Smart Replay System has sped up IPL 2024

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Viewed passionately from beyond the boundary, the 2024 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) has thrown up more innovations. It does not matter whether the die-hard T20 fan gets his adrenaline high from inside the cricket arena or on TV screens or smart phones. A change for the better has come through the Smart Replay System, which has definitely speeded things up for more accurate reviews.
Was this change needed in the first place, one may well ask. Almost a month ago, news emerged of how much more technology would be used further in the IPL. The intrusion of technology in several sports, indoor and outdoor, has been unstoppable.

For the IPL, which has sought to increase the bar, in terms of fan experience, the SRS (Smart Replay System) has been welcome. First things first, what has been done to speed up reviews needs to be understood. The TV umpire now gets inputs directly from the Hawk-eye camera operators, occupying the same room. In effect, the TV umpire is now accessing many more multiple images from the ground at a faster pace, minus any glitch. It is believed the TV umpire gets to watch images from almost eight cameras.

If all this sounds like sci-fi jargon, what one has seen in 26 matches of the IPL till now, has been an enriching fan experience. To be sure, the implementation of the SRS (Smart Review System) has made it faster when a review is taken. So, when you are watching the replay in the afternoon on a weekend match or evening/night in a gripping match, action has been “speeded up.”

Hang on, “speeding up,” is not in terms of batters smashing bigger sixes or the more creative bowlers conjuring up magic to produce a five-wicket haul like Jasprit Bumrah did or the magic created by Kuldeep Yadav last night for Delhi Capitals.

The feedback from few fans RevSportz spoke to has been one of reviews getting faster, which means less wastage of time. Anyone watching the match will realise, the review process, OK, DRS jargon, is speedy now. The way sport is being consumed is changing. Gone are the days when two men in the middle (umpires) were like the Lordships in a Court, who had unlimited power to give a quick decision. A LBW was always contentious and if it happened to be two infamous umpires in Pakistan, decades ago, rival teams travelling there feared the players as well as Shakoor Rana and Khizar Hayat. One former English cricketer had even referred to the challenge of playing in Pakistan as akin to taking on 13 players!


The invasion of technology in cricket has been phenomenal. What romantic relics watched as cricket in flannels and umpires getting respect, despite bloomers, was still acceptable. Of course, there have been instances in India, across cities, where umpires have been shown even the knife on field or later, in club cricket!

We live in an age of intelligence and AI – artificial intelligence. Technology and the use of AI is now welcome in all walks of life, unless you happen to be inert and resist change. Cricket umpires, third umpire, TV umpire and much more in vogue, today it has become acceptable. That India, which had resisted DRS (Decision Review System) for a long time, has embraced SRS (Smart Replay System) is indeed fascinating, even if it be in club cricket called IPL.

“Yes, the reviews are faster and watching it in IPL 2024 has been a quick experience vis a vis reviews. Less time wasted,” said Dr Karan Tangri, a leading dentist by profession but a cricket addict. He travelled the length and breadth of the country last year during the ICC World Cup to track Team India. It is fans like Karan who give the most accurate fan feedback, for a journo will always look at things with a certain bias.

A former Delhi international cricketer, who has been with the IPL in the past, said the Smart Replay System is good. But the suggestion he made, looking forward, was even more thought provoking. “Yes, I do see speedy reviews on TV, which is good. Maybe, the next level will be providing the feed the TV umpire is getting to even the fans on giant screens in toto live,” he said.

Well, if hockey can show reviews being taken when players are in the field of play and tennis shows replays in an instant on the giant screen, putting chair umpires under pressure, cricket could also go to the next level. So, the answer to viewing IPL minus wastage of time in 2024 is good. No one wants to be siting idle during reviews and “break time” has to be snappy. If you come from a generation which watched the idiot box and had access to only Doordarshan “rukawat ke liye khed hai,” meaning, sorry for feed disruption, was a norm!

No, in sport, you want speed, high resolution replays. Each fan is a third umpire or TV umpire in his own drawing room. Wars break out among family members as well, though quick reviews this IPL looks slick.

Is this the end or more can happen? Well, the sky is the limit. For example, when a fielder is being “checked” if he saved a boundary or crossed, there can be more technology use. Maybe, a laser will be used to see like a runner at the finish point in a 100m dash, for, there is no “breasting the tape” like before. Then again, will TV allow viewers to see catches being taken with a ‘zoom in.’ Did the palm hit the grass or was any portion of the ball kissing the grass in a catch taken? Will the ‘zoom in’ process, if zeroing in is to be done in future, become a reality? Why not, “dil maange more” is the chant of fans!