Operator of ‘spider cam’ stood down after Nortje collision

    Nortje was walking square of the wicket between overs on Tuesday when he was floored by the camera after it struck him from behind at speed. The fiery quick was lucky to escape the incident unscathed aside from a sore left elbow and shoulder, but it raised questions over the operation of the camera and whether it flies too close to players.Fox since stood down the operator involved in the incident, with measures implemented to prevent it from happening again. The technology, dubbed the ‘Flying Fox’ by Fox Cricket, was back in action on Wednesday as Australian Cricketers’ Association chief executive Todd Greenberg lamented the ordeal as “something we can’t see happen again”.“I saw that happen live and when he went down I was genuinely concerned … it did knock him off his feet,” Greenberg said on SEN. “That would be very disconcerting for a player on the field when your only focus is on the ball.“I have spoken to CA about that and I have spoken to the broadcasters who have formalised some things so that won’t happen again. Clearly it’s an error which shouldn’t happen and won’t happen again. ”SA STAR REVEALS SPIDER-CAM GRIPE AFTER COPPING BLOWFiery South African fast bowler Anrich Nortje says players have previously expressed concern about how low ‘spider’ cameras fly over the ground after he was struck in the field by one on Tuesday.Nortje was walking square of the wicket between overs when the spider cam, or ‘Flying Fox’ as it is branded on Fox Cricket, struck him at speed from behind, clipping the back of his left shoulder and elbow.Luckily, the unusual incident didn’t affect him seriously as the day progressed, with the searing quick continuing to bust out 150kph-plus thunderbolts through the afternoon despite the high 30-degree heat.The technology gives broadcasters access to close-up interviews from players during the game, as well as giving the viewer an on-field perspective of the action. But speaking after a barren day in the field in which the Australians powered to 3/386, Nortje revealed players had already been concerned about the camera before the incident.“I saw cables, moved around, turned my head and saw the cam, but I was a little bit too late. It was quite quick,” he said. “The one thing we’ve spoken about earlier is how low it is and it probably shouldn’t be.“Unless it’s for interviews or something – I don’t know for certain – but I don’t think it should be travelling head height.”Nortje said his elbow was “a bit sore” but felt unscathed otherwise. “It didn’t really change my mindset. I tried to stay focused,” he said. The broadcaster issued an apology to the visitors’ team management and Nortje and will review how low it sends the camera, a South African official confirmed following the day’s play.CHANNEL 7 THREAT EXPOSES CA’S BIGGEST FEAR- Robert CraddockAustralian cricket is leading a curious double life.The pulsating shop window of a Boxing Day Test, with a buoyant Australia running rampant, gives no hint of the chaos happening in the corridors of power.Cricket looked like the most important game in the world when the Australians were destroying South Africa before 60,000 fans at the MCG.Yet about the same time as the fifth wicket was falling in the shambolic South African first innings News Corp revealed that Channel 7 had put a deadline of 5pm Tuesday for CA to accept their offer for the next round of television cricket rights.For a network which currently has court action against CA – and wants to be a future partner – that is a big call.Marriage proposals don’t normally come with a time deadline. Seven and CA officials have no love for each other but might just need each other in what has become the strangest and most intriguing rights talks in recent Australian sports history.The deadline threat is a significant moment because it says everything about how the balance of power has changed between a cash-needy CA and interested but cash-conscious broadcasters in this very delicate negotiation.The message for Cricket Australia from the deadline threat – one which they had already sensed – is that, for free to air networks, the cricket rights have lost their halo.Back in the day Channel 9 executives would say “look we may have paid too much but the halo effect of having cricket just means so much.’’Not any more. Dollars and cents have been replaced by dollars and sense.The last time the television rights were handed out in 2018 there was a massive scramble among the networks and the savage bidding war ended in hugely dramatic circumstances.Channel 10 officials thought they were given unofficial nod they had the rights and were just starting their celebrations when told that Channel 7 had swooped with a late offer at five minutes to midnight.There is none of that tension this time.The sound of bean counters frantically punching in the numbers in 2018 has been replaced by the sound of crickets as Cricket Australia waits anxiously for their preferred free-to-air options Nine or Seven to offer extra dollars they crave (so they can partner Fox Cricket).CA officials have been force-fed the realisation that there is no perfect free to air partner.Channel 10-Paramount have come up with by far the biggest offer ($1.5 billion) but they are low rating station with a shallow recent record of televising live sport. That worries CA.The AFL used a big dollar offer from Paramount to convince Channel 7 to up its bid and retain its broadcast rights.Cricket has tried to do the same but the problem is Nine and Seven don’t want cricket to the same desperate lengths that Seven wanted the AFL.The bottom line for cricket is it may need to sacrifice big dollars and leave its product in the hands of broadcasters who will work to revitalise the Big Bash and keep Test cricket strong.

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