Cow Corner

DRS is great already, but here’s five ways to make it even better

Cow Corner

DRS has already proven itself to be the undisputed star of the Ashes so far, but Cow Corner believes it could be even better. Here's some ideas how.

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1. More reviews please

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The biggest single problem with DRS reviews is that there simply aren't enough of them. They're so much fun whether they're used rightly or wrongly, and - given that they're usually used wrongly - the two-bites-of-the-cherry allotted to each team in each innings just isn't enough. Three or even four reviews per innings would surely be a better bet. Don't worry, teams would still find a way to waste them all.

2. Improve the technology

How often do we see inconclusive hot spot pictures, jerky frame-by-frame run-out replays that don't show the key moment the stumps are taken off, and see slow-motion replays with audio full of unexplained noises? It's time the technology guys upped their game. Snickometer data delivered quickly enough to be considered in DRS decisions, a more sensitive hot spot camera, and most important of all an ultra slow-motion camera (as we see used so often in tennis and golf) to help the third umpire make his decision.

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3. Run penalties for incorrect reviews

Rather than restrict teams to two reviews, why not come up with a more creative way of penalising teams for incorrect reviews? How about an incorrect review costing the batting team 5 per cent of their runs in that innings? And it it's the bowling team that reviews incorrectly, the batting team has 5 per cent added to their run total? They could just be shoved in the 'extras' tally for scorecard purposes.

The penalty or bonus would be added at the time of the review rather than at the end of the innings, meaning that there would be an extra layer of drama: early on it would be relatively risk-free, but towards the end of an innings a review could be potentially enormously costly - and therefore enormously dramatic.

4. Voting buttons for the crowd

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The third umpires have consistently shown themselves utterly incapable of using the different types of evidence available for DRS reviews. That's led Michael Vaughan to suggest very sensibly that some sort of technical specialist should be the third umpire, rather than some dinosaur umpire who probably can't work his Sky+.

But why stop there? We often hear people complain that 'everyone in the ground apart from umpire' could see what the right decision was, so let's take it out of the hands of the umpires and give everyone an X-Factor-style voting button. A bit like the mob justice from the Coliseum in Ancient Rome, it wouldn't get it right every time but it would keep everyone happy.

5. Ensure that clangers only apply to pantomime villains

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David Warner

When Usman Khawaja's appeal was ludicrously denied, even England fans felt bad that a young, promising player had been denied a chance to shine with a nightmare decision that could potentially end his Ashes series. When David Warner blew his review after the clearest of edges, the crowd reacted with a huge cheer.

The mistakes came from different sides with these two examples, but the message remains the same: clangers are only truly hilarious when we feel that they happen to the right people. So while we can accept that mistakes will happen, can't the ICC just make sure they happen to the right people?

Got any better ideas? Share them with the world in the box below...

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