Next summer’s Big Bash League appears likely to have some form of Decision Review System, following a spate of umpiring blunders.
BBL10 has been almost totally overshadowed by a number of howlers, with last night’s match between Adelaide and Perth a perfect example.
Jhye Richardson had what appeared to be a plumb LBW turned down, despite the batsman being hit in front of middle while playing back.
“That’s cannoning into middle and leg, there’s no doubt about that,” Adam Gilchrist said on Fox Cricket.
Just four balls later the standard of umpiring was back in the spotlight, after Matt Short was given out LBW despite replays showing the ball had hit nothing but bat.
“I reckon that’s just come straight off his cricket bat. Oh, goodness me,” Andrew Symonds said.
It comes just a day after a farcical incident in the match between Hobart and Brisbane, after umpire Tony Wilds gave a batsman out, despite it being a free hit. Wilds quickly realised his error and corrected his decision, but it highlighted the poor standard of umpiring this summer.
Now BBL boss Alistair Dobson has conceded that some form of DRS will likely be introduced in 2021-22.
“There’s clearly an opportunity to explore something for BBL|11 onwards,” Dobson told cricket.com.au. “I’d say though that whatever we bring in needs to be ‘BBL’ in its nature, which I think is inherently different to the way others do it.
“Looking for something innovative and unique within some sort of umpire support or review process will be important … and also (needs to) suit the BBL, which aims to be as fast-paced as possible and with minimal disruption.
“We were a little bit of the way down the track to considering it but, for reasons from a cost perspective primarily, it was paused for this season.”
“I’m not necessarily committed to the full international model if there are other options that can be BBL-specific.”
Other T20 leagues around the world, including those in India, Bangladesh and the West Indies all use DRS.
Dobson’s comments throw up the option of some form of DRS-lite being rolled out, which may not necessarily involve the full suite of hotspot, snicko and ball-tracking technology.
It’s a process that would have the support of Sydney Thunder captain Callum Ferguson, who recently suggested a scaled-back version of DRS would be better than nothing at all.