April 21, 2011

Indian Premier League

Players distracted by spidercam

Akhila Ranganna

It may enhance the viewing experience on television, but as far as some of the IPL’s players are concerned, the spider camera – a remote-controlled device suspended over the field from cables attached to floodlight towers – is a “distraction”. During the game between Mumbai Indians and Pune Warriors at the Wankhede, Sachin Tendulkar signalled for the camera to be moved away because it got too close a couple of times while he was batting.

“It was a distraction for Sachin for sure. When it is in front of you, it is definitely distracting because you are trying to concentrate on the ball,” Pune captain Yuvraj Singh said. “But when it is behind, it is fine. I don't think it should come in the way when you are batting or fielding. The one who is operating it should make it sure it doesn't come in front of the player. The guys organising the camera should be careful.”

And it’s not just batsmen who have an issue. Mumbai Indians allrounder Kieron Pollard reckoned the camera was a hindrance even for fielders. “Yes, it is a bit of a distraction. The camera is very closely placed and it comes in the peripheral vision of the fielders. It is important to take it away from the players at crucial times, especially when the situations are tight. It can be frustrating for players.”

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Akhila Ranganna is assistant editor (Audio) at ESPNcricinfo

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