On this day, 13 years ago in 2008, the Decision Review System (DRS) was used for the first time during the opening Test match of the three-match series between India and Sri Lanka. The historic Test match was played at Sri Lanka’s Singhalese Sports Club (SSC) ground in Colombo.
Veteran Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh was the first man to use the DRS. Then, Indian skipper Anil Kumble choose to go for the DRS on Harbhajan’s lbw appeal against Sri Lanka’s Malinda Warnapura after it was turned down by the on-field umpire.
However, India’s first review was not a successful one as Warnapura was not out. Warnapura went on to score 115 runs for his side off 202 balls. Interestingly, later he was dismissed by Harbhajan.
Meanwhile, Tillakaratne Dilshan was the first batsman in the history of the game to continue batting after he was adjudged out by the on-field umpire. After he was given out, Dilshan challenged the umpire’s decision and was awarded not out after he went upstairs.
However, it was a controversial decision as later, the snick-o-meter (not used in the review process then) showed that the Sri Lankan batsman had indeed touched the bowl by his bat before it was caught behind by the wicketkeeper.
Later, during Indian innings, veteran opener Virender Sehwag became the first cricketer to walk back to the stands under the process.
The match was not a memorable one for India as they were hammered by an innings and 239 runs. After the match, when asked about DRS, Kumble said that it “is still an experiment” and it needs to be reviewed further.
On the other hand, Kumble’s counterpart Mahela Jayawardene was in support of the technology used in international cricket.