TV commentators ignite debate on DRS authorship
Posted on January 21st, 2022

By Bipin Dani

The Sri Lankan lawyer Senaka Weeraratna, who has been running from pillar to post to be recognized as the author of the DRS (Decision Review System) was over the moon when, for the first time in the history of cricket commentating in Sri Lanka, Roshan Abeysinghe had said that there was a claimant from Sri Lanka (and named him) who has yet to get formal recognition from the ICC. He had dwelt on this subject for about three minutes.

This DRS is a technology-based system used in cricket to assist the match officials in their decision-making. Roshan Abeysinghe and South Africa’s Jon Kent were discussing (for about six minutes between Over number 29 & 30 when the visiting Zimbabwe team was batting) that if the name Duckworth Lewis & Stern (DLS) can be tagged on to a mechanism being used to determine the winner of rain-affected one-day international matches, why not the DRS be named after the inventor of the player referral mechanism?DRS is applied in all formats of the game. Test, one day international and T20. DRS has been hailed as the most revolutionary step taken to reform cricket rules since the inception of the game.

DRS is a Sri Lankan achievement.Perhaps things may have been moving in the right direction. I want the world to know that it was first my idea to suggest the players be given the right to challenge the umpire’s decision, if they wish so, Senaka Weeraratna, speaking exclusively.However, the Sri Lankan commentator on TV also discussed and cited the article written by the late Christopher Martin-Jenkins (he was a cricketer, writer and the MCC president) in The Daily Telegraph on 18th May 1993.

The Test and County Cricket Board’s idea for a walkie-talkie link with a third umpire was first suggested in a written paper to the International Cricket Board (now Council). Credit for this basic concept has been claimed by South Africa and the TCCB but belongs instead, it transpires, to a Sri Lankan cricket journalist and administrator, Mahinda Wijesinghe.”Interestingly, Mahinda has framed this CMJ’s article and retained it as memorabilia.

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