Decision Review System – Modern version of match fixing!


I am sticking my neck out and making a bold statement that the Decision review system is a disaster. It is a serious threat to fair test cricket. It is, and I dare say, cricket fraternity’s blind faith on an untested and unproven vaccine to poor umpiring. At this point in time, I would put greater trust on the worst financial risk model in the market. As an analyst, I am well aware that all predictive models are as good as their identification and  treatment of sources of uncertainty. To somehow imagine that this model takes into account factors including but not limited to bounce, speed, weather conditions, soil conditions, moisture etc. and predict vertical and horizontal outcomes of a ball bowled without some degree of certainty is very difficult for me to say the least. The horrendous decision to overturn and fabulous call by Billy Doctrove against Marcus North at the current Sydney test is a case in point. The fact that the Aussies are playing like school kids despite that is besides the fact.

I welcome discussions on this topic. In particular, comments by anyone who has a detailed understanding of the DRS model would be appreciated. I hold my views until I have been convinced that the model is trustworthy. The analyst and doubter in me casts serious doubts on the credibility and, more importantly, the motive behind the use of this system. I would also be interested in finding out more on the creators, their relationships with certain cricket boards/tv channels etc. and their commercial interests.

– Srikanth

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8 responses to “Decision Review System – Modern version of match fixing!

  1. Yes, not a fan of the DRS myself. With pacemen on, the model seems to allow for such swing as was already generated, then projects that along the trajectory of the ‘known’ swing. I tend to think that the finish of the swinging delivery tends to be a bit more pronounced and not consistent with the trajectory.

    I’d particularly like to know how the system accounts for drift and dip when a good spinner’s on.

    I think it is particularly telling that they never do a side by side comparison of an actual delivery with what the model predicts.

  2. I have no problems with hawkeye until the ball hits the pad. The “Is it hitting the stumps?” part, I have serious doubts too.

    I don’t think hawkeye takes drift/dip/swing into account, because that is impossible. yes, impossible. Until the point of contact it is simply a matter of having high-resolution cameras to map the trajectory at infinitesimally small times/distances. After that its a parabolic path drawn past the point of contact. Thats my uninformed guess.

  3. Good points Soundar. I looked on the ICC website for information on the DRS but only found these documents that are worse than Indian visa application guidance documents…http://static.icc-cricket.yahoo.net/ugc/documents/DOC_39EFCA4C7A2F335D543EF937F162F837_1257924435584_10.pdf

  4. Jason Whittigham

    Neutral umpires were introduced after Imran Khan was sick of opposition players complaining that J Miandad was never given Out LBW in Pakistan !!

    DRS follwed in an accidental kind of way. An Australian company–Pineapple–produced a software that was used by Channel Nine as an innovation and after that Hawkeye was promoted and accepted by all the national Boards. As you correctly point out ,it has a number of setbacks.
    For a start, the camera is at a higher angle than the eye level of the umpire–this can be rectified by having a camera attached to the umpire’s hat!!!

    Secondly, the technology does not take into account all the variables–new vs old ball, soft vs hard pitch, wind and weather conditions, slower vs faster vs spinning ball etc

    DRS does expose the weakness in human decision making and reduces the number of bad decisions by some umpires. You might be the lone Indian fan wanting DRS removed–just imagine DRS was made available for Kumble when A Symonds was given Not Out in the Sydney test !!

    Having said all this, I am for DRS–but in an unlimited way–because there are instances where a side is penalised by the limited number of appeals per innings–where yesterday, England Captain Strauss didn’t ask for DRS on an LBW appeal against G Smith because they had used up 1 appeal in the first 10 overs !!! And the ball was going to hit the middle stump in the LBW appeal.

  5. Thanks for the information, Jason. Clearly, lbws are certainly not the type of decisions that the DRS can resolve with any level of confidence. LBW should continue to remain an umpire’s decision in my view.

  6. Ok the decision review system is not perfect but its better than the situation we had before!

  7. Made inevitable due to Indian/ BCCI’s behaviour during & after the Sudney Test

  8. i am against this system , we can`t depend on machine for everything .

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