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IPL 2024

Explained: What is the Smart Replay System that will be introduced for TV umpires in IPL 2024?

The IPL has introduced a Smart Replay System for the 2024 edition to make decision-making quicker and more accurate.
by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

The IPL has introduced a Smart Replay System for the 2024 edition to make decision-making quicker and more accurate.

The IPL has done away with the role of the TV broadcast director in the new system. Instead, the TV umpire will receive inputs directly from two Hawk-Eye operators stationed in the same room as him. In case of any replays, the TV umpire will be provided immediately with images from the Hawk-Eye technicians, a massive change from the previous system where he would request the TV director for images, who would then ask the Hawk-Eye officials for them.

The conversations between the Hawk-Eye operators and the TV umpires will be aired live for more clarity.

A total of 15 umpires, comprising Indian and overseas umpires, took part in a two-day workshop for the new system ahead of the IPL 2024 that begins on March 22.

How will the Smart Replay System be more effective?

According to reports in ESPNCricinfo, the TV umpire will now have more visuals to aid his decision-making. He will have the help of split-screen images from IPL 2024, which will help in making tight calls. Previously, the broadcaster could not merge multiple angles, which often led to controversy over close calls. For example, if there is a relay catch mid-air, the umpire will now be able to see a split-screen of when the ball was caught or released along with the positioning of his field. This was impossible previously.

Split screens will also be in use for stumpings, run-outs, catches and overthrows. Earlier, Hawk-Eye was used majorly for ball-tracking and Ultra-Edge. In the Smart Replay System, a TV umpire will be able to see footage from the side-on cameras as well as the front-on angle in one frame. The front-on angle will explain when the bails were removed while the side-on angle tells him when the feet were in the air. The Hawk-Eye cameras also record the action at around 300 frames per second, as opposed to the 50 frames per second the Stump Cam (used for stumpings currently), making the new technology more accurate.

The TV Umpire will also be helped with the Smart Replay System when there are low catches taken inches off the ground, a dismissal that almost always leads to discussions. Previously, the TV director would be able to provide one angle at once. Even though they were zoom-in often, they were inconclusive several times. The umpire can now look at either images from the front-on or side-on images.

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