Cricket

Is DRS technology ruining the Ashes?

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Despite reservations from some people, namely the Indian Cricket Board, there can be no doubt that the umpires decision review system, otherwise known as DRS, provides excitement, drama and a certain amount of controversy to Test match cricket.

I can understand the doubters as using modern technology in an age old game will take some getting used to. 

There is also the argument that the Umpire's decision has always been final and should be respected. DRS now takes this power away from them as players are well within their rights to disagree and refer their decisions if they so wish.

On the flip side it could be argued that DRS simply reinforces how skilled Umpires are as only 27% of decisions referred have been overturned so far - on top of the many decisions they do get right they also get 73% of debatable decisions right, which is highly commendable. 

DRS also highlights how difficult a job umpiring really is and is there as a helpful tool when there is potential for doubt. The fact that each side is only allowed two unsuccessful referrals per innings is a compromise, which still leaves power in the hands of the Umpires.

The current Ashes series has already highlighted how useful and controversial the system can be. Take the Stuart Broad non-dismissal in the first Test. 

Broad quite clearly edged the ball, as it ended up in first slips hands via a deflection from the wicket-keeper, but the Umpire remained unmoved despite appeals and protestations from the Australians. 

With Australia already using their allocation of reviews up, and Broad not walking, we were left with a situation that was dramatic and tense, if not a little bit farcical.

One image from the first Test will stay with me forever and that is the England side all huddled together waiting for the DRS decision to give Brad Haddin caught behind and the jubilation and ecstasy on their faces when the decision was given in their favour enabling them to win the match. 

I have never before seen a Test match decided by a referral before but it may become common in years to come.

The second Test was no less dramatic. Peter Siddle believed, as did everyone else, that he had bowled Jonny Bairstow to leave England in big trouble in their first innings. However, replays showed a no-ball from the Australian paceman, Jonny Bairstow was recalled to continue his innings, which ultimately helped England to a sizeable total. 

In this instant DRS was used to pinpoint a mistake by an Umpire but ultimately it was the right decision which is all we ask for.

One thing is for sure, DRS is here to stay and yes it may have its faults and still needs refining but there is no doubting the drama it brings. 

The crowd becomes fully involved in decisions because they are displayed on the big screen at Test match grounds and this gives the crowd a sense of belonging. 

It has also given Test cricket a new lease of life as its future was atone point put into doubt by the advent of Twenty/20 cricket.

We also need to apply caution to the use of technology in any sport as we do not want the officials to have their power taken away by technological advances but we also want to ensure the correct decisions are made consistently. A difficult balancing act it must be said.

In the current Test series involving Australia and England it is clear to see that the Australians, and captain Michael Clarke, need to use the technology better. England, however, seem to understand the system and this is paying dividends in their referral successes.


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Topics:
Cricket
The Ashes

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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