The rules of DRS (Decision Review System) sparked a new controversy during First Test between Sri Lanka and South Africa when a DRS review was denied to the former team. Sri Lankan captain Dimuth Karunaratne appealed for a review but his request was denied as on-field umpires said he took more than 15 seconds to ask for review.
The incident happened just at the start of the match during the second over. On Vishwa Fernando’s ball, South African opener Hashim Amla was given not out by umpire Aleem Dar over an LBW appeal. Dimuth had a conversation with Fernando and wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella and eventually decided to take a review.
However, he was denied for the request as he took longer than 15 seconds to ask for a review. Later replays showed that the ball was in line and would have hit the stumps, and umpire’s decision would have been overturned if a review was granted.
Moreover, the decision became even more controversial when commentators mentioned that only 13 seconds had been taken by Sri Lankan skipper for requesting DRS. Commnetator Michael Holding said on air, “I have seen people take longer than that to review.” Amla, however, could not do much damage with bat as he was dismissed soon for 3 runs by Suranga Lakmal.
Section 3.2.2 of the ICC’s Test playing conditions stipulate that “The total time elapsed between the ball becoming dead and the review request being made shall be no more than 15 seconds,” and “If the on-field umpires believe that a request has not been made within the 15 second time limit, they shall decline the request for a Player Review.” The rule also states that the umpire should prompt the concerned player after 10 seconds if the DRS request had not been made till that time. But it seemed that Aleem Dar failed to do that as he was not seen doing such an act during the moment.