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ICC World Cup 2011

Hot Spot unlikely to be used in the World Cup

Tariq Engineer

August 4, 2010

Comments: 38 | Text size: A | A

TV screenshot of the Hot Spot system
In all likelihood, players won't have the benefit of Hot Spot during the World Cup © Sky Sports
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While the ICC is keen on using the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) at next year's World Cup, the tournament is unlikely to see Hot Spot, the technology most favoured by the players for its accuracy. Contrary to reports, a combination of a shortage of cameras, the high cost of acquiring and using the technology, and the sensitive nature of the equipment, makes it almost impossible for the technology to be in place by February.

"For the World Cup 2011, there is no chance for Hot Spot being available for all 50+ early round matches," Warren Brennan, the owner of BBG Sports, the firm that supplies the technology, told Cricinfo in an email. "At present we only have four Hot Spot cameras, this would limit us to providing Hot Spot for only quarter-final matches onwards.

"This would include two cameras for the quarter-finals and semi-finals, with the possibility of four cameras for the final in Mumbai. This is something I have discussed with Dave Richardson from the ICC, but have not had any updates in the past 6 weeks."

According to Brennan, to have had enough cameras for the World Cup, an order for an additional eight to 10 Hot Spot cameras should have been placed in January or February this year. The cameras take four to six months to build and there are only four or five companies in the world that have the know-how to make them.

And each time BBG wants to buy a new one, it has to undergo a security check because the cameras are classified as military equipment. These checks can take up to three months to complete. "We have to go through various processes," Brennan said. "Are they good guys? Can we trust them? Have they sold any cameras to Al-Qaeda? You can't just go into a 7-Eleven and buy one. "

Brennan also said he needs help from the ICC and the boards to bring the cost of the system down. Hot Spot, which uses infra-red imaging technology to determine whether the ball has struck the bat, pad or batsman, currently costs $6,000 per day for a two-camera setup and $10,000 per day for a four-camera setup.

Under the current system, the broadcaster has to bear the cost of using the UDRS but isn't always able to do so. Pakistan, for example, opted not to have the referral system when they played Australia in England because it was unaffordable. "They [the ICC] know that if they want to take the system further, they have to figure out the funding models," Brennan said.

The absence of Hot Spot does not rule out the possibility of UDRS being used in the World Cup. The ICC's minimum requirements for the referral system only include ball tracking technology (Hawk-Eye), super slow-motion cameras and a clean audio feed from the stump microphone. Hot Spot is "desirable", but not a requirement at this point, according to an ICC spokesperson.

But some top players have spoken out in favour of Hot Spot, the most recent being Sachin Tendulkar. After completing his fifth Test double-hundred in the second Test against Sri Lanka, Tendulkar made it clear he prefers Hot Spot over the basic UDRS.

"I am not fully convinced with the referral system (UDRS)," Tendulkar said. "When I was here last time I was not convinced with many decisions. I did not feel comfortable; it was an experiment which I felt. I would rather go with the Hot Spot because that establishes the contact between the bat and the ball. That it is far better system according to me. The Hot Spot is much better."

Tariq Engineer is a senior sub-editor at Cricinfo

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Comments: 38 
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Posted by sobank on (August 6, 2010, 17:09 GMT)

as long as they have super slow on three angles, I am good. Though hot spot brings in a major correctional instrument in decision making for third empire but it is just way too expensive and besides, super low do the job very accurately.

Posted by mighty_cricket_lover on (August 5, 2010, 16:52 GMT)

BCCI & ICC can make million dollars by organizing T20 matches providing whatever required even though not necessary just because they can earn more money. But when it comes to ODI World Cup, they are short of funds. Is not this a cunning mind of ICC officials to downgrade ODIs slowly??? I guess so... what do you think guys???

Posted by Q72941 on (August 5, 2010, 15:38 GMT)

It is simply ludicrous to say that ICC can not afford the cameras. With all the money ICC has made over the years, Especially before BCCI got their weight, ICC use to pay lot less to non-white nations.

Basically ICC just want to keep milking the cow while feeding back only the stale pasture. If they revise their salary structure to a real term then I am pretty sure they can afford the hot spot camera which by the way are definitely not as expensive as it is claimed in the article.

If they still not find them cheaper, they should rent it from US or British Universities for lot less money.

Posted by regofpicton on (August 4, 2010, 22:02 GMT)

After the "hand of frog" goal cheated the Irish of a place at this year's Football World Cup Sepp Blatter said that technology in refereeing was a bad thing coz it would cut out a lot of discussion after the game. Remarkably, I see a few people are still taking the same line on tech in cricket umpiring. But just because it's a a leading sports administrator spouting utter nonsense doesn't stop it being utter nonsense. Personally I don't watch sport for the arguments afterward. I watch it for the great play, and I expect the rewards to go to the best players. Furthermore, the tech can improve the spectator experience. Certainly Hawkeye at the tennis has ADDED to the game - such drama. So let's go for it. And if Hot Spot is only available for the semis, then let's have it for the semis!

Posted by Smithie on (August 4, 2010, 18:10 GMT)

The tattered reputations of both the ICC and the BCCI will be significantly improved if they find the funds and order the cameras for the World Cup - at worst confirm their use from the quarter finals onwards. Snicko as I understand it takes about 7 minutes to process each time and that it is why it can't be used in the UDRS. Time for Pawar, Logat and the BCCI puppeteers to step up and PERFORM for once !

Posted by gibsonlespaul1 on (August 4, 2010, 15:17 GMT)

Isn't the World Cup supposed to be the most important tournament? And yet it seems making that extra buck is more important than making sure the correct team is crowned as World Champions! But I agree that if it's too late to get Hot Spot they should make Snicko available.

Posted by Percy_Fender on (August 4, 2010, 14:13 GMT)

This is inded sad news because Hotspot is the only thing that has uniform acceptance. There is no distaste of biassed third umpires if the verdict is pronounced on the TV screen without any human assistance whatsoever. It is only when there is a third umpire who was a former player for the home team in Tests and ODIs that UDRS is rejected. If the ICC cannot afford this, I think the BCCi can easily do so. If it is sponsored by a a big business house, it would boost its own status in regard to integrity. Perhaps the Tatas should settle for this with the name T Tests cricket.

Posted by dummy4fb on (August 4, 2010, 13:56 GMT)

Hotspot's cost & manufacture is way too large and therefore a lot of problems would be there. But still UDRS is still better than No UDRS even with no 100% accuracy in it. Hotspot would be a very good advantage as it is most clear CUT (cricketing umpire technology)

Posted by gettosreejith on (August 4, 2010, 13:38 GMT)

Actually, the game is more interesting when the technology used is less. The beauty of the game is the uncertainity and some human errs by the umpires. Usage of sophisticated technology, special cameras, the UDRS etc might help in making perfect decisions, but all games will be beautiful if there is a bit of fortune playing its part. A time might come where we'll have 1 single robot on the field replacing the umpires and other technologies to make decision based on the ball speed, swing, trajectory, wind direction, pitch behaviour, climatic conditions etc etc etc, but the beauty of the game will not be there....

Posted by dummy4fb on (August 4, 2010, 13:25 GMT)

Cant believe that companies dont have money when individuals like dhoni are making 100 crores from 1 contract...

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