1. Spidercam: Aerial TV camera causes concern in Australia vs India 4th test at Sydney; Steve Smith-Lokesh Rahul incident in focus

Spidercam: Aerial TV camera causes concern in Australia vs India 4th test at Sydney; Steve Smith-Lokesh Rahul incident in focus

What is a bird's-eye view worth? That's the question television executives and cricket officials were confronted after a camera distracted Australia captain Steve Smith...

By: | Sydney | Updated: January 8, 2015 1:52 PM
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Spidercam is suspended above the playing field on the third day of their cricket test match between Australia and India in Sydney, Australia Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015. (AP)

What is a bird’s-eye view worth? That’s the question television executives and cricket officials were confronted with Thursday after a camera suspended above the field distracted Australia captain Steve Smith as he attempted to take a catch during the fourth test against India at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

India opener Lokesh Rahul, on 46, skied a Shane Watson delivery high in the air behind the stumps, just before the lunch interval. Smith ran back from slip to take the catch but reacted angrily after putting down the chance, pointing toward the wires of the aerial camera.

Smith was immediately seen to mouth a profanity followed by the word `wire’ and was still gesticulating a few overs later when briefly discussing the incident with umpire Richard Kettleborough.

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Australia’s Steve Smith looks up in the direction of the Spidercam suspended above the playing field after he dropped a catch on the third day of their cricket test match against India in Sydney, Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015. India are chasing Australia’s first innings score of 7 for 572 declared. (AP)

A joint statement from Cricket Australia and host broadcaster, the Nine Network, which appeared on the Cricket Australia website confirmed that Smith had been distracted by one of the wires.

”We (Cricket Australia & Nine) 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 joint statement read. ”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.”

Rahul, who was on 46 at the time of the dropped catch, reached his maiden test century shortly before tea and was finally dismissed for 110 after the interval.

The `spider cam’ is suspended from wires attached to light towers and can maneuver over the playing area at varying heights.

The camera was subsequently moved away from play, near the boundary rope.

”As it stands, if any player has a concern about the placement of Spidercam they can ask the umpires for it to be moved,” the statement said.

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