What the UDRS baiters’ are saying: ‘costly, monopoly product’

The DRS package of technologies may have statistically increased correct decisions, but the BCCI has remained stubborn about it due to its monopolistic market. A source within the BCCI told The Indian Express that one of the main problems with Hot Spot, and all UDRS related tracking systems for that matter, is because of its singular ownership. Besides, there are several other logistical problems in making it a standard procedure around the world.

"The cost of bringing the technology to India is sky high. Plus, if there is a match between India and Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka, we have to go back to the only owners to set up the cameras in the stadium — it is a monopoly technology. That does not make much sense to the Indian board," he said.

Ownership issues

Adapted for TV only by BBG Sports, an Australian company, the cost of implementing it in every Test match is very, very expensive. BBG Sports charges close to $6000 per day for installing two thermal cameras and $10,000 for four. Although its usage will increase accuracy and decision transparency even further, both the BCCI and the Indian broadcasters are unwilling to foot the cost to standardise the system.

Installation costs

In their quest to make technology a permanent feature in all international cricket matches, the ICC have left the most important stone unturned – the cost of doing so. Ever since technology first made its way into cricket, the most frequently asked question by both the viewers and those involved in the game has been – who is responsible for ensuring that the technology makes its way into the cricket ground for the upcoming series. Should it be the a) ICC, the parent board, or b) the home board, the BCCI?

The answer, at least in other parts of the world, so far has been c) the broadcasters. While Australia's Nine Network introduced Hot Spot to the world during the 2006-07 Ashes series, it has been used sparingly ever since. Despite the fact that technology was made compulsory during the recently concluded World Cup, the most accurate reviewal system was missing due to ICC's unwillingness to pay for its expensive usage. And according to Warren Brennan, the owner of BBG Sports, the reasons were simple. "If the cricket boards want a feed of that for adjudication purposes, they should contribute to the costs. Otherwise, the Ashes could well be the last hurrah."

Subcontinental hazards

But according to the BCCI source, it was the complications in bringing a military technology to India that ensured that the World Cup would go Hot Spot-less. "The Hot Spot system is used for military operations and warfare. In the subcontinent, we cannot keep it lying around in a stadium, for it may just get stolen," the source added.

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