1992-93: Technology takes its bow
Some events develop significance later, others are recognised immediately. This belonged in the second category. There was surprisingly little resistance to the use of television replays for line decisions on India's trip to South Africa late in 1992. But it still felt bizarre to have finally reached this point after the embarrassment TV had been causing umpires for decades.
On the second day of the First Test at Durban, Jonty Rhodes swooped at backward point and flicked an airborne throw to Andrew Hudson at short leg. Umpire Cyril Mitchley was "almost certain" Sachin Tendulkar had been run out but, having been a consultant during the system's trials, had no hesitation in referring it. Third umpire Karl Liebenberg held his breath: there were no fixed cameras at square leg, and everything depended on the midwicket cameraman. But the shot was there. Liebenberg pressed the green light (for "go", which in those days meant "out"), and Tendulkar's dismissal had taken just 34 seconds longer than normal. "I felt instantly the game had changed for ever - and for the better," said South African captain Kepler Wessels.
After domestic use of the referral system revealed its imperfections, fixed cameras - known as the Pana-eye - were implemented in South Africa two years later. They became standard after that. Today, we have the Decision Review System, when money and politics allow. Even the umpires have accepted that their word is no longer necessarily final - a profound shift in the game's psyche. NEIL MANTHORP
From Wisden 1994: The Indians in South Africa, by Richard Streeton
The tour will be remembered for the introduction of ICC's scheme for independent umpires and even more for the South African board's experiment using television replays to settle difficult line decisions. It was a successful innovation, welcomed by most players and officials after some initial reservations. Hitherto, for as long as the game has been played, batsmen have received the benefit of an umpire's doubt. When officials on the field felt unable to decide, a third umpire in the pavilion watched video replays to rule on run-outs and stumpings (and hit-wicket decisions, though none arose). A green light signalled that the batsman must go, and red that he was not out. Invariably the crowd buzzed with excitement as they waited and at some grounds they were able to watch the big-screen replays at the same time.