Decision Review System – For or Against? - Greenfield IT Recruitment

Decision Review System (DRS) – For or Against Technology and the Wider Impact it has had… 


The International Cricket Council (the ICC) implemented a system in 2008, which would change umpiring in one of the world’s oldest games forever. The birth of Decision Review System (DRS). The system was brought in to prevent some of the worst, most controversial decisions going unpunished in the game.


Technology all around us is advancing at a rate of knots and many people at the time were for this technological advancement. In order to not only prevent these bad decisions but to also assist umpires such as Billy Bowden. Making sure the correct decisions are made that can naturally be missed by the individual eye. As well as giving the batting team and the fielding team the chance to overturn questionable or incorrect decisions. Some, however, were against the idea such as the BCCI (The Board of Control for Cricket in India). Who until adopting the technology in a home series against England were certainly sceptical of technology being brought into the game.

The First Test at Edgbaston.

Fast forward to the current Ashes series taking place in England. The First Test at Edgbaston Cricket Club and the Decision Review System was back in the spotlight yet again. Taking majority of the headlines after an enthralling 5-day test match. In which Australia used the conditions to their advantage and a stand-out two innings 100s from Steve Smith. Coupled with a ruthless Nathan Lyon, dismantled England to a 251 run defeat. However the main talking point, yet again was DRS and the Umpires decision making.


In all sport, the officials are there to control the game. Allow play to continue and have the technology there to “assist” officials in coming to the correct decision. Hawk-eye in Tennis, VAR in Football and the Television Match Official in Rugby Union & League. During this latest test match, DRS was an ever-present with umpires. Aleem Dar and more in particular Joel Wilson coming under some serious scrutiny about a catalogue of errors made. Australian cricket legend Mark Taylor was quoted in saying, “the decision review system is as much to blame as the umpires” after the first day of the Ashes. Both umpires were hammered globally in the cricket world. Taylor felt they were let down “by the pervasive use of technology that has ruined their confidence”.

The dramatic nature of the umpiring.

Many of the sports icons also joined in to share their opinions of the dramatic nature of the umpiring and the constant need/use of technology during this test match. Michael Vaughan, former England captain took to social media with a string of comments about the decision making, “Not sure what’s worse… the Batting or the Umpiring”. Saving the best till last on day 5 being heavily critical of Joel Wilson, “When Joel Wilson gives you OUT .. You just review it .. #Fact #Ashes”.

This view was shared equally with the Australian contingency. Shane Warne a legend in the cricketing world shared a tweet on social media again commenting on the state of the officiating and DRS “Update! England are bowling very well. The umpiring has been horrific from ball 1 & so has the reviews process of the right ones from Aust. And the batting has lacked any intent as the Australians have looked nervous, all this equals 119/7 !”.

Decision Review System.

Whilst technology is essential these days in irradiating errors in the game of cricket it’s never going to be perfect is it. Like anything when you’re bedding in new people into your business, things take time! The appropriate mentoring, training and guidance is required from all parties in order to assist in helping people moving forward. DRS was implemented in 2008 and umpires are still adapting, learning and getting used to changes. We can all be guilty of giving people videos or sitting them in front of whiteboards, showing this and that and how it was done. But what is the most natural way of learning, doing something in real life and working with, not against the technology?


Greenfield IT has a team dedicated to recruiting tech and digital skills for the sports industry. We support a number of major UK sports clubs and governing bodies, but we also work with a number of sports tech firms whose products and services are focused on the sector.

Follow us for selected sports industry tech insights and career opportunities in this space. To find out more about how we can help your career in sports tech, or should you require support building your team. Contact Eleanor Carter.