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News

No DRS as teams battle it out for final two World Cup spots

The qualifying tournament to be held in Zimbabwe in June-July is the final stepping stone for teams still in contention for the 2023 ODI World Cup

Firdose Moonda
Firdose Moonda
06-Apr-2023
A decision has been taken on whether we'll have the DRS at the World Cup qualifiers in Zimbabwe  •  IDI via Getty Images

A decision has been taken on whether we'll have the DRS at the World Cup qualifiers in Zimbabwe  •  IDI via Getty Images

There will be no DRS system in place for this year's 50-over World Cup qualifying tournament in Zimbabwe in June-July, but the ICC has confirmed to ESPNcricinfo that there will be a third umpire monitoring run-outs.
The absence of DRS mirrors the 2019 World Cup qualifiers, also held in Zimbabwe in March 2018, but is an improvement on the availability of a third umpire. In 2018, the third umpire was deployed in only 10 of the 34 matches - those that were televised. The 2023 edition will see a third umpire available for all games but there will be no other review tools, such as UltraEdge or ball-tracking, which may be a concern for teams considering how the 2018 tournament played out.
West Indies and Afghanistan advanced to the 2019 World Cup in England, but not without controversy. West Indies booked their places after beating Scotland by five runs in a rain-reduced encounter which saw Scotland's face a reduced target of 131 in 32.5 overs. They were well-placed on 105 for 4 in the 32nd over when Richie Berrington was given out lbw to an Ashley Nurse delivery that looked to be sliding down leg. With no DRS, Berrington could not review.
There was also no DRS at the just-concluded Cricket World Cup Qualifier Playoff in Windhoek, Namibia, where the standard of umpiring was under scrutiny in several games. Namibian captain Gerhard Erasmus responded to a Twitter user who commented on a decision made in the match between Jersey and the USA, saying associate teams were made to "eat last" when it came to officiating. Namibia finished third in the tournament and will not compete in the World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe.
This year's 10-team World Cup Qualifying tournament will take place in Zimbabwe between June 18 and July 9. It includes the five teams who finished at the bottom of the World Cup Super League (Netherlands, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, West Indies and one of Ireland or South Africa), the top three teams from the ICC's World Cup Cricket League 2 (Nepal, Oman and Scotland) and the two teams from the Qualifier Playoff (USA and UAE) that was completed in Namibia this week. The top two teams from the qualifier will advance to the ten-team field at this year's 50-over World Cup. The ICC has confirmed that the 2027 and 2031 editions of the showpiece event will be expanded to 14 teams.
DRS was introduced by the ICC in 2009 (called the Umpire Decision Review System or UDRS back then) and is funded by host broadcasters outside of World Cup events, which means that not every country makes use of it. It has been used in 50-over World Cups since 2011.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's correspondent for South Africa and women's cricket