What is DRS, its invention, application and introduction in Cricket

In this article, we have mentioned information related to DRS (Decision Review System), its invention, application and its introduction in cricket.

What is DRS (Decision Review System)?

The Decision Review System (DRS) once known as the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) is a tech-based setup used in cricket to make sure that umpiring decisions are more accurate. The main goal is to reduce mistakes made by humans and make the game fairer. 

How does DRS work?


What is DRS, its invention, application and introduction in Cricket
DRS (Photo Source: X)

Teams can challenge decisions: 

Both the batting and fielding sides can question the decisions made by on-field umpires, especially in cases like LBW (leg before wicket) and caught behind the wicket. Each team has a limited number of chances to challenge per inning, usually two or three.

The technology steps in when a challenge is made, the third umpire, situated off-field with access to special technology, checks the decision using replays and various tools. These tools include ball-tracking technology, Hawk-Eye/Virtual Eye for visualizing the ball’s path and Snickometer/Ultra-Edge for detecting faint sounds like the ball touching the bat’s edge.

Outcomes explained: 

Based on the tech and their judgment, the third umpire can either stick to the original decision if the tech does not provide enough evidence, or overturn it if the tech clearly shows the on-field decision was wrong. In some cases, like close calls, where the tech is not conclusive, the on-field umpire’s call remains final.

Impact of DRS on the game:

The impact of DRS is big as it makes a difference in cricket by cutting down on incorrect decisions and making the game more strategic. The teams have to be careful about when to challenge, considering the available reviews and the tech’s limitations. While not perfect, DRS is generally seen as a positive development in cricket which makes the play fairer and adds an exciting element of suspense to tight situations.

Who invented DRS?

What is DRS, its invention, application and introduction in Cricket
Malcolm Speed (Photo Source: X)

The Decision Review System (DRS) in cricket was not invented by just one person. Many people in the cricket world worked together to make it happen. But, a key person who pushed for it to be used officially was Malcolm Speed. He was the CEO of Cricket Australia in 2008.

Before DRS, there were talks about using technology to check and correct umpires’ decisions. They started using video replays in some situations in 1992 with the third umpire. But, it was not a complete system and there were issues like how to use it and not everyone agreeing on how to do it.

Malcolm Speed got frustrated with some bad umpiring decisions, so he actively supported the idea of having a proper DRS. He suggested a system where players could challenge on-field decisions by using limited reviews and relying on technologies like ball-tracking and Hawk-Eye to help make better decisions.

While Malcolm Speed played a big part in getting DRS accepted, we should also give credit to the International Cricket Council (ICC) and other cricket boards. They joined in trials, improved the rules, and finally agreed to use DRS officially in 2009.

When DRS was introduced in cricket?

The Decision Review System (DRS) had a gradual introduction in cricket with not a single person implementing it at once. Here is a detailed look at its journey:

The need for a review system arose from controversial umpiring decisions and the concept of a third umpire emerged in Test matches in 1992. This allowed on-field umpires to consult with a video review in specific situations. However, it was not until 2008 that a more comprehensive system involving player reviews was introduced.

The official DRS initially called the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS), made its debut in a Test match between India and Sri Lanka in Colombo in 2008. The first captain to utilize it was Anil Kumble of India, although the review itself upheld the on-field decision. Interestingly, Tillakaratne Dilshan became the first batsman to successfully overturn an out decision using DRS later in the same match. While DRS debuted in Test cricket, it was not immediately adopted in other formats. ODIs saw its introduction in 2011 and it took even longer for T20Is, where it was finally implemented in October 2017.

Since its introduction, DRS has undergone several modifications and improvements. The number of reviews per team, available technologies and reviewable decisions have all been adjusted over time.

How does DRS evolve with other cricket boards?

While the International Cricket Council (ICC) spearheaded the development and implementation of the Decision Review System (DRS) in 2009, other cricket boards adopted it at different times with varying initial approaches:

1. England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB):

  • Introduction: Simultaneously with the ICC in 2009.
  • Initial approach: Adopted the same review system as the ICC, with two reviews per inning and similar protocols for using DRS technology.

2. Cricket Australia (CA):

  • Introduction: 2006 (trial basis), officially adopted in 2008.
  • Initial approach: Pioneered the concept and actively participated in trials. Their initial system differed slightly from the final ICC version, with some variations in review allocation and technology usage.

3. Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI):

  • Introduction: 2011.
  • Initial approach: Initially resisted the implementation of DRS, citing concerns about technology dependence and potential for misuse. Eventually the ICC model with some reservations.

4. Other cricket boards:

  • Introduction: Varied across different boards, with many adopting the DRS after its successful implementation in major cricketing nations.
  • Initial approach: Generally followed the ICC model with minor adjustments based on individual board preferences and technological capabilities.


In summary, the Decision Review System (DRS) is like a high-tech helper in cricket. It started being tested in the early 1990s and officially joined the game in 2008. Legends like Malcolm Speed played a big role in making it happen. DRS helps teams challenge umpire decisions using cool technologies like Hawk-Eye and ball-tracking. Different cricket boards adopted it at different times. Even though some were unsure about it at first, DRS turned out to be useful. It makes the game fairer by reducing mistakes and makes things more exciting when teams use it strategically. While it’s not perfect, DRS keeps getting better with updates. In the end, it is a positive addition to cricket, making matches more accurate and fun to watch.