People are getting really bloody lazy with their DRS hand signals and we’re not having it

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This is maybe not people’s top concern at the minute, but cricketers are getting really half-arsed with their decision review system (DRS) hand signals these days.

When a batsman or captain disagrees with an on-field umpire’s decision, they are now permitted to question their authoritah.

To signal that they wish for the decision to be reviewed by the third umpire, they are obliged to do a sort of punching-your-forearm move. This forms a kind of T-shape which maybe stands for ‘third umpire’ or maybe doesn’t. (We neither know nor care.)

Everyone does this signal slightly differently, but ideally you do it so that people have at least half an idea that you’re signalling for a review. That’s kind of the point.

At one end of the scale, we have a (possibly false) memory of Michael Clarke doing it with a real over-the-top flourish on one occasion; dropping to one knee and delivering a huge slow-motion upper-cut to form the required shape.

At the opposite end of the scale, we have the image at the top of the page which we’re pretty sure is Dom Bess questioning an LBW. (Sorry email readers, you’ll have to click through to the website.)

We say ‘pretty sure’ because honestly, what is that? You’re thinking we’ve got our screenshot wrong and we’ve captured the moment where he’s still thinking about it – but it isn’t.

What happened was Bess made a “should I or shouldn’t I?” face and hovered his hand in a way like maybe it was about to do something.

Then, apparently satisfied that everyone’s gaze was trained on him in expectation of either a ‘please can I review that’ hand signal or not, he just sort of flopped his hand onto the end of his bat to ask for the review.

The decision stood and Bess was out and he completely deserved to be if only for the pathetic hand signal.

Postscipt: This is the second time we’ve written about Dom Bess in the last month. The other time was his terrible five-for against Sri Lanka. If you’ve read these two pieces, you probably think we hate Dom Bess, so can we please just say this is absolutely not the case. We like him very much.


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  1. Probably the only time I’ll be able to say this but I’m 100% on the side of (possibly false) Michael Clarke here, and if anything he could’ve egged it even further over by holding the pose head bowed until the verdict arrived.

    1. Think he pretty much did.

      But then he ruined it by smirking about how hilarious he was being.

      1. Ugh. Well, at least that clears up the “possibly false” question – it was definitely him.

  2. Did you see the press backboard fall on the back of Bess’ head?

    With the way the clip was captioned and spread about by broadcasters on social media I was expecting it to show hm giggling at the silliness, but he looked genuinely furious.

    1. Those aren’t crosswords. The very best you can say about them, and I mean the very best, is that there are some crossing words. But some crossing words doesn’t make it a crossword.

      Crosswords are on a minimum 15×15 grid, which MUST have 180 degree rotational symmetry. It should not have 90 degree rotational symmetry, but this is less of an absolute. Neither should it have reflectional symmetry along any line. No block of four white squares should form a square, and obviously all white squares should be contiguous.

      George Dobell needs to look elsewhere for cricket-themed cryptic crosswords to retweet.

  3. Daisy woke up at about 5:10 this morning. Here is a verbatim transcript of the conversation.

    DAISY: What’s happening?
    GED: Three wickets already. Jimmy has just castled Gill & Rahane.
    DAISY: So who’s batting?
    GED: Kohli & Pant.

    As Sparks put it so eloquently in Hasta Manana Monsieur: You mentioned Kant & I was shocked. You know, where I come from none of the girls have such foul tongues.

    1. A common chess joke when someone employs the Caro-Kann defense and loses is “Caro-Kant”.

  4. Talking of chess pieces (see Deep Cower’s comment above), what’s with all this knight obsession on the Channel Four broadcast?

    Sir Alastair this and Sir Andrew that – it all comes across as a bit excessive and pompous. Daisy objects.

      1. Excellent point. And in the “names that are also chess terms” department, why aren’t Ian Bishop & Collis King involved. Other cricket folk whose names come close:
        Joe Rook
        Gautam Gambhit
        Irfan Passant…

      2. Chess XI

        Nick Knight
        Cyril Washbrook
        Pawn Marsh
        Shai Hopening
        Shivnaraine Chanderpawn
        Ned Checkersley (+)
        Collis King
        Beau Castle
        Ian Bishop
        Reon King
        Bishop Singh Bedi

  5. Sort-of serious point: if India had won the toss, and the match had progressed more or less in the mirror image of what happened (Kohli big score instead of Root, OK innings from England but left with an impossible chase), I think I’d have more or less given up any hope of England avoiding defeat in the series.

    This thought makes me reluctant to draw any conclusions from the 1st Test as to how the rest of the series will progress.

    1. If England win the 2nd Test, then I think we can conclude that this Test team could become one of England’s greatest Test teams.

    2. Also, there is plenty of teams that have lost in India even after winning the toss. It is still a fantastic win.

    3. All we need is three wins and we are in the WTCF, so if we can win the three, we will pretty good. It would be interesting to play against NZ.
      It would be interesting to have a series against NZ in NZ and another in England.

      1. I hope not, I say that fully knowing that there is a very high possibility of such happening.

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