Cameron Bancroft has always said he takes “full responsibility” for the sandpapergate mess, but things have never been that clear.
The decision by the ICC not to use Hot Spot at the 2015 Cricket World Cup is both frustrating and unusual.
While some of cricket’s technology can be seen as subjective, such as predicting the ball’s path for LBW, Hot Spot has been universally (India aside) accepted.
In the recently completed series between New Zealand and Pakistan in Dubai and Sharjah, the LBW tracker and snicko were in play, but Hot Spot wasn’t, and there were several referrals which tracker and snicko were ineffective in providing a conclusive decision.
There were several hold ups as the evidence was inconclusive and essentially the on-field decision was impossible to overturn, particularly on caught behinds.
One of the reasons given to not have Hot Spot is the need for 10 camera and the associated cost. What doesn’t seem to add up is the host countries, New Zealand and Australia, have had Hot Spot for several years at all the grounds that will host games. The cost is probably being carried by the host broadcaster and hosting nation, however it makes the ICC look to be either trying to provide a tournament on the cheap, or the additional camera excuse is a convenient excuse.
One conspiracy theory is that it is India’s compromise on having some referral system.
Looking back over the numerous replays from the last World Cup hosted by New Zealand and Australia, in 1992, there was an unacceptable amount of bad decisions. It’s amazing to think now, but the third umpire wasn’t implemented until November 1992, and having seen the howlers at the World Cup it is easy to see why it was.
An example was Inzamam-ul-Haq, who was run out from a throw in the deep from Bruce Reid to Ian Healy. The slow motion replay showed that Inzy was safe by about a foot. There are several other run-outs that either were called safe and the batsman was well out, or safe and given out.
It seems ridiculous that cricket’s showpiece could be overshadowed by ‘cost issues’, yet games leading up to, and in future, will be using Hot Spot technology.
If the tournament is badly affected by the lack of Hot Spot it will be the ICC in the hot seat.