John Holder says DRS adds drama and excitement not justice

Former Test umpire John Holder believes that the Decision Review System (DRS) used in cricket is primarily there to create drama and excitement for television companies rather than help officials reach the right decisions.


Cricket South Africa (CSA) has agreed to use DRS in the forthcoming series against Pakistan, but Holder is far from convinced it protects the umpires.

“From years of experience I know that there are times when there is an appeal and you as umpire do not know if the batsman is out or not. You should then be able to ask the third umpire to review it”, the Barbados-born Holder said. 

“I feel that both the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the television companies prefer the players challenging the decision because that is far more dramatic and creates excitement among commentators and viewers.

“There is no concern for the feelings of the umpire who has made a decision in good faith and has to stand there in the middle while his decision is replayed from several angles and finally he has to revoke his decision”, he added. “That was one of the reasons why a former Elite umpire quit the job”.

The 68-year-old Holder, who umpired in 47 First Class matches, added, “According to the ICC DRS was brought in to overturn obvious mistakes by umpires but in reality it has not been used for that purpose.

“Teams use it tactically, with a great deal of guesswork”, he continued. “As a result of this, reviews are all too often used up.

“Then having used up all its reviews, an obvious umpiring error is made but cannot be reviewed. This has elicited much criticism from commentators”, Holder concluded.

James Buttler

James Buttler

James has been working as a cricket journalist and broadcaster since 2006.
As the editor of Cricket Badger he is intent on building the website to give quality coverage of the domestic game around the world.
James was the full-time Media Manager at Yorkshire County Cricket Club between 2007 and 2010.
James is a published author and a writer/video contributor to many cricket publications.
He's unsurprisingly a complete cricket badger!
James Buttler

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