Smith blames Spidercam for dropped catch

Smith claimed that the Spidercam obstructed his line of sight when he dropped Rahul

Smith claimed that the Spidercam obstructed his line of sight when he dropped Rahul

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Australia stand-in captain Steven Smith claims that the Spidercam used by host broadcaster Channel Nine blocked his line of sight when he dropped a simple catch against India on the third day of the fourth Test in Sydney.

Smith looked absolutely disgusted when he gave India batsman Lokesh Rahul a lifeline off the bowling of Shane Watson.

Commentating when the incident occurred, Ian Healy said: “I think it’s hit Spidercam, which means dead ball. Had to happen one day, looks like it is today…he’s got the sun to contend with, then he changes direction. Might not have hit the wire, might have just distracted him.”

The camera was moved higher and further away from the field following the incident.

However, Cricket Australia and Channel Nine stated that the ball had not hit the Spidercam or any of its wires.

“We have spoken about the matter involving Spidercam and the dropped catch before lunch and it’s clear the ball did not hit the camera or its supporting wires,” the statement said. “Captain Steve Smith was distracted by one of the wires in his eye line. Both CA and Nine will continue to work together on the use of Spidercam in the broadcast coverage and will take on board any player feedback as necessary. As it stands, if any player has a concern about the placement of Spidercam they can ask the umpires for it to be moved.”

Speaking about the incident, Australia head coach Darren Lehmann said: “It was just the wire moving and the camera moving as the ball was coming down. And he had the sun, it was a pretty difficult catch with that. We still would love him to take it but he didn’t.

“Especially when it’s behind…I’m saying probably deep cover and move it that way where it’s out of the eyeline. Normally what happens with a hook shot or a pull shot it’s deep leg side and that is where the camera is behind and it can be a top edge like that. We just have to get the position right, that’s all.

“I think it’s good for the game, to be perfectly honest. Not ideal where it was positioned for that particular ball. I actually like watching it. I think we have just got to get the position right when the bowler is bowling probably on the off side, which we are speaking to [Nine’s head of sport] Steve Crawley and his team about, making sure we get that right moving forward.

“I think they have done that a bit where they have to move it and pull it away. But you’ve got to remember players can move it as well, [say] that they want to get it out of the road.

“We’ve just got to get it right. I’m sure CA and Channel Nine will work that out and get it better. I think it gives great vision for the people at home and the entertainment throughout the day. We have just got to make sure it’s positioned right and on that particular occasion it was probably in the wrong spot.”

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