Players and coaches in the WBBL are becoming increasingly displeased with the absence of third umpires and DRS in several games this season. Georgia Wareham and Hayley Matthews, two Melbourne Renegades, expressed their dissatisfaction with the existing state of affairs and their hopes that more advanced technology may one day be permanently deployed.
The results of games have been impacted by inaccurate stumping and run-out calls on multiple occasions so far in the WBBL season when a third umpire has not been available.
Out of the 59 games in the season, only 24 are fully televised, giving the teams and standing officials access to DRS and third umpire reviews. The remaining matches are streamed via condensed, streaming broadcasts that do not include a third umpire or DRS technology.
A third umpire could have easily overturned inaccurate stumpings and runouts in three of those games. One such instance was a not out call that cost Sydney Thunder dearly overnight and favored Lizelle Lee of the Hobart Hurricanes.
Nothing will change this season, but Cricket Australia has already stated that they will look into having third umpires for every match next year.
Though Renegades don’t think they have been wrongly stumped or run out in close games, they do think they have been caught behind and given numerous LBW rulings that could have been reversed if DRS had been available.
Wareham articulated the Renegades’ group’s feelings over the current state of affairs.
“I think as a playing group it’s pretty frustrating, knowing that those moments in the game are really massive,” Wareham stated on Tuesday. And that, I suppose, is sort of altering how teams are winning and which team prevails that day based on those specific instances.
“I believe that’s what gets us so frustrated when we can’t seem to get those choices quite right. But really, there’s not really much you can do in the end. Therefore, I suppose the huge dogs will decide in the end.”
Matthews has been a part of the WBBL since its very first seasons and has personally witnessed the expansion of women’s franchise leagues throughout the world in recent years. If the WBBL is to continue to be the top women’s T20 franchise event in the world, she thinks DRS must be implemented in every game.
Matthews stated, “I think it would be a great step.” “It is evident that DRS, third umpires, and complete broadcasts are now present in every franchise competition around the globe for each and every game that is played. The WBBL, which is in its ninth season, has been, in my opinion, the top competition for a number of years. It seems like something that would be great to have done right away, and it would help raise the bar for the game on its own.
However, the captain of the Renegades stated that for the rest of the season, her squad cannot focus on the current circumstances.
“I think you’ve just got to try to control the controllables,” Matthews stated. “I think it will only lead to more frustration in the end if we sit around and worry about all the things that we can’t control. Thus, as hitters, let’s make the most of our bat usage.”