AUS vs SA | Cricket Australia to review the possibility of providing increased camera feeds to umpires, reveals CEO Nick Hockley
Simon Harmer's attempted catch to dismiss Marnus Labuschagne was the talk of the town both on and off the field on Wednesday|
(ESPN Cricinfo / Getty)
Nick Hockley has stated that Cricket Australia would try to provide the umpires with the camera feeds forms all broadcasters after a controversial non-catch by Simon Harmer led to great speculation on Thursday. He further suggested the upgrade to LED lights as the key to ensuring 90 overs of play.
Cricket Australia came under severe flak on Wednesday after the third and final Test between the hosts and South Africa at the Sydney Cricket Ground saw just 50 overs being played on Day 1 and included a highly controversial umpiring decision. Frequent interruptions by rain and bad light eventually forced play to stop with the Kangaroos at 148/2 after 50 overs as Marnus Labuschagne had just departed for a well-made 79. However, he could have returned to the pavilion earlier after a Marco Jansen delivery caught the outside edge of his bat and flew to first slip, only for the catch by Simon Harmer to be eventually deemed invalid.
Interestingly, the call was made after the third-umpire saw the side on reviews and was confident enough even to turn the on-field soft decision of out. Yet, footage from behind the wickets released by the SEVEN Network raised doubt amongst players, critics and spectators alike but the umpires were denied the blame considering they only had access to the feed of the Fox cameras. In light of the controversy, Cricket Australia CEO Nick Kockley has admitted some changes need to be made to the procedures.
"The broadcasting of cricket is probably the most complicated of any of the major sports," he told SEN. "We have a huge number of cameras. Yesterday was really, really fine margins. The match referees and umpires are making the best calls they can with the information they have available. It's something we will think about and have a look at and review. We'll have a look at it after the end of the Test match," he was quoted saying to SEN by ESPN Cricinfo.
The match was interrupted for nearly three hours on Day 1 before eventually, the umpires took the bails off due to bad light. The decision was criticized due to an unwillingness to switch on lights to help the game continue but Hockley assured the people of a different solution.
"It was extremely frustrating, particularly the combination of light and rain. Clearly, the rules [about low light] are there with safety in mind. I think changing of the ball during play is really problematic. I think that introduces a little bit too much variability into the game. I'm hopeful that with lighting upgrades, there's a big move to LEDs from the traditional bulbs, that we'll see fewer and fewer of these types of delays," he said of the issue.