This morning on the Today Show, Eddie Maguire (filling in for Jessica Rowe, while on maternity leave) announced the latest development from the Channel tech labs: The Lie Detector. Before elaborating on what it is, I have the inside story on how the idea was conceived.
Having read a recent dongles article on the spate of bogus caught behind decisions, Eddie gave me a call to find out if I had anything to add. I did. I told him a story about a social game I played in once. I was bowling my usual ordinary seamers and somehow the batsman got a nice big nick and the keeper took an easy catch. “How is that, sir” (rhetorical question). Here is the interesting bit. Sir didn’t immediately give the batsman out. In fact, it seemed he wasn’t going to pull the trigger. Eventually, up went the finger and sir explained that his hearing was shot and he had to work it out from the guilty look in the batsman’s eyes. Last Sunday, the umpire could well have given Mcmillan out on the basis of his guilty giggle.
I said, “Eddie, there is the solution. Those bloody batsmen know when they are out but Gillie and Brian are the only ones who will admit it. You need to put them on the stand, so to speak.” I left Eddie to it. He is “de man” after all.
In a sign to the whole world that Kerry Packer was not the only Channel 9 boss who can push the ICC around, Eddie has worked with cricket’s governing body to introduce a rule change, starting with the World Cup. All batsmen will have an earpiece. Channel 9 trialled this technology in the recent Twenty20 match. However, in this case, the batsmen will not be subjected to the imbecilic questions from the Channel 9 commentary team. When there is a caught behind appeal, the batsman will have two choices. He can walk or take the lie detector. If the batsman opts for the lie detector (by not walking) he will hear the pre-recorded voice or Eddie Maguire, sounding very much like God say, “Did you hit it, son?”. The batsman will grasp a bail in each hand and answer “yes” or “no” (Of course, he is going to answer “no” or he would have walked). The bails are equipped with the latest FBI lie detection technology (as seen on “Without and Trace”) and this will advise the 3rd umpire if the player is lying. The 3rd umpire will take that information and give the verdict on the big screen.
The Today Show ran an excerpt from a 60 Minutes program that will go to air shortly. In the piece, Mr Maguire, who is also taking a spot on 60 Minutes this year, is interviewing himself.
Mr Maguire: Eddie, tell us more about “Lie Detector”. Doesn’t the game already have enough inconclusive technology gimmicks? Is it really fool proof?”
Eddie: “I just want justice. This isn’t about ratings or my own ego. I think of the other night and the Hussey thing. England were denied a chance of their first victory over Australia of the tour. It makes me angry. You know how passionate I am about cricket. I think of that momentous win over Pakistan in Hobart. The truth is that the bng nicked one and it should have been a well earned victory for Pakistan. Looking even further back, think of poor old Billie the Kid McDermott supposedly gloving one from Walsh in Adelaide in 1993, and Australia losing the match, and the series by one run. The course of history will no longer be altered by incontinent umpires. I really feel that we have kicked a goal with this new development.”
Mr Maguire: “I think you mean incompetent”.
Eddie: “That’s what I said.”
Enough on Eddie. I will be interested to see who can fool the lie detector. I”d be betting the Mcmillan won’t – he couldn’t even keep a straight face. I wonder about the card players – those poker faced punters must be in with a show. I’m sure Eddie and the ICC are glad that Steve Waugh has retired. He’d be one I’d be betting that could fool the lie detector.