IPL introduces new system to fast-track reviews and accomplish more accuracy


Image Source : GETTY Umpires during the IPL 2023 final.

The Indian Premier League will have a new Smart Replay System to make the reviews quicker and accomplish more accuracy. Under the new system, the hawk-eye operators will be sitting with a TV umpire to provide a better quality to the reviews, ESPNCricinfo reported. 

Until now, the TV umpire consulted with a TV broadcast director, who acted as the bridge between the umpire and the hawk-eye operators. The broadcast director will not be involved in the upcoming system. 

This will lend more speed and accuracy to the review system as TV umpire can now directly receive inputs from the Hawk-eye operators. In a notable change under this system, the hawk-eye operators can now provide split screens for stumping calls and close catch calls.

The report quotes an example that a hawk-eye operator can provide split screens in synchronisation of catches at the boundary ropes. This can be crucial as the umpire can now see the split screen of the fielder releasing the ball in sync with his feet to know whether they are in touch with the ropes when the ball is in contact. Earlier, the broadcaster could not show the split screen in synchronisation to the umpire. 

Eight hawk-eye cameras are put on the ground, with two each on either straight of the pitch and two each on either square side. Also, for the catches lower on the ground, the system can provide better quality. It will use split cameras to provide a frame which will have images from side-on and front angles. The umpire can zoom into it to get the best view of the catch attempt. 

The new system will also provide the split screen views for an overthrow that deflects off for a four. The umpire can see whether the batters crossed each other when the ball was released by the fielders or not (for example the ODI World Cup 2019 final overthrow). 

Notably, in stumping reviews too, the system will provide a split screen and will give a tri-vision to the TV umpire from side-on cameras and front-on cameras. Earlier, only side-on angles were available with a stump cam, which recorded the action at low speeds of 50 fps. The Hawk-eye cameras work at 300 fps. 

The new system will also allow for saving time during LBW reviews as the hawk-eye operators can help the umpires remove unnecessary steps for a review. Traditionally, the TV umpires ask the broadcasters for a front-arm spin vision and then check ultra edge and go to the ball tracking at the end. Now these steps can be reduced with the operators helping the umpire. Notably, the Indian board had a two-day workshop for the selected umpires. The report stated that around 15 umpires would work on the new system in the upcoming edition of the Indian cash-rich league.



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