Spidercam: Enhancement for spectators, sometimes distracting for players

  • Sharad Deep, Hindustan Times, Kanpur
  • Updated: Sep 22, 2016 15:49 IST
The Spidercam has been used in the one-day and T20 format worldwide and is meant to enhance the experience for television spectators. (Ajay Aggarwal/HT PHOTO)

The Spidercam will be used for the first time in a Test in India, and it was the centre of attraction in Kanpur on Wednesday.

Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association (UPCA) officials and Board officials were busy with the foreign experts during its installation and trial run at the Green Park.

The Spidercam has been used in the one-day and T20 format worldwide and is meant to enhance the experience for television spectators. The cabled camera, which has been used in other countries including the India-Australia Test series in 2015-16, will hover over the players.

Not a nice feeling

“Obviously, when it interrupts the game it’s never a nice feeling,” said India Test skipper Virat Kohli, when asked to comment. “It’s something that’s added to the entertainment, so that people can get a different view and perspective about the game, and how it is seen from different positions on the ground.

“I think that’s one thing that was achieved by the Spidercam. Obviously, anything that you do, or anything new you introduce, will have flaws. These need to be corrected and made sure that the Spidercam does not come into the guidelines of the game or becomes too interactive and starts interrupting play,” said Kohli.

“I think that’s not logical, but apart from that if it’s used at a safe distance in-between overs or deliveries, and not while play is going on, I think that’s a pretty logical assessment as far as I’m concerned.”

During the fifth one-dayer against Australia in Sydney earlier this year, a freak incident took place. During India’s chase of a mammoth 331, Kohli’s lofty hit struck the Spidercam and the umpire declared the ball dead. Skipper MS Dhoni expressed his displeasure over the incident even though India successfully chased the target.

“It obviously distracts you a little bit while fielding, but while batting you are not focused on those things. The ball hitting the Spidercam is a freak incident. It can happen and we’ve seen dead balls being given to fours or sixes,” said Kohli.

“That can change the whole game, you might not be able to hit that four or six again. If it doesn’t come in the field of play, it should be fine as long as it doesn’t stop cricket in anyway.”

Freak incidents involving the Spidercam have been reported in cricket and other sports around the world, but there’s no denying it raises the entertainment quotient. “It’s part of the game and instead of criticising or raising a hue and cry over the use of Spidercam in a Test, we should also think of TV fans for whom it will be interesting,” said UPCA technical committee member Ghulam Moinuddin.

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