Hotspot – Seriously guys, you aint gonna call yourself a cricket aficionado and at the same time say that you haven’t heard of this term! They are like the exclusive set for each other. Haven’t you ever given it a thought as to how is that a black and white image a white spot is formed when the ball touches the bat??? So, here we are with all your answers and to let you know what the cricket hotspot is all about!
But before going further with hotspot I want you all to read about snickometer which is another marvelous tool used in cricket. To read about it click here.
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Cricket Hotspot – History
When a team calls for an umpire DRS (Decision Review System) you all might have seen third umpire checking whether ball has hit the bat or not in a black and white screen. That is what hotspot is. That black and white X-ray kind of image!
Cricket hotspot was introduced for one sole purpose of eliminating the instances of many controversial decisions made by the on-field umpires. The technology was first tested in India V/S Srilanka match in 2008. The cricket hotspot system was officially launched by ICC (International Cricket Council) on 24 November, 2009. This was for a test match between New Zealand and Pakistan. While in one day international it made its first appearace in January, 2011 in Australia v/s England match. For T20 matches ICC agreed to start this system in February, 2017.
When this technology was not officially approved by ICC, this was only used for audiences like Snickometer is being used now. That is, it is not a part of the 3rd Umpire decision making SOPs. The cricket hotspot was found to be 90-95% accurate. So, new cameras were brought in for border-gavaskar series in 2011-12. These new cameras were much superior to their predecessors.
Cricket hotspot – Principle
Now I am moving forward with the principle behind hotspot with a thought that you all are aware of Snickometer. Unlike Snickometer this technology is more accurate and faster.
Hotspot in cricket uses two infra-red cameras which are positioned in either side of the ground. These two cameras sense the heat and gives a black and white image. In this system when ball touches or collides any surface, friction is generated. Due to this friction heat is generated which in turn is sensed by the the infra-red cameras and by subtraction technique a series of black and white frames are generated in computer. This gives the accurate location of the ball touching any surface. The surface may be anything such as a bat, pad, gloves or ground.
For those, who say technical jargon is not their cup of tea, we can put it in a nutshell and say two infrared cameras just tell us through B&W images, where the heat is more, where lesser!
Also Read : Snickometer- A Technology used in cricket
An expensive technology!
Hotspot for sure has the advantage of giving accurate position of the ball unlike Snickometer. And ya off course, this is bit fast compared to snicko. But still it is not used in many matches because it’s an expensive technology.
It takes approx 4 lakhs rupees per day for the use of two cameras and approx. 6.5 lakhs rupees for the use of four cameras. This is the only reason that the use of the cricket hotspot is made optional in the bilateral series and it depends on both teams whether to use it or not.
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Cricket hotspot- Application
Cricket hotspot has its application in umpire decision review system. Third umpire checks whether the ball has hit the bat or pad. And also, checks with which the ball has come in contact first- whether it is bat or pad. If the ball has hit the bat first then there are chances that the batsman is caught and out. And if the ball came in contact with pad first then there are chances of batsman to get LBW out.
Cricket hotspot is also advantageous in knowing where the ball has stricken on the ground and for knowing the line and length of the ball. It is also used to detect the places where the ball hit the bat. If it is the middle portion of the bat then it is the excellent shot.