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HindustanTimes Thu,02 Oct 2014
Technology needs to be used to provide definites
None
March 27, 2011
First Published: 23:55 IST(27/3/2011)
Last Updated: 23:58 IST(27/3/2011)

What's the most fundamental reason for trusting technology over human competence? Accuracy-I'd assume. If that is achieved, there shouldn't be a doubt on exploiting it to its utmost. Yet, if its design doesn't allow an infallible fact finding system, it must start a debate.

Issues with Hawk Eye
Most of us have all along admitted that some of the technology being used is actually foolproof. Like in the case of a hot spot that would show the edges and a nick would do the same. Hawk Eye, however, has been the bone of contention for many.

Would it have tracked the path of Shane Warne's famous 'ball of the century' to Mike Gatting had it hit some part of Gatting's body or equipment? Javagal Srinath, an ICC match referee, removed all my doubts. He told me that the predictive path is 100% accurate because it doesn't take the conditions into account while showing us what would have happened had the ball not been intercepted.

Making things clear
If this settles the debate then let's embrace the predictive path shown by the Hawk Eye to get accurate decisions. Hawk Eye was considered 100% accurate for other readings like the pitching of the ball and the point of impact, two extremely important aspects while judging LBW. Then there has been the contentious issue of batsmen being more than 2.5 metres away from the stumps at the point of impact.

Hawk Eye is not 100% accurate when the ball has to travel more than 2.5 metres and hence it was decided that the predictive path must show the ball hitting the middle of the middle stump in order to be adjudged out.

It was done to allow the buffer of a few centimetres, for if it's hitting the middle of the middle stump, even with the possibility of not hitting the shown spot, it would not miss the stumps.

Need for clarity
Despite this, there are certain 50-50 decisions, which are being referred back to the on-field umpire to take the final call. Perhaps it is the interpretation that is leaving the third umpires a wee bit confused.

In my opinion it's imperative to embrace the technology but only when there's no ambiguity. I'm for trusting the predictive path but then we must trust it completely. In human judgment there is room for grey area but with technology it has to be either black or white. www.cricketaakash.com


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