old fashion umpiring as the DRS at player level or on field umpire level has both pros and cons. If the 3rd umpire is given the full review how it will practically work is questionable. Reviewing a decision at a crucial time will spoil the movement. On the other hand a bad decision can change the course of a game. All in all that's why the game is interesting when you leave it the way it was. Like players are fined for various reasons umpires should be fined for bad decisions.

Posted by SSJG on (January 27, 2013, 14:42 GMT)

I prefer the old fashion umpiring as the DRS at player level or on field umpire level has both pros and cons. If the 3rd umpire is given the full review how it will practically work is questionable. Reviewing a decision at a crucial time will spoil the movement. On the other hand a bad decision can change the course of a game. All in all that's why the game is interesting when you leave it the way it was. Like players are fined for various reasons umpires should be fined for bad decisions.

Posted by SSS86 on (January 27, 2013, 14:11 GMT)

I have thought and thought about it, and I just don't see how its going to work. Who is going to convince the umpire that he should use the DRS at that point? Even in tennis, the challenges are in the hands of the players, not the umpire. A ridiculous suggestion.

Posted by   on (January 27, 2013, 13:50 GMT)

Why dont give the on field umpires some hand held device like an tablet. So that they can review any decision on their own and need not send it to third umpire. It will also remove the need for a third umpire.

Posted by I.Aziz on (January 27, 2013, 13:39 GMT)

Mr. Chappell I support your opinion 100 % 3rd umpire using the technology is the perfect way forward and most sensible one. We already know that it is 3rd umpire who is checking for a no ball if a player is given out and he (3rd) umpires who is also watching the line on his TV monitor asks the on ground umpire that he wants to review the no ball, so if he can do that then why he can't do that for an obvious snick for an LBW decision (I think very high percentage of LBW snicks is being given out these days, like at least 1 every innings) at the very least. LBW snick can be addend to 3rd umpire jurisdiction along with no balls.

Posted by yorkshire-86 on (January 27, 2013, 13:19 GMT)

A selfish top order batsmen wastes the teams one and only unsuccessful review on a 50-50 then a lower order batsmen gets a howler but has to go. Whos fault is that? Not the umpire, nor DRS. Its the selfish top order batsmen who is at fault, and 100% of the flack should fall on him for wasting the review. The teams management should seriously repremand a selfish batsmen who repeatedly wastes a teams review, and he should be told it his HIS fault the other batsmen was dismissed to a howler, as it was him that wasted the review the other batsmen should have had. If a team cant control selfish batsmen wasting reviews, they should not get the full benefit of DRS, while a team that can control its players will indeed save its review for a proper mistake.

Posted by whoster on (January 27, 2013, 13:19 GMT)

Can't agree with this. Of course players will use reviews for decisions that aren't obvious howlers, and it isn't the fault of DRS if, after using up the allotted reviews, wrong umpiring decisions are made. The bottom line is that more correct decisions are being made with it. Also, the point that it dilutes the instant excitement of a wicket being taken isn't true. I remember Adelaide 2010 where Graeme Swann reviewed an lbw against Marcus North in the 2nd innings - and I certainly didn't feel any less excitement when the 'not out' verdict was overturned. The technology is there for the public and TV to see, so as long as that's the case, it'd be stupid to not make use of DRS. The 'umpire's call' factor of DRS is a great innovation that sympathises with the officials and gives them leeway. Putting DRS in the hands of the umpires will put even more pressure on them. Was the non-use of DRS in the recent India v England Test series successful? I defy anyone to say that it was.

Posted by mjcoxx on (January 27, 2013, 12:44 GMT)

A thought provoking article by Ian Chappell but I still have some issues. He states that cricketers are willing to accept 50-50 decisions. Current use of the DRS shows they're not. One man's 50-50 decision is another man's howler. Every decision is a 50-50 decision - either the batsman is out or he's not - and that decision should be within the hands of the umpires. For DRS is to be most effectively implemented every single delivery must be immediately reviewed using all available technology, even if there is no appeal. Why should a bowler get away with bowling a no-ball (and the batting side miss out on an additional run) just because that delivery doesn't take a wicket? It would not slow up the game as the third umpire could check the front foot almost immediately. If a dismissal or appeal occurs he then checks everything after that and gives his recommendation via radio to the on field umpire within a 60 second time limit.

Posted by bamp on (January 27, 2013, 12:13 GMT)

i don't agree. players should use their brain and make wise decisions themselves

Posted by Buggsy on (January 27, 2013, 12:10 GMT)

Absolutely, remove the DRS from the players and give it to the umpires. 50-50 decisions should remain as the original call, but the third umpire should just give it a quick review as the player is walking off the field. If it's a blatant mistake, recall the batsman. It's pretty obvious which are the howlers, so just remove those and let the margin calls go.

Posted by Hammond on (January 27, 2013, 11:48 GMT)

Sorry Ian don't agree. The farce in the Ryobi cup early this year with batsman being given out and then walking like a sheepish snail to the change room hoping that the third umpire would find fault with the decision before they crossed the rope was proof that this doesn't work. I say DRS is the way to go, with only one referral. Simple.

Posted by bobmartin on (January 27, 2013, 11:09 GMT)

Why not follow rugby unions method where the review is requested by the referee with specific questions... e.g. Is there any reason I cannot award a try ? Umpires could simply, as they do now in the case of a catch, ask the third umpire for verification.. eg Is there any reason I cannot give that out LBW ? The third umpire reviews the action and replies Yes or No.. This doesn't have to be a long and complicated discussion... just a simple Yes or No... the ins and outs can be discussed either at an interval or post match.

Posted by bemUSed2 on (January 27, 2013, 10:54 GMT)

For me the biggest problem with the DRS is the inconsistency... Run outs, stumpings, no balls, low to the ground catches, if the ball has crossed the boundary rope, even hit wicket and handled the ball can all be checked by the third umpire on the request of the on field umpire at any time, yet LBWs, caught behinds and bat pad appeals can not... it simply doesn't make sense... as for Skilebow's concerns about slowing the game down, apart from a spinner who is ripping through his overs, there is ample time between balls or after a dismissal to review a decision... if a player thinks he has been unfairly treated by the umpire he will stand and pout (eg Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne, Kevin Pietersen) for more than enough time for the third umpire to watch the incident from every possible angle

Posted by   on (January 27, 2013, 10:52 GMT)

@KiwiRocker- on (January 27 2013, 06:36 AM GMT) commented Pak was denied World Cup 2011 because of DRS ( Ironically it won World cup for India on other hand), but PCB supports DRS and BCCI does not? For your kind info DRS was fully functional and operational during the WC 2011 or maybe you are from a different planet, Mr.PakiRocker. Get your stats correct before commenting.

Posted by   on (January 27, 2013, 10:26 GMT)

Handing the authority over to the umpire is the most bizarre thing there can be. What is going to happen in lets say an lbw case where the ball is just clipping the stumps? What is the umpire's call? What Ian Indian cric fans and some others fail to recognize is that DRS is there to help the umpire but he has to make a decision first. I dont know why everyone gets so awkward about the umpire being challenged, it happens all the time in tennis, nobody complains there. Its also ridiculous to complain about the limited reviews available. Obviously if you use it selfishly or wrongly only the team is going to suffer. That is why it is important for teams to learn how to use it which I believe they have. There are so many matches where both sides get out with their reviews still intact because they know its no use using them for no reason. I think DRS is the best thing which has happened to cricket in terms of making the game more fair and less frustrating.

Posted by Hardy1 on (January 27, 2013, 10:07 GMT)

The way I see it the umpire should keep taking on-field decisions but the 3rd umpire should communicate with him in case any decision is incorrect, that way the maximum number of correct decisions are made, which is ultimately the most important thing. No chance of tactical gain & no punishment on either team for having selfish batsmen who waste attempts. Yes there would be more delays but a correct decision is the most important part of this.

Posted by Nemesis76 on (January 27, 2013, 9:49 GMT)

For me it's been a common sense solution for many years... Get the third umpire to be an active member of the umpiring team for the game I.e. if he spots a 'howler' he can radio in and immediately ask the on-field umpires to reverse. The umpiring body will self-regulate i am sure not to come in on the 50/50 decisions. Maybe requires some more investment in making the tech available faster. It takes away this silly system of finite reviews while keeps the howlers from spoiling a game...and gives the power back to the umpires (only 3 of them instead of two). Every sport has embraced tech sensibly - the 2 which refuse to do so are cricket and Football (goal line is basic and the errors there have been horrendous over last few years). Time to move forward from the debate.

Posted by skilebow on (January 27, 2013, 9:35 GMT)

I agree with your points Ian but i don't think giving DRS to the umpire would change a lot. All it would mean is that every decision is sent upstairs so they get nothing wrong. This is now the case in Rugby league and quite frankly rugby league has lost something as the players have to wait around before they celebrate a try

Posted by batman_gothamcity on (January 27, 2013, 9:34 GMT)

fully agree with Chappell Sir , the DRS cannot be used as a tool /tatic and its should be brainstormed by good knowledegable , balanced ex and current cricketers like Chappell, Richards , Walsh, Akram , Gavaskar ,Lara , Smith , Dhoni , Cook,Mahela etc ICC to choose .

Posted by inhotpursuit on (January 27, 2013, 9:13 GMT)

I consider Ian Chappell a great professor of the game who comes out with refreshing insights on the finer aspects of the game, this one is no different. About DRS, I still think it is in its infancy and there is some distance to go before it acquires a definite form. Expect a lot of chopping and changing in the DRS in future. Though I still doubt there can a fool-proof system in place ever to facilitate error-free decision making, neither it is advisable to strive for one as that would rob the game of 'human element' which is the essence of cricket. Elementary, isn't it?

Posted by crafty-Rabbi on (January 27, 2013, 8:45 GMT)

The only solution is to sell all DRS technology to the BCCI. That way they will have ownership and they could charge the media companies such as SKY and on top of that charge all the other cricketing nations a "License Fee" for its use in games. That would then guarantee that the BCCI is "on board."

Have a limit of 5 review requests per team and have the coaches for each team make the calls. That way you would still include a tactical dimension and the decisions would definitely be reviewed.

Posted by karths on (January 27, 2013, 8:09 GMT)

Completely agree with johnnyrook .... if BCCI doesnt want hawkeye, dont use it, especially if it is expensive. But please let the third umpire decide after looking at replay when a player reviews. We can eliminate howlers due to obvious edge, where the ball has pitched or hit the pad even without hawkeye. As per lbw decisions to replace hawkeye, let the third umpire decide if the ball is going on to hit the stumps, just like onfield umpire but with the privilage of looking at slow motion replays. If he is not sure, onfield call stays. To hell with hawkeye. I'm surprised none of the boards has come up with this solution.The problem is BCCI's ego for which we indian viewers have to suffer.

Posted by LeoE on (January 27, 2013, 8:04 GMT)

Someone suggested in this blog that the ICC should listen to Ian Chappell. That is disastrous. The DRS has been a great success. The batsman love it, the bowlers love it, and I have not heard of a single umpire complaining. They have improved their standards by leaps and bounds. There are less howlers, and its a treat to watch cricket these days, knowing that if a batsman or bowler is unfairly victimised by a bad decision of an umpire, its not the end of the world. Comentators need not protect the umpire's integrity by stating, ad nauseum , that after all umpires are human etc. etc. ( the ICC never appointed monkeys ?). Now we have DRS. All that the players have to do is to make a "T' and they get the wrong decision corrected. The game is cleaner and fairer. So how can Ian Chappell hand over this entire error making process back to the Umpires. The howlers will be back. We will be back to the stone age, where people at home adjudicated with better decisions simply watching TV replays

Posted by KiwiRocker- on (January 27, 2013, 7:51 GMT)

IndiaChampspakchumps: Your comment like the alias you chose makes no sense. Imran Khan has been credited with intiating the neutral umpire implementation in cricket. It was actually PCB that for very first time used neutral umpires in a series against West Indies.PCB is credited with that positive thing.Have not you seen Indian umpires in recent series against England and Pak. It reminds me when during 1986 series Indian journalists asked Kapil Dev that what two players he will like to have from Pak team to beat everyone in world. Kapil immediately said Miandad and Imran offcourse. Indian journalists posed same question at Imran Khan: They expected that Khan will say Gavaskar and Kapil, however, Imran khan simply said that he will like to have two Indian umpires and then there is no way that anyone would be able to beat Pakistan!...Do some reserach before positing silly comments!

Posted by here2rock on (January 27, 2013, 7:49 GMT)

DRS has become a joke and a bit of lottery that is why BCCI has not supported it in it's current form. I am sure India will support it if the power is given back to the umpires, they are the ones who should control the game. The problem is that once you run out of your given quota of challenges then there are still some incorrect decisions made. The third umpire should have the most important job in running a game of cricket nowdays, making sure that those incorrect decisions are taken out. He should be given the power to contact the on field umpires to say hang on I do not like this decision so I am going to review it. This will add drama and excitement to cricket.

Posted by LeoE on (January 27, 2013, 7:43 GMT)

Ian Chappell always loves to raise a hornets nest. How many umpires have changed the course of a game and destroyed so many careers of great players by their erroneous umpiring ? How can we have a system to review their decisions, and let them decide when that should be done and when that should not be done. DRS is the best thing that has happened in this millenium. If the Umpire gives a batsman out caught behind, and the batsman is certain that he has not nicked it, in the olden days he has to go. Now he can inform the Umpire that an error has been committed, and could ke kindly re check with the TV umpire. That's what the T sign means. Its not an arrogant challenge. The Umpire has already decided that it is out, so why should he agree to review on his own, unless he obtains some additional information from the batsman that there was no contact with the bat. How many LBW decisions have been corrected in the recent past, with DRS, due to inside edges not initially being spotted ?

Posted by Cosmix on (January 27, 2013, 7:20 GMT)

It may further complicate the game by requiring far greater coordination between on and off-field umpires for which there is no apparent training or focus from ICC. What about time delays? Most of celebrations seem artificial anyways so delay won't hurt fans as much as lengthy intervals, or umpires can start celebrating every technologically-correct decision they make. Viewers surely deserve fair deal. While globalization of cricket is cool, ICC prioritization and vision for overall umpiring standards gotta be questioned.

Posted by IndiaChampspakchumps on (January 27, 2013, 7:18 GMT)

To add to my earlier point, ICC has to be appreciated for bringing in neutral umpires and now DRS (flawed though). Had these systems been in place in the 80s teams like pakistan would not have won any series at home and Imran Khan would have finished with less than 200 wickets to his name.

Posted by KiwiRocker- on (January 27, 2013, 7:15 GMT)

DRS has never been given proper chance to prove its worth. It is being used in random series so neither players nor umpires get used to it. Teams are comitting tectical blunders as noted by Ian. First of all, ICC needs to make DRS mandatory accross the board before decisions are made to use it with referral limitations or not. The beauty of DRS is that it has huge support from umpires. Almost all leading umpires( none of them is obviously Indian) fully support it. Can someone imagine if Tendulya was given out not out by an Indian umpire twice in world cup Semi final against Pakistan? Just because DRS declared him margically not out (twice) even though on field umpire had given him out, it did not create a massive fury! Pakistan just felt unlucky and went on with the flow. BCCI needs to take a cue from Pak and just accept that some DRS decisions will go against them and it will not be perfect and as a minimum BCCI needs to explain their stance!Looking at Indian umpires,DRS is needed!

Posted by IndiaChampspakchumps on (January 27, 2013, 7:13 GMT)

I completly agree with Ian Chappell. DRS has to be taken out of the hands of the players, the thrid umpire should be empowered to reverse any incorrect decision made by the onfield umpires. The present system is rubbish. BCCI also has legitimate concerns on hawk-eye, which needs to be addressed. So third umpire review minus the predictive element in hawkeye, is the way forward. It would also be advisable for all the boards and the ICC to follow BCCI's lead, being the best managed and the most profitable board in the world. I do agree that fundamentally DRS is a good concept, India is one of the worst affected teams due to umpiring errors.

Posted by keecha on (January 27, 2013, 6:53 GMT)

DRS can have a much robust solution. Yes leave it to the umpire. But not the one on the field but the 3rd umpire who is sitting in front of a TV with so much technology at disposal. If the TV umpire sees a howler of a decision he could quickly ask the on field umpires to hold on, take some time, review everything and correct the decision. There need not be any limit for it. When we see some one given out LBW and commentators crying out, there was a huge inside edge..or that pitched miles outside leg stump, it makes no sense.the TV umpire might be crying out as well. Just make that count.

Posted by KiwiRocker- on (January 27, 2013, 6:36 GMT)

I can not agree anymore with Ian Chappell. If DRS system is based on a rationale to eliminate umpiring mistakes then it needs to be implemented without limitations. However, that is where the problem starts. ICC has failed to take charge of this issue as BCCI has been reluctant to implement DRS in any form. The argument to implement DRS without limitations is a moot point as first of all DRS has been to made mandatory in every series involving everyone. Obviously, it does not favour BCCI as they know that Indian umpires will always favour India in tight situations. There are examples of that in recent ODI series in India against Pak and against England where Pak and England suffered.DRS is not perfect, it never will be as it is man made technology and has flaws, however, it is better and more accurate than on field umpires.It creates objectivity.Pak was denied World Cup 2011 because of DRS ( Ironically it won World cup for India on other hand), but PCB supports DRS and BCCI does not?

Posted by Sir.Ivor on (January 27, 2013, 6:34 GMT)

This is exactly what I had suggested nearly 2 years ago. Technology should be kept at the disposal of the umpires who could use it as they felt was necessary in a tight decision. It should not be in the hands of the players of either side which takes away the perceived sheen of the umpires in their decisions being questioned. This way the umpires it will be who will wield their authority on the field of play, The arrogance has become noticeable in players discussing decisions and then flaunting the T sign which is anathema for long time watchers of the game. What the ICC should do is to grade the umpires for the decisions they have taken over the year along with their use of technology. That way you can indeed arrive at a decision on the worthiness and honesty of a particular umpire. I remember when technology had just come in and Sachin Tendulkar given run out by Steve Bucknor. He refused to use technology even when it was available.If the ICC makes assessments, this will not happen.

Posted by aditya.pidaparthy on (January 27, 2013, 6:32 GMT)

Implement a gentleman's agreement with the players, let them have a quiet word with the umpire after a decision, let them ask the umpire how he gave an out/not out decision. Players already appeal during the play, this need not be any different. Let the third umpire call in the on field umpires about howlers. Let the third umpire be able to proactively correct the on field umpire. THe umpires stay in control.

Insteresting Chappell raises the same point as N Srinivasan about the contradictory nature of reviews, on one hand players are told not to question the umpire's authority, on the other we are letting them question them a limited times. Also with limited reviews it is a strategic gamble rather than a quest for more right decisions.

Posted by JohnnyRook on (January 27, 2013, 6:24 GMT)

I agree with BCCI if their stand is that DRS is currently too expensive and doesn't bring the returns to justify the cost. We would never know their stand though because they don't bother to explain it. I think hotspot/hawkeye may be too expensive but DRS is great. Unfortunately they have become synonymous. Everybody including ICC's CEO Hawkeye/Virtual Eye/Hotspot inventor says that they are to correct howlers. But even a simple TV replay should suffice for fixing a howler. I mean it is a howler, right. I think major problem is BCCI's attitude and people's attitude towards BCCI. As soon as BCCI says we don't want Hotspot/Hawkeye, most non-Indians automatically assume that they are fantastic things. I don't blame them since BCCI does act like a bully. My request to them is to look at the issue neutrally and ask themselves if most cricket nations can comfortably pay Hotspot/Haweye about $5000 per day to Hawkeye/Hotspot especially when neutral tests have not been done on them.

Posted by JohnnyRook on (January 27, 2013, 6:05 GMT)

I completely agree that issue is not an odd 50-50 decision which should ideally go in the favor of batsman. Issue is the howler. What I don't understand is why Hotspot or a Hawk eye needed to fix a howler. Inside edges or lack of them can be easily seen in a TV replay. Plenty of outside edges, ball pitching outside the legstump line and impact not happening in front of stumps can also be judged by a simple TV replay, especially when there has been a rank bad decision.

Posted by azzaman333 on (January 27, 2013, 6:04 GMT)

Firstly, the umpires have overwhelmingly been in favour of the DRS in its current form. Most of the players also support it. Almost all the complaints are coming from administrators and commentators, whose opinions quite frankly aren't relevant to the matter. Secondly, the batsman already gets the benefit of any doubt in the umpires mind. If the umpires are in no doubt, they won't review the decision anyway, so the howlers will become more prevalent. Thirdly, putting the system in the hands of the third umpire has been proven to not work. The Ryobi Cup trialled it for a handful of matches this season, but it was dumped because the players, umpires and spectators had no idea what was going on with it.

The only thing wrong with the system right now is that players keep using it speculatively. Batsmen should have to challenge within 5 seconds of being given out, before having a conference with his partner. Too often players appear to be talked into gambling on a review.

Posted by   on (January 27, 2013, 6:02 GMT)

The only real arguments that you can put against the DRS are that it stops the momentum of celebration and that the umpires loose their confidence. Frankly, both are too weak. Mr. Ian, as a Pakistani I hate it when our bowlers (one of the most enthusiastic celebrators) are made to stop midway so that the umpire can have a look at the no-ball or the batsman asks for a review but still, if that wicket means the difference between a win or a loss then is the celebration that important?no sir it is the decision. As for the confidence well it should motivate the umpires to be more accurate. Most reviews(the 50-50 decisions) almost always go with the umpires call and howlers like ball missing the stumps completely or hitting them completely are overturned (obviously rightly so). I dont care if the umpires sentiment are hurt the correct decision is again what matters. Also if it is being used wrongly well its te team that will suffer when they wont have any review left if a genuine case comes

Posted by Simoc on (January 27, 2013, 5:57 GMT)

The DRS is good, especially for TV, which is the major audience for cricket. It is being used poorly and should be put totally in the hands of the third umpire; who can quickly review lbws and edges. On lbws if any of the ball hits the stumps make it out.

Posted by WalkingWicket11 on (January 27, 2013, 5:54 GMT)

Good read, Ian. What do you think of this proposal?

Let there be unlimited reviews. The complaint that it slows down the game is exaggerated. We can have unlimited reviews on run outs and boundary calls (to decide between 4 & 6), but not for other decisions?

It is not as though players will review after every ball. If they get bowled or caught at mid off, they are not just going to hang about and embarrass themselves further. There have been instances in Tests when the 2 reviews were left unutilised.

Moreover, players using the DRS frivolously could be treated as time wasting or excess appealing, and dealt with as it is done in other cases now. That would reduce, if not eliminate, players using the DRS for marginal decisions.

Posted by maddy20 on (January 27, 2013, 5:49 GMT)

That's a fantastic idea Mr.Chappell. If umpires have the option to check on their own decisions when they are doubtful(like they check no-balls), it would eradicate the howlers to a great extent. I really hope the ICC is listening to people like Chappell. DRS in its present form is worthless to say the least. Either increase the number of reviews per side(to atleast 3) or take it off the players' hands altogether.

Posted by ultimatewarrior on (January 27, 2013, 5:06 GMT)

Another good topic by Sir Ian, definitely I am agree it should not be used as an unwarranted trick in strategy...I don't know exactly what happens in 3rd umpire's cabin when a review has been asked(he may be sleeping and wake up after field umpire call).....For 100% Foolproof decisions I suggest .....(1)Completely abort present review system ....(2)There should be a panel of 3 or 5 umpires constantly watching each ball (just like field umpire) with some voting system .....(3)Decisions should be given by field umpires normally EXCEPT in cases they are wrong ones, Key person in 3rd umpire panel should be able to overturned after consultation with field umpire...........panel will save time on decision review time and their will be virtually each decision will be reviewed...

Posted by Girish.Sahani on (January 27, 2013, 5:05 GMT)

How will the umpire know that its a howler?

Posted by devilx on (January 27, 2013, 4:55 GMT)

The least ICC can do is sit down the elite umpires and currently playing or recently retired cricketers to make up a technical committee to find the best possible implementation of DRS. But wait , they do have a committee like that dont they? Is that group of people no help?

Posted by Alexk400 on (January 27, 2013, 4:38 GMT)

Finally someone listened to my comments. For me players should not be part of DRS mainly because i think their job is play cricket not brainy people. Some captains has knack on how to use drs and some do not. Every batsman wants to appeal so he can get lucky in that ball may be going above stumps etc. Its human nature. DRS job should not be gambling or lottery , its job should be eliminate 90% incorrect decisions. I believe for entertainment purposes it should be part of coaches from each team not 3rd umpire. We all know 3rd umpires goof up also even looking at camera. DRS current form entertainment not getting correct decisions.

Posted by Patrick_ on (January 27, 2013, 4:34 GMT)

I don't understand how the umpire can correct their own mistakes. The very point that umpire has made a howler means his decision is wrong. Why to give another power to Umpire to make matters worse. What is needed is the players should be given coaching to ask for review only when they are sure that it is a howler. Not for 50/50 lbw decisions. DRS should be used mostly for inside edge (lbw), caught behind if there is hotspot and for lbw it should be used if the batsman is absolutely sure that it was pitched outside leg etc. It the the players' abuse of the power that needs to be checked. Giving the power back to umpire defeats the purpose.

Posted by binojpeter on (January 27, 2013, 4:18 GMT)

My opinion is that if DRS is used, there should not be any limit to the reviews for each team. It is unfair to the players.

Posted by Sabiaah_Naz_BD on (January 27, 2013, 3:59 GMT)

Unlimited DRS should be allowed as like as calling for third umpire....some system should be developed to reduce the cost, if its the only obstackle...we want cricket flawless as much as possible....

Posted by derpherp on (January 27, 2013, 3:58 GMT)

The way I see it is that if we were to give the DRS to the umpires, it may result in them either becoming redundant and/or lacking in confidence. Maybe just get rid of the umpires completely and just use technology? I bet the BCCI would love that lol.

Posted by kharidra on (January 27, 2013, 3:54 GMT)

Rightly put indeed that DRS needs to be guiding umpires to improve performance. The limits to reviews has come about not for making tactical ploys from the limiting condition but to ensure that little time is lost in trying to review every out. The replay of outs should be viewed by third umpire and shown to the on field decision making umpire whenever such review is warranted.And if the time between 2 consecutive deliveries is inadequate the reviewing umpire can be informed to stop the bowler in his stride. This way with the DRS the walking element can be gradually brought back and that in itself the time consumed in reviews will be reduced.

Posted by CricFin on (January 27, 2013, 3:50 GMT)

I am not sure how many times DRS needs to be discussed.It is worthless in its present form.

Posted by abhinav8391 on (January 27, 2013, 3:35 GMT)

u ar spot on. almost every time plyrs take drs when they need not and when circumstances favrs plyrs no reviews are left. i believe tv umpire shld adress onfield umpires for wrong decision.

Posted by danny.y on (January 27, 2013, 3:31 GMT)

If your best batsman gets the review, you would assume that is because an umpiring mistake giving him out alters your chance of winning the game the most. In that case, it actually may still be working as intended, as it may be the most effective way to ensure a bad umpiring call does not affect your teams batting total.

Posted by Sinhaya on (January 27, 2013, 3:27 GMT)

Main thing with DRS is that the cost is extremely high and two many limited incorrect referrals are given in contrast to the high cost. I am all for DRS as umpiring howlers should never decide a game at all. Why cant ICC take ownership of DRS costs just like how the WTA takes ownership of hawkeye costs for all major tennis grand slams?

Actually it is the 3rd umpire who should ideally intervene with immediate effect when a wrong decision is given. Dont let the on field umpire decide as he may opt not to go up stairs. 3rd umpire can quickly communicate when an inside edge has been given LBW or if a ball pitching outside leg has been given LBW. That way, can save time as well I guess.

Posted by TyrantInShorts on (January 27, 2013, 3:19 GMT)

DRS being in the players hands adds a nice tactical dimension to the game that makes it more exciting to watch overall. Putting in the umpires hands will take away that excitement and turn into something a little more boring.

Posted by Shrescs on (January 27, 2013, 3:12 GMT)

Now, you are talking, Ian!

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Ian ChappellClose
Ian Chappell Widely regarded as the best Australian captain of the last 50 years, Ian Chappell moulded a team in his image: tough, positive, and fearless. Even though Chappell sometimes risked defeat playing for a win, Australia did not lose a Test series under him between 1971 and 1975. He was an aggressive batsman himself, always ready to hook a bouncer and unafraid to use his feet against the spinners. In 1977 he played a lead role in the defection of a number of Australian players to Kerry Packer's World Series Cricket, which did not endear him to the administrators, who he regarded with contempt in any case. After retirement, he made an easy switch to television, where he has come to be known as a trenchant and fiercely independent voice.

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