Cricket news 2022: DRS technology introduced for Big Bash League and women’s competition

After years of begging and pleading, Australian cricket fans finally got their wish.

Cricket Australia has confirmed that DRS technology will be available for every Big Bash League match this summer, along with 24 games in the women’s competition.

Each team will receive one unsuccessful review per innings during the popular T20 competition, with the fielding captain or batter allocated 15 seconds to call for a review.

Ultra Edge, commonly referred to as Snicko, and ball-tracking will be available to the third umpire, but not Hotspot technology.

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Meanwhile, the Bash Boost point and X-Factor substitution rules, which divided cricket fans after their introduction in 2020, have been scrapped.

The Power Surge innovation, where batting sides can take a two-over Powerplay after the 10th over, has been retained and make its debut in the Women’s Big Bash League this season.

Also, fielding teams in the men’s competition will now be put on a countdown clock to ensure they start the final over of the innings within 79 minutes.

If they fail to do so, only four fielders will be permitted outside the inner ring for the remainder of the innings.

“Implementing DRS has been a challenging task for the BBL, which is the most logistically complex T20 league in the world,” Big Bash boss Alistair Dobson said in a statement.

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

“Additionally, the League is pleased with the outcomes of the wider Playing Conditions review process, with the introduction of the Power Surge to WBBL and the BBL innings clock both major wins for fans.

“We retain a clear desire to innovate and drive our Leagues forward but are also willing to review decisions that have not realised the intended positive impact, such as the Bash Boost point and X-Factor substitution.”

Due to logistical and financial complications, partly caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, CA has been reluctant to introduce the DRS, which has become commonplace in international cricket and overseas tournaments such as the Indian Premier League and The Hundred.

The BBL will be played across 14 venues this season, and ensuring the review system is available for all 61 matches is a huge logistical challenge to CA — transporting equipment and operators from state to state was practically impossible last summer due to border restrictions.

Taking the full suite of technologies to regional venues is particularly costly — it’s estimated that having Snicko and ball-tracking available for the entire competition could cost up to $2 million.

“This game is moving forward quicker than a lot of people realise,” England batter Laurie Evans, who was retained by the Perth Scorchers at the Big Bash League Draft, told reporters last month.

“There’s a lot on the line for a lot of people … just an individual decision can change a career.

“A competition of this magnitude needs to have everything available to it, and be played at the highest possible level.

“DRS is one of those things we’re getting used to now as players around the T20 circuit, so it’s a great decision to have it.”

The late Shane Warne was also an outspoken advocate for DRS technology in the Big Bash, telling Fox Cricket in 2020: “Enough is enough. If we want to take this competition seriously, we’ve got to have DRS.

“Cricket Australia just have to pay for it. We can’t have these decisions.”

The 12th edition of the Big Bash League gets underway on Tuesday, December 13, while the women’s competition kicks off on Thursday, October 13.

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