ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News
ICC World Cup 2011
Hot Spot unlikely to be used in the World Cup
August 4, 2010
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."
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