The Ashes 2013-14

Hot Spot axed from Ashes series

ESPNcricinfo staff

October 9, 2013

Comments: 93 | Text size: A | A

Billy Bowden reverses an lbw decision after a referral from Jacques Kallis, South Africa v Australia, 1st Test, Johannesburg, 5th day, March 2, 2009
There'll be no decisions reversed via Hot Spot in the upcoming Ashes © Getty Images

Hot Spot will not be available to third umpires during the Ashes in Australia after Channel Nine chose to remove the technology. Decisions will now be subject to analysis by the Eagle Eye ball-tracker, audio from the stump microphones and slow-motion replays in case of a review.

Warren Brennan, the inventor of Hot Spot confirmed the development, saying the decision had been finalised as far as the use of technology was concerned. "It's their decision and that's what has been communicated to us. As far as I'm concerned, it is final,'' Brennan told the Sydney Morning Herald. ''We're just moving on with things. Channel Nine have got a new deal with Cricket Australia, which I know has cost them a lot more money. I gather there had to be some restructuring of costs.''

The costs of installing Hot Spot are around Aus $10,000 a day for a four-camera system installed by Nine, which uses infra-red imaging to determine contact between the ball, bat or pad - that puts the series cost of Hot Spot at approximately Aus $250,000. While the cost was a major determinant, the poor performance of the technology, especially during the Ashes in England, earlier this year was also a factor.

Hot Spot came under criticism during the Ashes series for various reasons, including the silicon-tape controversy. Before the fourth Test in Durham, a Channel Nine report alleged that a few England batsmen used silicon tape on the edge of their bats to evade Hot Spot - charges that were denied by England captain Alastair Cook and the ECB. Brennan released a statement and called for protective coatings to be removed from bats.

He conceded that these issues were a factor in Channel Nine's decision to axe Hot Spot, and reiterated his claim of bat coatings hampering the effectiveness of the system. "The point that I was trying to make was that it does significantly affect us,'' he said. ''The testing that we've done, and I haven't released that testing yet, is that when the coatings are on it does affect the Hot Spot signature."

Brennan expressed his disappointment at Cricket Australia's refusal to intervene, or to subsidise the cost of the technology. "I don't have a beef with Channel Nine,'' Brennan said. ''The disappointing thing for us is that Cricket Australia didn't engage at all with us to try and come on board and help with this situation. They just said, 'No, it's got nothing to do with us. It's Channel Nine's responsibility.' What's disappointing is we work in four countries at the moment - well, until recently. Cricket Australia is the only body that doesn't contribute to our costs for the DRS components.

"New Zealand contribute directly to us, the ECB contribute and also South Africa. My only beef is with Cricket Australia because we tried to engage with them several weeks ago and they refused. We need to continue to invest and improve the product so that everybody thinks it's getting better. If bodies like Cricket Australia won't come on board and contribute to that, there's not really any point in us continuing.''

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Harmony111 on (October 14, 2013, 11:28 GMT)

@CricketingStargazer: After Sachin's lbw controversy in the WC SF, the then operator released some documents detailing how exactly the ball's paths are calculated. It is a given that extrapolated path's accuracy will always be hugely influenced by the amount of initial data it has to build with. Those documents also explain that determining the exact point of impact is a major issue for them; certainly not as easy as you would like to imagine. Like I said, the key problem is how to determine the frame at which this impact takes place. This was a tough issue in 2011 and I think it remains so even in 2013.

@Jose Puliampatta: The roughness of the ball, the humidity etc can all only effect the ball in one way after it pitches - by changing its velocity. The ball's horizontal velocity determines how slow it has become after pitching and the vertical velocity determines how high it will rise after pitching. Nothing else is needed.

@coldcoffee123: I agree, we don't need such exp tools.

Posted by yoogi on (October 11, 2013, 12:39 GMT)

unless you use bats charged electrically and balls charged magnetically and somehow make a flash of light when they make contact, there is no way you can be 100 percent sure of thinnest of the edges. Then again a dust on the ball, so minute that it is not seen by naked eye could make a contact with bat, and not the ball. In short ,there is limitation to technology, so it is cost effectiveness of the technology. If it is just 10k USD per stadium then it is fine. But if it is 10K USD per day, then you got to think twice. I am with cricket australia and hopefully india can accept this solution of DRS. disclosure, I am an Indian who hates BCCI

Posted by IndiaNumeroUno on (October 10, 2013, 20:38 GMT)

British based Hawk Eye just lost out to German GoalControl for the Football goal line technology. I'm sure German technology will be much better and should be approached by BCCI to work on cricket.. they understand what 100% accuracy means!!

Posted by cnksnk on (October 10, 2013, 17:43 GMT)

I can see the folks at the BCCI rolling on the ground laughing. Tuely bizzare. How can an important initiative be left to the TV companies. If I remember some of these technologies like snicko and hot spot were first introduced to improve the viewer experience. Then the Boards got greedy and made these gizmos into the DRS. Without of course looking at the commercial aspect.They just assumed that the TV companies will pick up the tabs. Forgetting al the while the age old dictum ie THERE IS NO FREE LUNCH. Well the chickens have come home to roost. The TV companies are seeking their pound of flesh and there are no answers. Surely very poorly thought through plan of implementation. Wonder what kind of fokks run the ICC or the repective Boards.

Posted by RFC73 on (October 10, 2013, 13:11 GMT)

This should not be up to Channel Nine to decide. If they can't afford it the games should be taken away from them and given to a pay TV channel (Fox)? And it should be an ICC rule that the TV companies should pay for the technology and if that means no FTA Test Cricket so be it. Having the cricket on Sky has not done it any harm in England. Does the Australian Government insist Test cricket should be FTA as IMO that is government interference and governments should not be allowed to interfere in sport. Channel Nine should be told pay for hot spot or lose the cicket.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (October 10, 2013, 9:53 GMT)

Well, if Sky continues to use HotSpot and a feather/tickle isn't picked up on stump mic, slo-mo, etc., we can look forward to yet more controversy in our early-hours watching! HotSpot had the virtue of being conclusive if it shows up, but its non-appearance is not conclusive either way. The enormous cost of it is, however, a valid deciding factor, IMO. That said, an over-reliance on stump mic is fraught with problems as any surface-to-surface contact (bat to ground; bat to pad; ball brushing thigh-pad, etc) may produce a snick sound. I predict that there'll continue to be plenty of wrong decisions, but we've got very used to that. The bottom line is always the same: the standard of umpiring, on & off the field.

Posted by BRUTALANALYST on (October 10, 2013, 7:48 GMT)

Very disappointing, Hotspot is decisive 95% of the time and helps confirm results together with Snicko. I think so much was made over 1 or 2 decisions in the last Ashes and has been blown way out of proportion !

Posted by JG2704 on (October 10, 2013, 7:33 GMT)

@GrindAR on (October 9, 2013, 20:28 GMT) I wish someone had translated your post before submission. I think you'll find Hot Spot is better than you make it out to be. Anyway , I have no huge issues either way with it not being used , but it seems there will be no technology for edges at all in this series if Snicko is also not being used. It's the same for both sides so I have no huge issue. Re other sports , Tennis uses Hawkeye and it seems to be a success and in football , analysts/fans etc have wanted goalline technology for ages. TBH , I don't know what your issue was with what I posted. The problem in the Ashes series was how the umpires handled it and as I pointed out there were no huge issues in any of the previous series in the last few years involving Eng. If it was a DRS thing they'd have surfaced in other series - no?

Posted by willsrustynuts on (October 10, 2013, 7:17 GMT)

Crazy that the broadcaster has the final say but at least they made the correct call. Warren Brennan needs to consider his next move very carefully. If he is about to start making claims against players he should remember one thing - he may not have released his test results but we have all seen 'Not Spot'' tested in action and it doesn't work. The umpires are not to blame either, they rely on dodgy technology and it isn't fair on them or the players.

Try to stay focused on one more thing Warren...'...there's not really any point in us continuing'. Couldn't agree more.

Posted by   on (October 10, 2013, 7:16 GMT)

congratulations channel nine for saving your money. why waste your money if no one is going to use hot-spot properly. nothing wrong with the technology. The DRS system itself is flawed, and until it is overhauled, Joe Public will have to continue to put up with decisions that even a 10 year old can tell is wrong. i hated watching last ashes as the decisions were consistently crap. the TV nearly ended up out the window. PLEASE change the damn DRS system, and use all available technology. so we can enjoy watching!!!

Posted by Biggus on (October 10, 2013, 6:39 GMT)

Yes the DRS system is flawed, but the only way to work through these limitations is to use it, and the waiting for 100% excuse used by Indian naysayers is patently rubbish. Nothing is 100% so going buy that logic one shouldn't use cars, planes cricket bats or balls, toilets, medicine and surgery, computers or ball point pens, since they're all fallible. Let's not forget umpires in all this, for we know they're fallible as well, so we shouldn't use them until human fallibility is eliminated. Cricket administrators are similarly limited, so we'd better get rid of them too. It is inevitable that review systems will play a part in the future of the game, so you're either willing to work with what we've got atm in an effort to improve the system and institute appropriate protocols for it's use or you can sit on the sidelines jeering and making no positive contribution. The Wright brothers are celebrated today as the inventors of the aeroplane and those who laughed at them are forgotten.

Posted by satishchandar on (October 10, 2013, 5:31 GMT)

Good decision CA. Hard earned money can go to cricket but need not be served to some not so correct tech company to invite controversy at high cost paid. DRS is to eliminate howlers. Usually for borderline decisions, the umpires opt for on field decision stays.. So why not opt for this kind of cost effective DRS which would reverse a decision ONLY when that was a howler and else, stick with on field decision.. The current proposed DRS would save lots of money and at the same time, eliminate the howlers easily. It can be implemented uniformly throughout the world due to drastically reduced cost..

Now the ICC should make sure that decision making is performed uniformly. Either all umpires follow rule book or all follow common sense. Not one follow common sense and the other follows rule book. It will again lead to controversies.

Overall, it makes a lots of sense from CA to bring this option to the table.

Posted by JohnnyRook on (October 10, 2013, 5:27 GMT)

I think it is a wonderful decision. Hotspot's perfromance just doesn;t justify its cost. People who say Bad Hotspot is better than no Hotspot are not really considering 10k $ per day price. If Hotspot is used for all Test matches and ODIs, ICC will have to shell at least 4 million dollars per year. (Simple calculation - Every team plays abt 10 tests and 30 ODIs on average. So 50 test matches and 150 ODIs in total. So it is 400 days). Now ask yourself is there any better use of this money. Personally I can think of 50 better ways to utilize this money, primary being promotion of cricket in other countries.

Posted by balajik1968 on (October 10, 2013, 5:11 GMT)

Wow. Hotspot has been dropped primarily for cost reasons, a decision made by the broadcaster. Where is the ICC in all this? Personally, I would like the ICC to get all the stakeholders together, go through all the issues involved, and come to a decision which all the stakeholders can live with and implement. It should be a decision taken by all concerned, and if any member is outvoted, so be it.

Posted by lillee4PM on (October 10, 2013, 5:08 GMT)

The quality of the technology in the last Ashes series was not the main problem, it was the poor quality of the umpiring. Hot spot should stay and CA should dip into that big pile of cash they have to pay for it!

Posted by Rahul_78 on (October 10, 2013, 4:34 GMT)

A technology that costs 10,000$ a day and has the power to overrule on field umpires decision needs batsmen to remove their protective covering from the bat to be more accurate is laughable. HotSpot is also prone to error in case of Sun light is too bright at the venue. In the previous Ashes it was pretty evident that the third umpires had also lost confidence on the Hot Spot. And it might or might not have led the players to exploit the loop holes in the technology to exploit it to their benefits. This puts serious question mark on the judgment of ICC and the boards which obliged the usage of Hot Spot without confirming its accuracy. In trying to overcome on field howlers the administrators allowed the faulty technology to undermine the on field umpires decision and handed the players a tool to exploit its weakness. Lets us hope that ICC learns from this and will be more careful in future about taking drastic decisions that change the actual fiber of the sacred game.

Posted by   on (October 10, 2013, 3:44 GMT)

Good riddance. There were way too many issues with it. And Mr. Brennan - cricket has functioned without your product for over a century. If you ever actually make a GOOD product, cricket will embrace you again so that both your company and the game can benefit. Till then, you are on your own (or so I hope - we'll know for sure only when SA, Eng and NZ also eliminate it) as cricket has already contributed way more than its fair share to your flawed product and got little in return other than allegations of cheating against its players

Posted by landl47 on (October 10, 2013, 3:41 GMT)

There are opinions here which I have to disagree with. First, this does NOT vindicate the BCCI's position, unless its position is that Hotspot is too expensive (if so, the BCCI has been fudging the truth for years). CA is not dropping Hotspot over reliability issues, but because Channel 9 isn't willing to pay for it. It's a financial matter, pure and simple.

Second, unless TV and the big screens at grounds are not going to show any replays of decisions which are wrong, dropping DRS altogether is going to lead to more and more discontent with the umpires. It's all very well saying go back to how it used to be, but that's only possible if technology is not used to magnify umpiring mistakes.

Third, of all the nonsense here, David Brumby's assertion that England are behind this is the most absurd. The ECB is the one board that asked the ICC to tell India to get in line and use the DRS. None of the others, including Brumby's Aussies, had the courage to back them up.

Posted by   on (October 10, 2013, 3:24 GMT)

Another dissension in the ranks. Can Australia not afford it!!! Where are the countries who attacked India for its stance. I do not know if India contributes-tongue in cheek!!! Have user pays then we will see what aids are employed. I'm sure when everyone makes equal contributions to the technology so there are no free loaders the employment of technology will be streamlined.

Aids should be umpire aids and they should have total control of it. Umpires should accept they are human and thus fallible. We should no tolerate errors just because it happened in previous generations! And the use of technological aids have nothing to do with the players!

Posted by jmcilhinney on (October 10, 2013, 2:53 GMT)

@Ozcricketwriter on (October 9, 2013, 21:09 GMT), it just goes to show how little attention many people pay to what's being said. They didn't use Snicko as part of DRS in the previous Ashes series, or any other series or match in history, because Snicko evidence takes too much time to gather. They are NOT using Snicko in the upcoming Ashes series for the very same reason. A "real-time" Snicko is in development but is not available at this time and will not be used in the upcoming Ashes.

Posted by Insult_2_Injury on (October 10, 2013, 2:00 GMT)

Mr Hot Spot should take his beef to the ICC as they are the body which sanctions the DRS. If Ch9 want to use it to enhance their coverage that's one thing, but if it's a tool for determining wickets under the DRS, then the ICC should pay for it to be used at ALL Test matches between ALL participating countries. It isn't just the technology which is inadequate as we saw in the Ashes. The 3rd Umpire couldn't interpret the results accurately either. That certainly isn't an issue for the broadcaster or host country to address, it's wholly and solely an ICC issue. They're predictably quiet as usual.

Posted by cricketsubh on (October 10, 2013, 1:33 GMT)

great decision by nine .gerat move

Posted by Hammond on (October 10, 2013, 1:23 GMT)

I think the whole system is a joke. Just go back to the old system and let us start respecting the on field umpires decision again. It isn't rocket science. If it was good enough for all the greats in the past, it is good enough for the future of cricket.

Posted by   on (October 10, 2013, 0:43 GMT)

Who really sets the rules for international cricket? The ICC, the MCC or the broadcasters?

Posted by   on (October 10, 2013, 0:37 GMT)

The call to a remove all tech and go back to relying on the umpires is all fine and Dandy if the players come to the party and accept the umpires decision without dissent ,if that's possible in this day and age of high remuneration for players. Players simply have to obey the umpire decision mo matter what they think and get off the ground with out any type of emotional displays against the mein white! Players must then be prepared to acknowledge when they have nicked a catch and walk,don't want to? then leave the tech in and work on a solution to solve the silicon tape problem if players don't want to be associated with possible dishonesty.

Please don't whine to me about how your country is above reproach when it comes to how you treat umpires because I have been watching this game for 44 years and observed the increasing pressure that has been placed on umpires to be more like machines than human beings all in the name of "Professionalism"

grow up players, its time!

Posted by   on (October 10, 2013, 0:29 GMT)

I think it is a good decision as Hot Spot is not reliable enough. During the last Ashes, batsmen were still getting called out even with no hot spot showing. Hence, the technology clearly favours the bowler as it can prove someone is out, but can't prove that they are not out.

Posted by rattusprat on (October 10, 2013, 0:13 GMT)

The main issue with DRS identified during the England Ashes was that if a batsman is given cought behind but hasn't hit it, it is very unlikely to be overturned on review. Reasons for the absence aside, the absence of hot spot will only make it LESS likely for these decisions to be overturned. Now the TV commentators will also be less sure there was no snick, so there'll be less media "controversy", but the batsman will be just as annoyed. In this situation the batsman will ALWAYS believe it's a howler and ALWAYS use one of his team's precious reviews.

Until the DRS can properly handle this situation, either by changing which reviews are counted on the team tally, or changing the burden of proof adopted by the 3rd umpire, or by some other means, the DRS as it stands now NEEDS FIXING.

Posted by   on (October 9, 2013, 23:55 GMT)

Only a poor craftsman blames their tools. HotSpot is good technology and it does its job well. You can list the 'failings' of HotSpot in the Ashes as the Sydney Morning Herald did but a poor decision from the umpire will come down to human error all the time. In the most controversial decision the error could be detected by the naked eye.

Posted by   on (October 9, 2013, 23:45 GMT)

I don't think removing Hot Spot from Ashes will make the final decision any better. If anything atleast install it on the ground and let the crowd/tv audience see the hot spot technology. Third Umpire had a benefit when they had hot spots and taking it away will only make the decisions harder. In the end, players like Warne will criticize third umpires for not getting it right. Real bad decision at ACB's end, disappointing.

Posted by bobagorof on (October 9, 2013, 23:16 GMT)

@Cyril_Knight: Sounds to me that Hussain and Atherton believe that the technology could have overturned a few incorrect decisions that saw them dismissed. Is that not what it's supposed to do? Hmm?

I had to laugh at the argument against Eagle Eye/Hawk Eye/ball tracking technology on the basis that it can't predict the path of a ball based on it traveling 20cm after pitching, when this is EXACTLY what the umpire does (with parallax error from viewing at an elevated plane). If people are suggesting that the human eye is better than a high-speed camera then they're dreaming. Plenty of examples of umpire LBW decisions being overturned because the ball was missing the stumps, sometimes by large margins.

Posted by ToneMalone on (October 9, 2013, 23:13 GMT)

This is a good outcome for the Ashes series, but the way the decision was reached was really shoddy.

Hotspot should be suspended from the DRS at least until its accuracy is improved (if it can be), so that was the good outcome. What gets me though is Hotspot would've been used had Channel 9 funded the technology! Cricket Australia, as usual, wipes its hands of an issue it actually has responsibility for. If the use (or non-use) of Hotspot is going to affect actual umpiring decisions, how can CA then pass that responsibility on to the TV network?

For goodness sake Cricket Australia: either fund the umpiring technology, or take a stance that ensures it won't affect the game. Having umpiring processes decided by TV network funding does the game no justice.

Posted by mikeindex on (October 9, 2013, 22:54 GMT)

I've no idea how reliable HotSpot is. Neither does anybody else, whatever nonsense people choose to post here, as it's obviously impossible to judge unless you have some technology that's already been proved 100% accurate to measure it against. What is utterly ludicrous is that the decision on whether or not to use it has to be made by a TV company not by the game's administrators.

Posted by gsingh7 on (October 9, 2013, 22:53 GMT)

i dont who will some fans blame if a clear edge is given not out by umpire . may be we will see headlines next day as -- wrong decisions in test match due to bcci's fault. CA have shown their disaproval of hot spot as its costly error prone system which needs to be rectified before we see it again on cricket field. CA have seen recent blunders in hot spot in ashes,same thing told to world cricket by bcci about deficiencies of the system which needs a reasonable cost billing and proper field testing. totally support CA 's decision to AXE HOT SPOT from ashes

Posted by Bishop on (October 9, 2013, 22:46 GMT)

@Thomas Jones. The most sense made here. Hotspot is a good tool. Yes it is not 100% reliable, but consider this - if there is a spot on the bat, the batsman nicked it. 100% certainty. Unfortunately the converse is not true: the absence of a mark on the bat doesn't necessarily mean the batsman didn't nick it, but even so, this is useful information. Compare this to snicko. There is a noise, but where has it come from? Clicking bat handle? Feet on ground? Wicket keeper sucking his teeth? There is never 100% certainty with snicko. The number of hours I've spent watching Chappelli and Greig arguing about whether the width/height of the audio graph represents a sharp (ball on bat) type of sound, or a duller (ball on pad, bat on pad, bat on ground, who knows?) sound - these are hours of my life I'll never get back. Hotspot during the ashes was a fiasco largely due to human error. If used with the understanding that very fine nicks may not show up, it is foolproof. Now Hawkeye...

Posted by spindizzy on (October 9, 2013, 22:41 GMT)

When did the TV Broadcaster get the right to influence playing conditions? If CAs much vaunted new contract gives Channel 9 all the power for this then it's a criminally stupid contract.

Which would hardly be surprising.

Posted by   on (October 9, 2013, 22:40 GMT)

Why has snicko never been used? That seems to be a very effective tool, if not the most effective, and its always been left out..

Posted by heathrf1974 on (October 9, 2013, 21:46 GMT)

@Ozcricketwriter I agree. Sniko was awesome.

Posted by TengaZool on (October 9, 2013, 21:22 GMT)

HotSpot is but just one part of DRS. The whole System (and I mean the system not necessarily just the technology) needs an overhaul. It needs to be properly tested, made cost effective and the review process needs overhauling. Train people properly so that decisions are consistent, find a way to continually review decisions throughout the match and not limited to one or two reviews, have a rational discussion within members to table concerns and workshop for improvement. Unfortunately, the likes of CA, ECB etc and their broadcasters jumped too much onto the DRS bandwagon without proper diligence. Not sure if they wanted to prove BCCI wrong, but you realise the limitation of technology only when its not working for you. India realised this during the Sri Lanka series and it took Australia an Ashes humiliation to come to this realisation.

Posted by landl47 on (October 9, 2013, 21:17 GMT)

My position has always been that the umpires should make all the decisions using whatever technology is made available to them. The thing I DON'T agree with is for a bad decision to be shown to the spectators without the umpires having the opportunity to review it. I want all decisions to be the best possible in the interests of fairness and players' careers, so if technology is available to be used then the umpires should be able to use it, but if neither the umpires nor the spectators (at the game or on TV) are shown a particular type of review, so be it.

In this case, Channel 9 is not going to show Hotspot either to the umpires or to the fans, so nobody will be able to say that Hotspot showed that a decision was wrong. I think Hotspot is good at some things (showing whether an edge hit bat or pad first, for example) but not good at others, so because it's not going to be used as a stick to beat the umpires with, then not having it available is OK with me.

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (October 9, 2013, 21:09 GMT)

Snicko is more reliable than Hot Spot, in my opinion. Stupidly, in the last Ashes, they relied on Hot Spot and not Snicko. For the return series, it is the other way around. But they should be using both, so that they can get the most accurate idea possible... Now we are going to have controversy because of the absence of Hot Spot!

Posted by GrindAR on (October 9, 2013, 20:55 GMT)

just out of curiosity... definition of s nick in terms of physics applied to cricket.

If a noise or vibration on concerned bat/or ball at the point of impact/contact. Most of the available sensors detect them crystal clear atleast when the mateirals involved are solid.. which is the case. Use those sensors and create a new system to help umpires on close calls... if those sensors cannot pick and ball tracking cannot justify the nick... then is that a huge problem? When sports want to apply outside law of physics.. then it is not sports... it should be called something else...

DRS/Hot-spot are waste of time and energy... and unethical to the spirit of sports...

Posted by Cyril_Knight on (October 9, 2013, 20:52 GMT)

@mngc where does this 300% nonsense come from? It's 3%, from 93 to 96% on average when DRS has been used in Test matches. Those who argue against it, pay good money to watch good cricket. Cricket as entertainment has not been improved by DRS, quite the contrary. Former players like Hussain and Atherton are the biggest fans of the system, simply because they believe they would have averaged over 40 with DRS in place. You are crazy if you think every decision should be reviewed, have you never been to a cricket match? People pay to watch cricket not computer simulations.

Posted by   on (October 9, 2013, 20:48 GMT)

After all, India's position has been vindicated!

Posted by wellrounded87 on (October 9, 2013, 20:34 GMT)

This is stupid. Hotspot might not be perfect but it's better than no hotspot. I can't think of how many decisions were correctly overturned on hotspot evidence, there has been heaps of them. And now we're getting rid of that? why? The technology didn't fail in England the umpires did. This is just a cheap ploy to save money and i really hope it doesn't end up effecting the outcome of a test match or the series one way or another.

Posted by GrindAR on (October 9, 2013, 20:28 GMT)

@JG2704: Please dont chew the same old stuffs. People are tired of those trashes. At this age, technology is accepted when it is flawless on basics of physics. Hot-spot certainly even at 60% error margin. That itself is good to discard that piece of burden. DRS in general, need some sanity thinking. If you tell that rules of application to other sports, they will roll over and laugh,, and then fall down and laugh... that is how comedy it is. You find piece of mind evicting DRS and hot-spot for sure and so deos most of cricket enthusiasts...

Posted by   on (October 9, 2013, 20:21 GMT)

In so far as accusations being made that players used silicon tape on their bats to negate hotspot, hotspot was introduced to assist in enforcing the laws of cricket, not the other way around.

Posted by coldcoffee123 on (October 9, 2013, 20:15 GMT)

Cyril_Knight is correct. Let us restore cricket to what it was and is supposed to be all about, cricket. Get rid of the mid-pitch conferences meetings. I also like Warne's idea of having zero fielding restrictions (except 10 over per bowler) in ODIs. Let the game be more dynamic and players think on their feet. Right now, ODIs are like 4-course meals. 10 overs this, 5 overs that, 2 fielders this, blah blah.

Posted by tamperbay on (October 9, 2013, 20:13 GMT)

I think it might be a good move. Hot spot wasn't showing the finest edges so it wasn't doing its job. In the last few tests, the 3rd umpire wasn't trusting hotspot and was using the naked eye on slow motion reply to decide about edges. Players were given out caught behind after referral even though there was no mark appearing on the Hot Spot image. So using Hot Spot costs more money and means that each decision takes more time (cos they have to look at all the Hot Spot images while making the decision), which the 3rd umpire then doesn't even use, unless its a big edge which will show up on snicko anyway. Snicko is better I reckon because a fielder can be in the way and snicko will still work.

People believe that players should be respected for not walking, and they also want to scrap the DRS! With these attitudes prevailing at the same time, how can we expect a fairer game?!

Posted by JG2704 on (October 9, 2013, 20:02 GMT)

@coldcoffee123 on (October 9, 2013, 13:56 GMT) Only having 2 (unsuccessful) reviews available means that if a side wastes reviews by what folk might see as speculative etc then it can come back to haunt them. The Broad not walking issue will at least teach Australia that reviews are precious and you can harm your own side's chances by reviewing anything which you are not pretty sure about

Posted by JG2704 on (October 9, 2013, 20:02 GMT)

Have to say I'm not totally for or against this. So long as fans accept bad decisions which can't be overturned without the technology. Hotspot is said to be the least reliable so maybe it's not such a bad thing. Although when they say about batsmen being able to manipulate the system by covering their bats with a substance , even if this is true - surely by covering the bat which makes hotspot ineffective can also work against the batsman. I mean imagine if the batsman gets a little inside edge on an LBW issue and Hotspot can't detect the edge - the batsman would be doing himself no favours in such instances if he puts a substance on his bat where Hotspot becomes ineffective?

Re DRS as a whole - I fully agree with it. I think folk are reading too much into the recent Ashes series where the main problems occurred because of how the officials handled it. I don't recall such issues in any of the series vs NZ (home and away) , vs India, SA , WI and Pakistan

Posted by GrindAR on (October 9, 2013, 20:01 GMT)

No hot-spot.. No head-ache.. Warren Brennan is well justified by CA. We are still not able to evict from D/L method, another BS is bad for the integrity of sports and sportsmanship.

Posted by   on (October 9, 2013, 19:33 GMT)

Just blame the obvious ..... terrible umpiring!!!

Oh that's right, you can blame the technology but not the fools who operate it.

Posted by xylo on (October 9, 2013, 19:25 GMT)

"Brennan expressed his disappointment at Cricket Australia's refusal to intervene".. really? You produce a sub-standard piece of technology, and try to upsell it as the holy grail of umpiring, and you are disappointed that an authority refused to pay more money to get your piece of technology on board?

Posted by GrindAR on (October 9, 2013, 19:21 GMT)

@maximum6: when you corner umpires for useless things, they will try to follow the rules to the fine prints, just to keep them accountable. public should have common sense when they curse somebody.

Posted by mngc on (October 9, 2013, 18:21 GMT)

DRS has improved accuracy of decisions by about 300 % even without Hot Spot. Most of the problems that still exist are due to humans who were improperly trained or have no brains for the job. Those who argue against it have their heads buried in the ground and refuse to open their eyes to see how good it really is. At the end of the day they will remember only the wrong decisions by the third umpire and forget to check how many were wrong ones were overturned. I did and that is how I came up with the 300 %. Careers are affected by bad umpiring decisions so give the players a fair break by using DRS 100 % of the time.

Posted by akpy on (October 9, 2013, 17:54 GMT)

Strange no one is blaming BCCI....c'mon where are all those guys hiding?

Posted by tickcric on (October 9, 2013, 17:22 GMT)

Sporting rules decided by broadcasters - it happens only in cricket.

Posted by IndiaNumeroUno on (October 9, 2013, 17:22 GMT)

yawn... EXACTLY what the BCCI has been saying all the time... only two concerns mentioned though (cost and accuracy), there are many more where the DRS components fall short - either individually or in tandem. Well done CA for taking the right step.

Posted by AKS286 on (October 9, 2013, 17:20 GMT)

Now finally Australia find another excuse of loss.

Posted by Cyril_Knight on (October 9, 2013, 17:19 GMT)

Hopefully these is the first step towards scrapping the DRS altogether. The whole referrals idea is fast dictating cricket, for example after a half-hearted lbw appeal, the captain still chats to the bowler, the bowler doesn't get back to his mark, the momentum he may have gained from beating a defensive shot is lost. The batsman has time to think about what he has done wrong. The quality of cricket decreased.

I fear we may never see another Holding to Greig style over again. The great momentum, the pressure building between deliveries (even with the long run up), every clip on the pads or near edge would need to be discussed for fear of missing a referral.

Posted by milepost on (October 9, 2013, 17:14 GMT)

Snicko is no good, forget about that. Hot spot is ok but I really don't think we want DRS for marginal decisions but the captains gamble on stuff now. I don't like the DRS, it creates more controversy than it's worth,

Posted by geoffboyc on (October 9, 2013, 17:09 GMT)

David Brumby; even supposing the umpiring was one-sided, the "public" might still see it all because the TV coverage normally shows the various gismos irrespective of whether the third umpire is allowed to use them or not.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (October 9, 2013, 17:04 GMT)

The last series was not typical of Hot Spot's normal performances. The main problems were with the 4 umpires produced for the series whose efforts were lamentable. Not a very good decision I think. Competent umpires are needed and work on producing better protective covering. It should not be hard. Also Australia need to cough up towards costs but I suppose that would get them really whingeing-it doesn't take much!

Posted by   on (October 9, 2013, 16:37 GMT)

Guarantee that England is behind this so they can get away with more one -sided umpiring and the public wont be able to see it. There is absolutely NO point to using audio as noises can come from anywhere and are impossible to be certain of. Hopefully, this series the umpiring wont be so one sided. That would be the best result possible.

Posted by   on (October 9, 2013, 16:31 GMT)

It was a fiasco for Warren Brennan to propose that players change their equipment for the purpose of his technology.

I think hotspot can be deployed for far less than 10K a day (what is that about!), and if the 3rd umpire could use it to see if there IS a connection, but not to use it to prove there ISN'T a connection, then it can be useful tool in the toolkit. I actually think that is how they tried to use it, in the last ashes, but look at the fuss the pundits made over decisions that weren't overturned when hotspot suggested no contact (khawaja caught behind). So perhaps it's unsustainable to have hotspot unless it's certain to work both ways.

Posted by   on (October 9, 2013, 16:22 GMT)

@CricketingStargazer on (October 9, 2013, 16:00 GMT): You are right. I agree with you. But, how many TV umpires can differentiate the two. More importantly, how many of them are adequately trained to "read & interpret" the subtle nuances in the "different shades" of the various signals, emanating from different technologies & their varied applications?

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (October 9, 2013, 16:20 GMT)

@Green_and_gold Extremely sophisticated technology. A good, high-resolution thermal imaging camera is never going to be cheap. Basically, it is a derivative of the military cameras used in space to detect ICBM launches. High-quality, large format 10 micron detectors are not something that you'll pick up with pocket-money!

What intrigues me is that these have now appeared in Formula 1 and one camera is now even car-mounted. However, Formula 1 is notoriously high-budget.

Posted by coldcoffee123 on (October 9, 2013, 16:09 GMT)

Harmony111: You might be correct. But the point is, this level of sophistication is not needed, not for LBWs. We are not conducting a science experiment or launching a ICBM that needs to be tracked to a millimeter. Take umpire's words and move on. Simple as that. Use DRS for controversial catches, runouts, noballs, stumpings, boundaries etc. Not on LBW speculations. When you have neutral umpires, there is no need to bring in more layers of fool-proofness. It is not that hard to understand. Just play the damn game.

Posted by Green_and_Gold on (October 9, 2013, 16:07 GMT)

DRS works when evidence comes in from multiple sources - not just one. How many times have we seen Hot Spot work - plenty - and its fast. Its the really faint edges that it has struggled on not the thick ones. Hot spot when used in conjunction with Snikko will sort out the majority (if not all) of the reviews for edges (if snikko doesent register a sound, hot spot doesnt register a spot and you cant see a deviation from the live footage then its probably not out). This has to be a cost issue. I would like to know why it cost so much a day.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (October 9, 2013, 16:00 GMT)

@Jose That is unlikely to give you the sharp signal of an impact of a ball on an unyielding surface: it will be a much fuzzier signal, not unlike ball on bad.

Posted by   on (October 9, 2013, 15:56 GMT)

The photograph of Billy Bowden looks quite apt. His gesture looks as if he is exorcising the ghosts of DRS! Cross my heart! As my mom taught me more than 70 years ago.

Posted by   on (October 9, 2013, 15:44 GMT)

@ legsidewide: The pricing is nothing to do with costs. It is "monopoly" pricing. There is also collusion between the businesses which bought the technologies from the various inventors and some of the Broadcasters. Some broadcasters have investment in the different business houses which own the different technologies; and many others don't. That creates further political/ competitive complications in the adoption or non- adoption.

Hey, business world, though art mighty complex!

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (October 9, 2013, 15:42 GMT)

@Harmony Point of impact is easy to acertain exactly (technically, it gives a minimum in derivate of the velocity vector, which can be calculated very exactly from the images). The problem always comes with extrapolation: if the ball only travels 20cm before hitting the pad and then has 2m to fly before hitting the stumps no technology in the world will predict its path with any certainty. In contrast, if the ball has flown 5m off the pitch and hits the batsman 50cm in front, unless the laws of physics are repealed by the MCC/ICC, you can be as certain as you ever can be of anything whether or not the ball will hit the stumps. Unlike HotSpot and Snicko, no one can spoof ball-tracking!

A typical delivery will fly at 80-90km/h after pitching. If you film at 24 frames per second you can calculate very easily on how many TV frames an extrapolation from 20cm of flight is based on.

The problem is usually not the technology in this case, it is how it is applied (or misapplied).

Posted by   on (October 9, 2013, 15:38 GMT)


You are not exactly correct in your assessment. The humidity in the atmosphere,relative difference in the scruffiness on either side of the ball, etc do affect the post-pitching trajectory; which is neither captured in the rate of change of velocity ( the degree of acceleration), nor in direction of the path.

Posted by   on (October 9, 2013, 15:30 GMT)

@ legsidewide: Not BCCI; but it was Sachin who expressed HIS confidence in Hotspot! BCCI can accommodate more idiosyncratic notions than just one man, however great he may be. So, both are NOT one and the same.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (October 9, 2013, 15:17 GMT)

You do not have to be a rocket scientist to think of plenty of ways to spoof HotSpot. Some of them have been mentioned, others I am surprised have not been thought of: they are all, quite legal as the laws stand.

To spoof both HotSpot and Snicko you just need to reduce the coefficient of friction of the edge of the bat. Even with a bat with no coating, a thick layer of oil before you bat will work nicely (or silicone tape, or Vaseline, or...) HotSpot's effectiveness can be even more effectively reduced by increasing the thermal conductivity of the edge of the bat (as has been pointed out, it also becomes less sensitive in hot weather). If someone really wanted to neutralize HotSpot - and I am surprised that no one has tried it - some fine copper wires in the surface of the coating would almost totally eliminate the HotSpot signal.

Cricketers are, in general, a pretty bright bunch. They will always find ways to exploit the technology somehow and some of them will be hard to ban

Posted by   on (October 9, 2013, 15:16 GMT)

I am repeating this for the nth time. Snicko is equally bad in a way opposite to Hotspot. Hotspot sometimes does not register a spot, if the impact is very very light. Snicko give the vibrations, even if there is no contact; but the ball sped thru at great speed very close the 'skin' of the bat!

Posted by EdwinD on (October 9, 2013, 15:00 GMT)

Batsmen have always been using tape or other legitimate materials to protect their bats - instead of requesting that this be removed, the Hotspot developers should be looking at ways to improve their product. Kevin Pieterson also raised the strong point that an edge could save you during an LBW decision. The most reliable source of determining an edge has been Snicko - I'm not sure if this will not be used in the upcoming Ashes and/or other international games, but if not, why not.....

Posted by applethief on (October 9, 2013, 14:55 GMT)

Weird how 3 years ago Hot Spot was the only DRS tech that players trusted - even the BCCI consented to use it as long as Hawkeye was cut. Now it's going the other way

Posted by Tigg on (October 9, 2013, 14:52 GMT)

The issue with DRS wasn't that hotspot wasn't working, it's that it was taken alone and absolute. If hotspot shows nothing something like snicko can confirm it, or suggest an edge if it's been too quick for hotspot.

Posted by Harmony111 on (October 9, 2013, 14:47 GMT)


I am no great fan of DRS myself though a great fan of innovation.

However, your comment that Hawk-Eye (or its various other sisters) do not include parameters such as pitch roughness, pitch bounce, pitch moisture, ball condition is not quite spot on. A Line Tracker does not need to do any of that.

The actual nature of the soil & state of ball do play a huge role in the ball path but all those parameters ultimately combine into one parameter --- ball's velocity (H&V) post pitching. Once a line tracker tool has this info then it can be easy to calculate the ball's future path with varying levels of accuracy depending upon the extrapolated distance. Nothing else matters. Over a 22 yard strip, gravity, airflow, temperature, cosmic particles etc are assumed to be constant ;-p.

One key problem is how to determine the EXACT point of impact of the ball & bat/pad. You get this wrong by a frame or half and your projection would go haywire too.

Posted by CricketChat on (October 9, 2013, 14:45 GMT)

No technology should be expected to be 100% right from the beginning. Players and fans alike should give it time to evolve and correct flaws. Removing this tool is a backward step. Money should no longer be considered a inhibiting factor as each T20 playing nation cricket boards can afford to build the required infrastructure in their primary venues. What I advocate is that the tech should be made available in all international matches.

Posted by applethief on (October 9, 2013, 14:30 GMT)

One question that needs to be asked is why is the cost of operating the hotspot cameras per day so high? Is that the legitimate operational cost? Or have high-minded execs at HotSpot gone and priced themselves out of the market?

Posted by geoffboyc on (October 9, 2013, 14:27 GMT)

Whatever happened to the simple system of either walking or accepting the umpire's decisions for both sides warts and all? Technology that was originally introduced just to liven up the television coverage for the easily bored viewer has now become almost part of the Laws of Test Match cricket. It can also have an adverse effect on the conduct of the game and the behaviour of the umpires. Why not give the "old" system another go?

Posted by   on (October 9, 2013, 14:15 GMT)

Is no-one going to ask Warren Brennan why when testing his system in the first place he did not use protective tape on the bats he was testing?

I have played cricket for 25 years, tape has been around since the dark ages of insulation tape holding a bat together.

Stop trying to blame everyone else and focus on the fact that until the sensitivity of your technology improves to avoid this problem then you haven't done your job properly...

It is for this reason that boards are reluctant both to use and invest in your gear

Posted by coldcoffee123 on (October 9, 2013, 13:56 GMT)

Hawk eye is the single biggest contributor to the speculative, abusive use of reviews by the players. How many times do we see the players needlessly indulging in a 15 second conference to refer LBW or not? It is a shame. It is like giving a chocolate to a diabetic. Players do not need LBW referrals. Players use it like a lottery. Even otherwise, cricket does not need hawk eye. Leave LBWs to the on-field umpires. If they make a mistake, so be it. Live with it, as cricket has for the past 150 years. The Hawk eye does not include parameters like the pitch roughness, pitch bounce, pitch moisture, ball condition. Yes, it correctly shows where the ball pitches and the point of impact on pad. But, most umpires, most times, get that right anyway. Look at the recently concluded Champions League in India. There was no DRS. And there were hardly any umpire controversies. Use DRS only for howlers. Not on speculative LBW appeals.

Posted by bobagorof on (October 9, 2013, 13:55 GMT)

I remember the Channel Nine commentators spruiking Hot Spot a few years ago, when they first introduced it, saying it was the only review technology that was based on science (or words to that effect). Obviously the problems during the Ashes in England are a contributing factor, but I think what is worse is that some decisions were reversed (or not) regardless of whether Hot Spot showed a mark or not - I remember a batsman being shown to have no nick but being given out anyway (due to audio), which shows a failure in the decision making process. As for the lack of funding by Cricket Australia, I am not surprised considering the focus of some of their other decisions in the last few years.

Posted by bobmartin on (October 9, 2013, 13:53 GMT)

Always assuming that the case is proven that it is tape or silicon or some other application that is causing edges not be picked up by hotspot... just issue a rule that any such covering is not to be applied to the bat.....It's easy enough to police... inspect each bat immediately before each batsman comes onto the field of play..... A job for the 4th umpire perhaps.. (he doesn't appear to do awful lot other than bring out the on-field umpires' drinks and any new/replacement balls.)

Posted by PrasPunter on (October 9, 2013, 13:47 GMT)

not good !! Root nicked it on day 1 of test #4 and it wasn't caught by the umpire. In the absence of the Hot Spot, i wonder whether it would have been picked at all !! Not good at all !! minor inside edges won't be caught as well !! The Hotspot was doing okay and as a huge fan of using technology to improving umpiring, I am immensely disappointed with CA for taking the route of the BCCI to some extent !!

Posted by lthornte on (October 9, 2013, 13:32 GMT)

Wait isn't hotspot the main determinant in determining slight edges for lbw appeals, removing that will make reviewing lbw calls a very risky business

Posted by harishk19812007 on (October 9, 2013, 13:28 GMT)

DRS and the technologies used for it is waste of money and time.....not only hot spot but also hawk eye technology as well....evidence CA not supporting financially the DRS system and now axing of hot spot by channel nine.....UNTIL the technology gets better, it is not worth investing in DRS

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (October 9, 2013, 13:21 GMT)

The interesting thing is Hotspot was picking up knicks that the umpires and some players couldt even hear. The batsman knicked it but it was so feint that most didnt hear it.

How do you police batsmen and ensure they dont use tape or silicon on their bats....impossible to police. Have inspections before they take guard? You just cant enforce it.

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