The decision-review technology known as Hot Spot has been dumped just weeks before the Ashes series between Australia and England, reports said yesterday.
The controversial infrared camera system has been dropped by the host broadcaster due to costs, Hot Spot’s Australian inventor Warren Brennan told Fairfax Media.
The decision-review device, which uses heat sensors and infrared cameras to detect contact between the ball, bat and pads, will now not feature in the showpiece five-Test series, beginning at Brisbane’s Gabba on Nov. 21.
“It’s their decision and that’s what’s been communicated to us. As far as I’m concerned, it is final,” Brennan said. “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 development leaves the ball-tracking component, Eagle Eye, audio evidence picked up by stump microphones and slow-motion replays as the remaining tools at the disposal of the third official for decision reviews in the Ashes.
Trust in the Hot Spot technology was severely tested during the first leg of the back-to-back Ashes series, won 3-0 by England in July and August. While match umpires were criticized for poor decisions, Hot Spot was at the center of a succession of contentious verdicts involving fine edges.
The cost of Hot Spot — the company charges A$10,000 (US$9,440) a day for the four-camera system Channel Nine has used, which totals A$250,000 for the Test series — is a key reason behind the broadcaster cutting ties, but its poor performance in England is also understood to be a factor, the media group said.
A Cricket Australia spokesman said of the reports: “We don’t think it’s appropriate to comment on discussions between Nine and one of its partners.”