Hot Spot will not be part of the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) that will be used during the 2011 ICC World Cup, reducing the system to its basic requirements: a ball-tracker (in this case Hawk-Eye), a super slow-mo camera and a 'clear' stump microphone.
In October 2010, the ICC had announced that the Hot Spot cameras would be used in the semi-finals and final of the World Cup, to be held in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh from Feb 19 to April 2. An ICC spokesman, however, confirmed to ESPNcricinfo on Saturday that, "the supplier of the Hot Spot technology advised that it was not willing to supply its cameras for the tournament so, accordingly, they will not be used at any stage in the tournament. The use of these cameras is not a minimum requirement for the DRS."
While the Hot Spot cameras are not a minimum requirement of the UDRS, they are thought to provide among the most accurate images of the contact between ball and bat, or pad, using infrared thermal imaging. The owners of the Hot Spot technology, Melbourne based BBG Sport, were unwilling to comment on their decision.
The Hot Spot infrared cameras form part of military hardware used in jetfighters, tanks and warships, and they fall under the category of restricted equipment which, it is believed, needs a temporary export licence from the Australian Defence Department whenever they are taken out of the country. Part of that licence includes the return of the cameras to Australia within a seven-day period after the end of the event in which they are being used. An ICC spokesperson however said that the ICC was "unaware of the Australian government regulations to this effect."
The cameras were first brought into India during the 2009 Champions League Twenty20 event. It is possible that the logistical hurdle of moving the cameras, which are both expensive and sensitive security equipment, in and out of Sri Lanka and India could have led to the decision. India remains the only country in cricket that has not accepted the UDRS. Ironically, the only part of UDRS technology basket that is considered by the Indians to be the most trustworthy is the Hot Spot camera.
Sharda Ugra is senior editor at ESPNcricinfo