No Hot Spot for India-England ODIs
Hot Spot will not be used for the upcoming ODI series between India and England, Warren Brennan, the chief executive of BBG Sports, the company behind the technology, has told ESPNcricinfo. Brennan admitted BBG Sports was disappointed with Hot Spot's performance during India's tour of England but also said he believed "it did not have BCCI's support" for the technology following that series.
Brennan's statement suggests a reversal of the agreement reached between the BCCI and BBG Sports earlier in the year to use Hot Spot for India's home season, which also includes a scheduled full series against West Indies.
"BBG Sports is disappointed at how the Hot Spot performed in the UK during the England v India series. There were several incidents where we were hoping for better outcomes from the technology," Brennan told ESPNcricinfo in an e-mail. "Following the comments by Mr Srinivasan on September 20th in relation to Hot Spot and the DRS process, BBG Sports believed it did not have the support of the BCCI and promptly decided not to bring the Hot Spot to India for their upcoming home series."
When contacted, the BCCI said it didn't want to comment on the issue.
Upon taking over as BCCI president, N Srinivasan reverted to the board's original stance against the DRS following Hot Spot's performance on the England tour. In July this year, the BCCI had agreed to a compromise with the ICC wherein Hot Spot was made mandatory in the use of DRS while ball-tracking technology was made optional.
"At the time, we were under the impression that Hot Spot was very good," Srinivasan had said after the BCCI's Annual General Meeting. "It is not necessary for me to dwell on the accuracy of Hot Spot, it was there for everybody to see. The BCCI will, at the next ICC meeting, raise the issue. We want to revisit it because we feel that Hot Spot is insufficient. We do not wish to use the DRS in its present form, even in its minimum standard."
As he had done in an interview on ESPNcricinfo's fortnightly audio show Time Out in July, Brennan reiterated that Hot Spot was not 100% accurate, and needed support all around the sport to be keep improving. "BBG Sports has at no time stated that the Hot Spot is a perfect system," Brennan's email said. "In order to continue to improve the system, BBG Sports needs broadcasters, the ICC and cricket boards to support the Hot Spot and DRS process."
At the start of what will be a packed cricket season, Brennan said BBG Sports was always trying to improve and expand the technology. He said he was confident of Hot Spot's "good use" in series outside of the subcontinent later in the year. "BBG Sports has continued to invest in Hot Spot technology and has purchased four new Hot Spot cameras in the past 6 months which we believe could improve the system dramatically," he said. "These new cameras will be put to good use for series in South Africa, New Zealand and Australia this southern summer."
Siddhartha Talya is a sub editor at ESPNcricinfo