What is DRS in Cricket? DRS Unplugged

What is DRS in cricket

Cricket, a game known for its intricate decisions, has embraced technology to ensure fairness on the field. The Decision Review System (DRS) is one such technological marvel that has transformed the sport. In this article, we will explore what is DRS in cricket, its purpose, and the profound impact it has had on cricket.

What is DRS in Cricket

The Decision Review System (DRS) is an advanced technology-driven system that assists umpires in making accurate decisions. It grants teams the opportunity to challenge on-field umpire decisions by requesting a review of specific calls using available technology.

Purpose of DRS

The primary objective of the DRS is to minimize umpiring errors and improve decision-making accuracy during a cricket match. It aims to provide teams with a fair chance to challenge incorrect decisions and rectify them.

What is DRS in Cricket
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Components of DRS

The DRS incorporates several components that work in tandem to achieve accurate decision-making:

Ball Tracking Technology: This technology, often referred to as Hawk-Eye, traces the trajectory of the ball, predicting its path and determining whether it would have hit the stumps or not.

Snickometer: The Snickometer detects faint edges between the bat and ball, aiding in adjudicating catches and appeals for caught-behind decisions.

Hot Spot: Utilizing thermal imaging cameras, Hot Spot identifies whether the ball has made contact with the bat or pad, assisting in decisions related to edges or leg before wicket (LBW) appeals.

What is DRS in Cricket
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When was DRS introduced in cricket?

DRS was introduced in cricket in 2008. It was first used in a Test match between India and Sri Lanka at SSC, Colombo on July 23, 2008. The system was based on the concept of Player-Referral conceived by Senaka Weeraratna in 1997. The first player to be given out by DRS was India’s Virender Sehwag, who was adjudged lbw off Muttiah Muralitharan after Sri Lanka’s captain Mahela Jayawardene requested a review.

DRS was officially launched by the International Cricket Council (ICC) on November 24, 2009 during the first Test between New Zealand and Pakistan at the University Oval in Dunedin. The ICC initially made the DRS mandatory in all international matches, but later made its use optional, so that the system would only be used if both teams agree.

DRS was first used in a One Day International (ODI) in January 2011 during England’s tour of Australia. The first player to be given out by DRS in an ODI was Australia’s Shane Watson, who was caught behind off James Anderson after England’s captain Andrew Strauss requested a review.

DRS was made mandatory in T20Is from October 1, 2017. It was first used in a T20I in the India–Australia series in October 2017. The first player to be given out by DRS in a T20I was India’s Virat Kohli, who was caught behind off Nathan Coulter-Nile after Australia’s captain David Warner requested a review.

Usage of DRS

Teams are generally allotted a limited number of unsuccessful reviews per innings, typically two or three, depending on the cricket format. To initiate a review, the fielding team or the batsman must appeal to the on-field umpire within a specified time frame after the umpire’s decision is given.

Process of DRS

The DRS follows a systematic process when a review is requested:

  1. The on-field umpire provides the initial decision.
  2. The fielding team or the batsman challenges the decision by signaling for a review.
  3. The third umpire, equipped with various technological tools, reviews the decision and communicates the outcome back to the on-field umpire.
  4. Based on the third umpire’s findings, the on-field umpire either upholds the original decision or reverses it.

Limitations and Challenges

While the DRS has significantly reduced the number of incorrect decisions, it is not without limitations:

  • The accuracy of the DRS is dependent on the precision of the technology used and the interpretation by the third umpire.
  • Some cricket matches may not employ DRS due to resource constraints or the unavailability of the required technology.

Impact on the Game

The introduction of the DRS has had a profound impact on the game of cricket:

  • DRS has instilled confidence among players by significantly reducing incorrect decisions, thereby ensuring fair play.
  • It has added excitement and tension to matches, with teams strategically utilizing their reviews to gain an advantage.


The Decision Review System (DRS) has revolutionized the world of cricket. By leveraging advanced technologies, it enables teams to challenge erroneous on-field umpire decisions. While it is not infallible, the DRS has significantly enhanced the game, ensuring fair play, boosting player confidence, and captivating fans worldwide.

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