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BCCI to introduce Smart Replay System in IPL 2024: How will the technology fasten DRS process, help TV Umpire? Explained

The BCCI will bring ‘Smart Replay System’ in the 2024 Indian Premier League to help bolster the decision-making process

In the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), a new Smart Replay System will be implemented to enhance decision-making efficiency and streamline the process. According to a report from ESPNcricinfo, this system will incorporate eight high-speed cameras from Hawk-Eye positioned around the ground. Two Hawk-Eye operators will also be stationed alongside the TV umpire to provide real-time images for swift analysis.

A still from the IPL 2023 final(IPL)

Unlike the previous setup, in which the TV broadcast director acted as an intermediary between the Hawk-Eye operators and the third umpire, the new arrangement eliminates this role. Instead, the TV umpire will directly receive visuals from the operators, granting them access to a wider range of images, including split-screen views.

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This advancement allows for more comprehensive analysis, such as capturing crucial moments like an outfielder’s mid-air catch with simultaneous footage of their feet and hands—an aspect previously unavailable to broadcasters.

The Smart Replay System will provide umpires with enhanced clarity and multiple angles for assessing various other scenarios, including caught behinds, leg-before-wicket decisions, stumpings, and low catches.

Recently, the BCCI organized a two-day workshop for a group of umpires – comprising both Indian and overseas officials – who will be utilising this system during the IPL. This initiative aligns with the board’s efforts to incorporate modern technology into cricket officiating.

Notably, a comparable referral system was tested by the England and Wales Cricket Board tested a comparable referral system during The Hundred competition, too.

How will the Smart Review System work?

Let us simplify your understanding of how the technology will work with an example.

Imagine a scenario where a fielder throws the ball toward the stumps, but it results in an overthrow and goes for a boundary.

Now, with the new Smart Replay System, we can determine if the batters crossed each other when the throw was made. How? Well, the system uses high-speed cameras placed around the ground to capture images of the exact moment the fielder released the ball, along with the position of the batters.

This information is then presented to the TV umpire, allowing for more accurate decision-making. It’s like having a clearer picture of what happened on the field; a case in point could be the 2019 World Cup final, where the ball was deflected off Ben Stokes’ bat as he dived for a second run.

Before, this wasn’t possible because the broadcast cameras couldn’t combine these images, but now, with the Smart Replay System, it’s all about providing better visuals for fairer judgments.

Smart Replay System in DRS

If you follow cricket enough, you must have heard the TV Umpire beginning every DRS review with this particular sentence: ‘TV Umpire to Director, we have a review for…’

Well, there won’t be a need for that anymore. Since the director’s role will become redundant under the Smart Replay System, the TV Umpire will receive direct visuals from the operator, and he won’t be requiring the director to transmit the replays.


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