5 instances when technology hindered play in cricket

The infamous Spidercam

Technological advances and innovations have served to enhance the experience of watching and playing cricket for the most part. Fans are being offered an unprecedented access to real time information which enriches their enjoyment of the game.The players benefit from the introduction of technical tools as well. Date is being processed at breakneck speeds and the teams can have access to a multitude of information about every tiny detail of a match. During the match, the players get to utilize technology to support or refute decisions of the umpires. The umpires on field can ask the third umpire to take a look at the action as well.But there are instances when technology has served as an obstacle and hindrance to the on field play as well. Here is a look at 5 such instances when technology proved to be a bane rather than a boon in cricket matches.

#1 Spider Camera

The infamous Spidercam

The field of play in cricket is supposed to be the batsmans hunting ground with the fielders serving as obstacles. The batsmen does not need any other arbitrary object obstructing the field and potentially blocking runs or deflecting the course of a ball.

When Virat Kohli smashed a John Hastings delivery to the boundary in the India-Australia ODI, he dind't expect a piece of equipment depriving him of four runs. The ball hit the Spidercam and was declared dead.

MS Dhoni wasn't pleased with the intrusion of the Spidercam. "I am quite a traditional guy," he said. "Anything that disturbs the game of cricket I don't like it."

"I always feel there is always a need for a balance. At the end of the day, it's a spectators' sport, people watching on television, but at the same time four runs can really matter." Dhoni added.

Dhoni even called for a penalty for the Spidercam in jest. "Everyone gets penalised, why not have the same system for the Spidercam? Say, 'Okay if you get hit, $2,000 per hit.' Let's make it interesting," he joked.

Australian captain Steve Smith complimented the fielding saying: "He was probably our best fielder tonight, Spidercam. He saved four."

#2 Live microphone

Virat Kohli makes a gesture as Steve Smith is dismissed after being on live mic.

When Steve Smith was at the crease in the India-Australia match, at one point he was talking to Channel Nine's reporters via a live mic.

Just two balls after Smith described a shot by Aaron Finch, he lost his wicket on a careless shot.

Smith later tried to play down the distraction saying:"It [the commentary] was on at the time, but for me it was just a bad shot. I tried to chip one over the top for two rather than trying to hit him for four or six. It was my fault and I got to do better next time," he said.

One can debate if the distraction proved to be fatal for his wicket or if it had no bearing, but it is conclusive that mistakes are bound to happen when attention is divided.

A Channel 9 commentator, Nicholas, said "Steve Smith is out, and he's unable to talk us through that. Understandably."

The addition of a microphone on a player during the course of a match may add some entertainment value, but it unquestionably comes at the expense of peak performance from the player, as was demonstrated by Steve Smith.

#3 Hot spot

The Hot spot has attracted controversy

The Hot spot has on occassion given information which had no result besides infuriating one teams players and supporters. Case in point, in a match between India and Australia,George Bailey was caught by the wicketkeeper when he gloved a delivery. The Hot spot showed that the ball had touched his glove. But the umpire gave not out and there was no DRS available for the game and the decision stood.

Bailey scored 112 runs that day and Australia won the match. The Hot spot technology may show that the wicket should have fallen. But it does not help the game if that revelation does not have any bearing.

MS Dhoni has said that he isn't in favour of the DRS as he feels that it is weighed in the umpire's favour. Some pundits are of the opinion that if a player review ends in an "umpire's call", the team appealing should not lose its review.

"We need to push the umpires to take the right decision. DRS shouldn't be umpire's decision justification system," Dhoni said."You have to see how many 50-50 decisions don't go in our favour. It shouldn't matter whether you are given out or not by the umpire."he added

#4 Snickometer

The snickometer was not conclusive in Akmals dismissal

The snickometer has not managed to steer away from controversy either. In a match between India and Pakistan, Umar Akmal was seen to be caught but the umpire on field, Richard Kettleborough, did not raise his finger. MS Dhoni used the DRS and a number of replays ensued. Eventually, the third umpire Steve Davis confirmed that the wicket had indeed fallen.

The problem was that the Snickometer was very inconclusive in this case. The evidence suggesting that Akmal was caught was minimal, but the third umpire Davis gave his decision as 'out' anyway.

Ideally if a third umpire is not absolutely certain, a call made by the on field umpire ought not to be overturned. And the guidelines suggest that the benefit of doubt ought to go to the batsmen. But in this case the evidence by the snickometer was heavily inconclusive, yet acted upon.

#5 Hawk Eye

Sachin was originally declared out before the Hawk eye intervened

The Hawk Eye technology uses six or more cameras placed around the field to track the path of the ball. One of its shortcomings is that if there is a crack on the ground, the Hawk Eye cannot detect it.

Another shortcoming arises when a decision from using the Hawk Eye is deemed inconclusive but it contradicts the on field call regardless.

India were facing Pakistan in the World Cup semi-finals in Mohali. Sachin Tendulkar was facing Saeed Ajmal when he was declared out via LBW by the umpire in the 11th over. When DRS was used though, the Hawk eye overturned the decision of the umpire Ian Gould.

Ajmal later said, I dont know how the television replays showed my delivery turning towards the leg side because I had bowled an arm ball and it went straight.

A lot of controversy arose from this decision being overturned and many fans rose in uproar against it.

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Edited by Staff Editor
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