Smith blames drop on Spidercam

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Published: Thursday 8th January 2015 by The News Editor

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Australia captain Steve Smith added a new entry to the list of unlikely sporting excuses on Thursday when he blamed an overhead camera for a dropped catch.

Smith was distracted by Spidercam, a manoeuvrable camera suspended above the pitch by wires, when he dropped India’s Lokesh Rahul during the fourth Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Smith ran back from first slip after Rahul skied a Shane Watson delivery, only to see the ball slip through his fingers as it came down.

It was a costly drop, with Rahul on 46 at the time and going on to make 110, and the skipper knew instantly where the blame lay. A visibly-annoyed Smith pointed upwards straight away, mouthing the word “wire”.

Cricket Australia and the Nine Network said in a joint statement that Smith had been “distracted by one of the wires in his eye line”.

“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 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.

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

Smith follows a well-trodden path of dubious sporting excuses, walked by the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson and Ronnie O’Sullivan.

Ferguson blamed a terrible first half from his Manchester United team against Southampton on his players struggling to see each other in their grey away kit, while O’Sullivan held a female streaker responsible for his collapse against Steve Davis in the Masters final at Wembley in 1997.

Australia coach Darren Lehmann defended Spidercam at the end-of-day press conference, saying: “I think it’s good for the game. It’s not ideal where it was positioned for that particular ball.

“I actually like watching it. We’ve just got (to get) the position (of Spidercam) right when the bowler’s bowling – probably on the off side.”

Published: Thursday 8th January 2015 by The News Editor

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