Sky TV is powerless to change on-screen graphics which a media commentator says are "ugly, visual garbage" and will get between viewers and Cricket World Cup action.

Sky TV will broadcast coverage by Star Sports and Star Cricket, the India-based channel that paid $2.7 billion to secure the broadcasting rights of the New Zealand- and Australia-hosted Cup.

In coverage of warm-up games, a large strap bar - often showing headshots of players with accompanying statistics - was visible across the bottom of the screen during much of the game.

The visuals had triggered a handful of complaints to Sky TV, spokeswoman Kirsty Way said.


"It does appear that those graphics will be used for the actual live Cricket World Cup, and they will be used worldwide," she said.

"Because it's for every country around the world, and not just Sky, we are unable to change those - although we would feed back any commentary from our customers, which we've not had an overwhelming amount of."

On his Hard News blog, media commentator Russell Brown aired his outrage at the quality of the visuals and Star Sports' coverage in general.

He said cuts between replays were "stuffed with pointless, ugly visual garbage" while graphics, described by the channel as compelling and new, looked, "frankly, like something the 80s called to say it didn't want back".

At one point during Sunday's match between India and Australia, he noted that the cameraman and director struggled to find an unobscured shot of the ball when it was hit skyward by Australian all-rounder Mitchell Johnson.

Security at the Hagley Oval ahead of the Cricket World Cup was discussed by police in Christchurch today.

Brown told the Herald yesterday: "I think I could do without the aesthetic crime of the graphics themselves, but really, clearly the main thing that needs fixing is the status bar along the bottom with the bobble-heads.

"Having that displaying while deliveries are being bowled and shots are being played is distracting and it actually obscures what cricket fans need to see."

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