Technology in cricket

New cameras should capture faintest of edges - Hot Spot inventor

Brydon Coverdale

January 5, 2012

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An image captured from the new Hot Spot camera
The edge is captured more clearly in the new Hot Spot camera used in a trial during a Sheffield Shield game at the MCG this season © HotSpot

The inventor of Hot Spot, Warren Brennan, believes his technology can now pick up even the faintest of edges after the development of more sensitive cameras. The BCCI's opposition to the DRS means that the system is not in place for the ongoing Australia-India Test series, but viewers at home are being given access to Hot Spot and Eagle Eye through Channel Nine's coverage.

Brennan said the new cameras being used in this series were vastly superior to those that had been part of the DRS in the past. Testing during the Sheffield Shield season revealed the difference between the older cameras and the new ones, with blurring of the ball and marks on the bat no longer an issue.

Brennan said faint edges could be seen much more clearly with the new cameras, but a significant investment was required to replace all the old Hot Spot equipment. While Australian TV viewers can see the sharper images of the newer cameras this summer, the third umpire in the South Africa-Sri Lanka Tests, where the DRS is being used, has access only to the older cameras.

"We had both cameras down on the boundary line [in the Sheffield Shield], an old one and a new one side by side," Brennan said. "What we found was that the old cameras had so much blur. On the new cameras the ball is completely round, on the old ones there was a lot of motion blur. If we do get a faint edge we will be able to see it. It's just a much more sensitive camera, I'd say five times more sensitive.

"I'm confident we will get a much higher proportion of faint edges now. But we're getting a bit sick of putting all the dough up and trying to improve, somebody has got to meet us half way. I would love to throw out my old six cameras and buy six of these new ones so we have eight in total."

An image captured from an old Hot Spot camera
The same image as above but captured in an older Hot Spot camera. The edge is not as clear © HotSpot

India's captain MS Dhoni said after the Melbourne Test that he had been a fan of Hot Spot before India's tour of England last year, but he was no longer convinced he could trust the technology. Several appeals during the England-India series went to umpire reviews and Hot Spot showed inconclusive results, which Brennan is confident will no longer be the case with the new cameras.

At the MCG last week, Gautam Gambhir and Peter Siddle both fell to faint edges that Brennan believes would not have registered on the old Hot Spot cameras. The new cameras clearly showed a mark on the bat in both cases, although TV viewers initially were shown a replay of the Gambhir dismissal in which the edge was less clear. Brennan said that was due to "sharpening" being turned down on the software; once it was turned up, the edge was visible.

Also in the Melbourne Test, Ed Cowan was given out to a caught-behind decision that might have been reviewed had the DRS been in place. Hot Spot showed no mark on the bat and after the innings, Cowan hinted that he was disappointed with the decision. Brennan said he was convinced from the Hot Spot replays that Cowan had not nicked the ball.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by   on (January 6, 2012, 6:03 GMT)

BCCI and ICC have got things wrong. Just by having one technology would not help. Extensive testing needs to be done with Snick o meter, Hawk Eye and Hot Spot in the same match only then we can rule out technological error and improve.What has happened till now is that one or two of the three are available in the series which can make things difficult.

Posted by satish619chandar on (January 6, 2012, 4:24 GMT)

How many times they are going to say the same.. Really tired of this impotent technology.. ICC please leave these guys alone and give us a DRS with replays and slowmo alone.. Prepare a uniform guidelines for the umpires to follow..

Posted by indianpunter on (January 5, 2012, 23:07 GMT)

The older cameras were still used to give batsmen " not out" when out, correct?? Has this been independently verified by some regulatory body in the ICc or do we believe what the seller says? To be made mandatory, the technology needs to be better than what it is now. Hawk eye is a joke. When will ICc learn to remove the predictive pathway? No game uses" predictions" for decisions.

Posted by kamalaravi on (January 5, 2012, 16:20 GMT)

Come on india.accept DRS at least now and let the cricketing world lie in peace.

Posted by Yevghenny on (January 5, 2012, 11:39 GMT)

This whole episode is a bit bizarre, as we could see before the DRS that hotspot didn't always show the nick, so I was always a bit confused as to why people were so shocked hotspot didn't seem to work all the time

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Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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