The Big Bash will wait another year to introduce a decision review system (DRS), with COVID-19 and border closures stopping its implementation this summer.
- Lack of certainty over movement of technology to Australian venues means no DRS for Big Bash and WBBL until next season
- A plan for TV replays only was dropped because only three calls would have been changed in 2020-21 using that system
- Full DRS will be introduced in time for the next summer of cricket
BBL bosses told players on Sunday night they had planned to bring a system in this year for both men and women after a series of howler decisions in 2020-21.
Under the plan, Cricket Australia (CA) was prepared to bring four times as many DRS units into Australia for the BBL as they would for the international summer schedule, due to the spread of venues.
However, months of work has been undone, with CA concerned border closures could stop both the technology and its operators from attending all games.
“We’ve spent a lot of time exploring all options and understanding the technology, logistics and complexities around it,” BBL boss Alistair Dobson said.
“The technology providers were comfortable with all that in a normal year.
“But then you overlay the fact that they’re largely based overseas, and you have to bring multiple crews into the country.
“There’s uncertainty around internal borders. [And], potentially uncertainty around the schedule.
The border situation is made trickier by the fact CA still hopes to have matches played in COVID-hit New South Wales and Victoria this summer.
Organisers also considered using a television replay-only system for this season, as was mooted by some last summer.
However, an analysis of last season’s two tournaments showed that just three decisions would have been overturned using only replays.
For instance, there would not have been enough evidence to overturn Usman Khawaja’s supposed edge against Perth on replay alone without being able to refer to Snicko.
A similar scenario also surrounded Mitch Marsh’s controversial caught behind, down the legside against the Sydney Sixers in the finals.
Organisers also did not want players and umpires to have to learn a new system for just one season before full DRS is introduced next summer.
“One of the things that you’ve just got to be clear on is what are you trying to solve?” Dobson said.
“How many potential incorrect decisions does a particular solution solve and what are the trade-offs or unintended consequences?”
Meanwhile, organisers will stick with the Bash Boost, Power Surge and X-factor innovations in the BBL, however they will not be present in the WBBL when it starts on Thursday.
Free ball at stumps if players slow to the crease
The only rule change in both BBL and WBBL will be batters given 75 seconds to get to the crease once a wicket falls, with bowlers given a free ball at the stumps if they do not arrive within that time.
That delivery will be treated as a ball in the innings, and will go down as a dot if the bowler misses.
Organisers do not expect the rule to come into play, but rather it will enforce a hurry-up for the batting side.
Further in-game penalties beyond fines and suspensions were discussed for bowling sides with slow-over rates, but not introduced.