Big Bash League to introduce DRS for upcoming season

With the effects of COVID-19 on border closures preventing the transportation of review system technology last summer, the Big Bash League and WBBL will finally implement DRS this coming season.

Cricket Australia on Thursday confirmed the video review technology will be available to captains for the first time, in the BBL’s 12th season.

The domestic competition, which will restart in mid-December, has been yet to utilise DRS, despite the revolutionary technology’s introduction to the ICC three years prior to the BBL’s inaugural edition.

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Fans have been crying out for years for the introduction to be made as umpire howlers have seemingly dominated headlines in recent seasons.

While this is a massive win for supporters of the system, teams will be restricted to one review per innings to save time during the shortened format.

Teams will get one unsuccessful review each, consistent with the regulations followed in most other Twenty20 domestic leagues.

Only the Indian Premier League, which provided teams two unsuccessful reviews per innings at this year’s tournament, has allowed more elbow room for referrals.

Captains will have 15 seconds after a delivery is made to request a review of the umpire’s decision, with a successfully overturned review seeing the challenging side retain its review.

With the BBL’s 61-match fixture spread across 14 venues with multiple games being played in different locations on the same day, the logistical undertaking of transporting equipment and operators is going to be enormous for Cricket Australia.

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But hard work has its rewards and, hopefully, this materialises as fewer howlers this summer.

In other changes to the BBL laws, an innings clock will be introduced to ensure games finish in a timely manner, while the Bash Boost point and X-Factor substitution have been removed.

The WBBL will also adopt the Power Surge rule following its successful introduction to the men’s competition.

”Implementing DRS has been a challenging task for the BBL, which is the most logistically complex T20 league in the world,” BBL general manager Alistair Dobson said.

“That, plus the impact of the pandemic on travel and movement, have meant the technology has not been possible to introduce until this season.”

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