Mumbai: The controversial spidercam, which has been criticised by India's limited-overs captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, would be used during the upcoming World Twenty20 Championship but it won't disturb play, ICC Chief Executive Dave Richardson said yesterday.
"Yes, we are going to use spider cam during the World T20 championship. We will make sure it does not interfere with play. We have guidelines for its usage," said Richardson at a promotional event of its new global partner, Oppo mobiles. The spidercam had interfered with play during the fifth and final India-Australia ODI at the Sydney Cricket Ground on January 23 as well as during the previous Test series between the two countries Down Under.
Test skipper Virat Kohli upper-cut Australia pacer John Hastings for a boundary in the 19th over of the Indian innings at the SCG, but it was declared a dead ball after hitting the camera. The visitors chased down a 331-run victory target to end their losing streak in the ODI series that they lost 1-4, but India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was of the view that such interference could affect the results of close matches.
"I am quite a traditional guy. Anything that disturbs the game of cricket, I don't like it. It all started right from the Twenty20 where people would ask - Why don't you wear a mic?', 'Why don't you wear a camera?'" said Dhoni after India prevented a 5-0 whitewash. "I 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.
Especially when it's a 310-320 game, those four runs can be crucial," he added. Australia skipper Steve Smith, who had complained that the spidercam had upset his vision leading to the spilled catch of India opener K L Rahul who went on to score his maiden Test hundred (110) in the last series in Australia, saw the funny
side of the episode.
"He was probably our best fielder tonight, spidercam. He saved four," said Smith who had dropped Rahul at the same SCG on India's previous visit before last year's World Cup. Meanwhile, Richardson said the ICC was keen to make pitches during the World T20, to be hosted by India in March-April, in such a way that they will encourage attacking play.
"As far as we are concerned about preparations of pitches, we want to make sure pitches are fast. We want to encourage attacking brand of cricket with the bat or the ball. We are very confident that in the World T20 championship we will witness attacking and entertaining brand of cricket of the highest quality," he said.
According to Richardson, the women's T20 competition, to be held concurrently with the men's, has more contenders for the title than the traditional two - England and Australia. "England and Australia were the favourites. But now there are others too like India, South Africa, New Zealand, Pakistan. India have beaten Australia recently. It's the most open competition for women," said Richardson.
"The viewership of women constitutes 40 per cent during ICC events," he added. He also said that cricket has been in the forefront in using technology to assist its umpires and other match officials. "We are the leaders in using technology for assisting umpires and other officials to get more decisions correct. DRS (Decision Review System) is part of that process. We are persuading all countries to use it, including India," said the ICC CEO.
In bilateral series, India have consistently opposed the use of DRS, saying it was not 100 per cent fool proof. In recent times there appears to be some change of heart and opinions have been expressed by BCCI chief Shashank Manohar, who is also the ICC's chairman, that as long as the leg before decisions through ball tracking technology are taken out of DRS, the Indian Board was okay with it.