Why is there No DRS for BBL and WBBL 2021 season?

The Big Bash League (BBL) and Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) will start from December 5, 2021 and October 14, 2021 respectively. The T20 league will be played across different venues in Australia and will see eight teams locking horns against each other.


Melbourne Renegades. PC: WBBL/Twitter
Melbourne Renegades. PC: WBBL/Twitter


As per the latest development, it is known that Cricket Australia has scrapped plans to have the Decision Review System (DRS) for the BBL due to the complexities of getting technology operators across international and state borders.

Earlier, there were talks of having a DRS in place for the BBL for the first time this year but then the requirement to get government exemptions for up to 15 UK-based operators to enter Australia and then move them and their equipment around different venues across the country could prove to be a logistical challenge. There are no qualified operators based in Australia. The league has also opted against implementing a basic review system using only television replays due to concerns about decisions being made based on inconclusive evidence. The news was made public on October 10.

With respect to the abandonment of DRS, Alistair Dobson, CA’s Head of BBL, said, “With the need to bring anywhere up to 10 or 15 extra people from the UK to operate it and move that level of additional cameras and infrastructure around the country … it just got to a point where we couldn’t reliably be clear that we could do all 61 games in a way the competition would warrant. It’s a combination of people, technology, time and set up. Introducing that in a normal year for the first time will be a challenging project, so to overlay all the other issues we’re dealing with, it’s just a step too far. There are times in the BBL season where we’ve probably had four or five different venues (in use) over the course of 48 hours. And then you overlay (the fact that broadcasters) Seven and Fox have different technology providers, so then you’re trying to work through who’s the broadcaster and which technology provider is going to be in place for this game. You can see the complexity builds pretty quickly. We have a clear intention of bringing something that works for the BBL and the WBBL in the future, and we will now turn our attention to what that looks like next year.”

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He added, “Once you eliminate virtual technology like ball-tracking, and probably even snicko to a degree, you are narrowing it down to a very small category of dismissal that you can actually review and the video replay would pick up. So then it just becomes an equation … of what’s the benefit of that as opposed to the unintended or flow-on consequences. It’s just about being very clear on what you’re trying to solve and by solving it in a certain way, are you then creating other issues that you hadn’t intended?”

Source: Cricket Australia

I am a former cricketer having represented Mumbai University at All India University level. I was a part of MCA probables for the U-19 and U-23 age group. I have been an avid cricket writer for the last five years. Currently I am pursuing my Ph.D from IIT Bombay.

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