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Big Bash League: League boss Alistair Dobson reveals DRS plans for next year’s competition amid howlers

Cricket Australia will consider introducing a review system for next season’s Big Bash League after revealing it was a likelihood this year before the pandemic hit.

Umpire decisions have been at the forefront of talk around this summer’s BBL, with several of the competition’s best officiating in Test matches.

The need for a review system has regularly been exposed, with decisions the chief talking point in at least four games.

Big Bash Leagues boss Alistair Dobson ruled out the implementation of a system mid-season but said there would be consideration for one from next year.

“It would need to be considered amongst a whole range of things about the length of games and what’s right for the game,” Dobson said.

“And also the degree to which broadcasters and teams subscribe to the models available.

“If there are options available to suit those things we should bring it in.”

Time and money are the two biggest constraints for Cricket Australia.

The average duration of a Big Bash game has blown out in recent seasons and officials are mindful that the introduction of reviews could add to that.

VideoUmpiring howler in Thunder’s win over Perth.

A full-blown system would cost about $2 million per season, given games can be played in multiple cities in one day and at smaller venues.

Given that is more than the equivalent of each team’s salary cap, the question is then whether that is money best spent.

A solution to both those issues is likely to be the use of replays only, a system also backed by the players’ union to eradicate howlers.

“Our starting point would be to address the really clear errors that can sometimes be made in the heat of the game by an umpire,” Dobson said.

“That, as opposed to having get every marginal decision one hundred per cent right which we see in international cricket.”

VideoUmpiring howler mars Adelaide’s win over Brisbane.

The introduction of a review system has been a talking point since the start of the BBL, where third umpires could step in if they spotted a bad decision.

Dobson revealed a review system, of some sorts, was likely to be in place this season if not for cost restraints due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We were exploring options prior to this season,” Dobson said.

“When the pandemic hit, like all sports, we looked at ways we could continue to manage the sport for cost cutting, it was one of the things we had to pause for this season.

“It’s fair to say we would have looked at some form of technology based referrals, whether it’s DRS or some other models.”

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