Going back and forth on DRS

JUNE 2008

A decision to try the Decision Review System (DRS) in the Test series between Sri Lanka and India starting in July is taken.


Virender Sehwag becomes the first player to be given out via DRS. However, India makes only one successful review whereas Sri Lanka makes 11 in the three Tests. The system receives mixed reviews.

MARCH 2009

ICC decides to include Hot Spot as part of the DRS. It is tried during the second and third Tests between Australia and South Africa.


The BCCI decides against using DRS for the Tests against Sri Lanka. Other boards too begin to voice apprehensions mainly over costs. It is scrapped from the South Africa-England Test series as well. A call for the ICC to fund it is made.


The ICC announces that the DRS would be used in the 2011 World Cup. Even as ball-tracking technology is to be used for all games, Hot Spot would be available only for the semi-finals and final.


It is announced that the Hot Spot supplier “was not willing to supply cameras for the tournament.” As a result, Hot Spot is dropped as part of the DRS for the World Cup.

In India’s match against England, a controversial decision not to overturn Billy Bowden’s original decision of declaring Ian Bell not out, as a result of the 2.5-metre rule, leads to a spat between the BCCI and the ICC. The BCCI President, N. Srinivasan, says, “The inadequacy of the UDRS has been exposed.” The rule is later tweaked to ensure consistency.

MAY 2011

ICC’s cricket committee recommends the use of DRS in all internationals. The ICC’s General Manager of cricket, Dave Richardson, says, “The level of believability in ball-tracking systems has improved. Hopefully, member boards and India will take cognisance of that.” But the BCCI continues to oppose DRS.

JUNE 2011

The ICC finally strikes a compromise with the BCCI. Hot Spot is made mandatory, paving the way for DRS to be used in the England-India series. However, it is only subject to Hot Spot’s availability and ball-tracking is removed from the compulsory list.


BCCI’s issues come to the fore again. After Hot Spot proves inconclusive on several occasions during India’s tour of England, the BCCI decides to have a fresh look at the agreement reached with the ICC.


Hot Spot is dropped from India’s home ODIs against England. Not having the BCCI support and its own performance during India’s tour of England is cited as reasons by the owner.

DRS ceases to be mandatory. The ICC decides to leave its use in the hands of the two countries in action.

APRIL 2012

A string of dodgy decisions mars the West Indies-Australia series. Coach Ottis Gibson says that DRS lacks consistency. He is fined 20 per cent of his match fee for speaking out.

JUNE 2012

ICC once again moots the possibility of making DRS mandatory following ‘successful’ testing of the technology. However, the BCCI’s stand remains unchanged.

ICC clarifies that India would not be “forced into accepting its universal application”.


In the India-England series, a couple of contentious decisions involving Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott results in calls for the DRS to be implemented, but BCCI remains unmoved.


Members of the ICC Chief Executives Committee back a change in policy that would see the home board having the right to choose whether to use DRS or not. It is also suggested that the matter be put to vote.

Also, rumours that India had threatened to pull out of any bilateral series in which the host country wanted to use DRS filled the air.

JULY 2013

DRS is back in the news after the first Ashes Test at Trent Bridge sees three decisions being marked wrong in spite of the review system being in place. Arguments, for and against DRS, rage on.

Compiled by N. Sudarshan