DRS to be Used in a Women’s Bilateral Series for the First Time

Those cricket fans who follow the men's game will know all about the Decision Review System, also known as the DRS. Before it was introduced, the umpire's decision was final, so if you were given out LBW even if you hit the cover off the ball, you had to make your way back to the pavilion. Nowadays, each team gets a certain number of reviews per innings, so if the umpire makes a howler of a decision, it can be challenged and overruled.

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DRS in the Women's Game

The DRS was available at the last two T20I World Cups and for the 10 televised games of the 50-over World Cup back in 2017, but it has not been used outside of these two major competitions in the women's game. Last Summer, both Australia and England during their Ashes series called for DRS to be used in the women's game when England's Fran Wilson was given out LBW although the replays showed that the ball had hit her glove first, and not the pad.

Well, it looks like they are going to get their wish as the DRS is going to be used when England take on the West Indies in five T20I matches that will be played from the 21st September to the 30th September. Both teams will be given two reviews to use per innings - it would usually be one per innings, but it has been increased to two as a Covid-19 rule change.

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Why Has It Not Been Used Before in the Women's Game?

Technology such as DRS is great, but there is one flaw to it and that is that it is not very cheap to make use of. The DRS costs about $60,000 per match, and women’s cricket draws in a lot less income than men’s cricket.

In fact, as it is expensive, there are some cricketing boards that refuse to make use of it when they are hosting another cricketing nation. To add to this, there is often a lot of debate as to whether it should be used at all due to the expense and the fact that it is not 100% accurate – this is why there is umpire’s call.

What this means is that if a batsman reviews an LBW decision and DRS says the ball will be clipping the bails or the ball just pitched in line, then whatever decision the umpire gave will stand. So, if he gave it out, the batsman has to make his way back to the pavilion. If he gave it not out, then the batsman can carry on batting. A review is not lost if the DRS shows it to be umpire’s call.

Source: https://www.espncricinfo.com/story/_/id/29927038/drs-make-maiden-appearance-women-bilateral-series-west-indies-play-england

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