Blame it on camera
Cricket is a game of tiny margins -- a matter of centimetres can often make or break a side's chances in a match. The modern era has seen the use of television cameras to aid in the decision-making processes of such minute margins, but on some occasions they are more hindrance than help.
Late on the first day of the first Test between Zimbabwe and Bangladesh in Harare on Wednesday, Bangladesh fast bowler Rubel Hossain bowled two batsmen, but only one was out. Elton Chigumbura's defences were beaten a few overs before the close of play but consultation with the third umpire led to the ruling that Rubel had overstepped. The problem with the referral was that the camera angle on which the no-ball call was based was not square on to the bowling crease, and therefore made it impossible to know for certain whether Rubel had in fact overstepped.
It was learnt from the television production crew yesterday that one of the square cameras, which are situated at a right angle to each set of stumps, was out of order on Wednesday. That begs the question that if the technology available is not available, even if temporarily, why use a poor substitute during an international match? Not long ago no-ball calls were rarely if ever referred to the third umpire. Over-dependency on technology cost Bangladesh on Wednesday, and though it was not very costly as Chigumbura was out off the ninth ball of the following morning, it is a mistake that could very easily have been avoided.