Technology in Cricket for 21st Century Fans
Cricket is the second most popular sport after football. It became an international sport in the late 19th century.
The first-ever test match was held on 15th March 1877 between Australia and England. In 1922, the first-ever audio commentary was made in Australia. Since then, technology has revolutionized Cricket and improved its reach through the internet, mobile phones and television.
Here are some of the ways technology has revolutionized cricket for the 21st century fan experience.
Ball tracking is one of the technologies used in tracking the path of the ball. In this case, cameras are placed at specific locations throughout the entire field. Experts and algorithms then use these cameras to identify the ball and calculate its trajectory. It uses a method known as triangulation. A ball path prediction is then created using 3D visualization, and umpires and viewers use this information to analyze the game. Images from these cameras also provide umpires and analysts with wagon wheel information and ball pitch maps.
Power shot analysis
Lightweight sensors placed behind the bat can compute its speed, the angle at which the player launched the ball, and how much the bat was twisted. These sensors can now offer batting performance to fans and umpires in real-time.
This invention was coined by Dr. Paul Hawkins, a former player of Buckinghamshire, in 2001. The Hawk-Eye was then accepted by ICC, as part of the Decision Review System in 2008, and has been termed one of the biggest revolutions in modern sport. Hawk-Eye comprises up to six cameras that allow viewers to see the pitch maps, real-time reactions and weigh in on the umpire's decisions.
Nicholas Bion, a French scientist, invented hot spots. This technology can indicate the exact moment of contact between the ball and the bat. Two cameras are placed opposite each other on the ground to yield infra-red images. The friction produced when the ball and bat hit each other appear as a bright red dot on these cameras.
3D Gaming graphics
Developers and animators are employing similar online gaming in data analysis of cricket games. They are able to create 3D models of players and offer interesting after-match commentaries.
Cameras developed by a company known as Batcam are mounted on drones and flown high in the sky. They provide viewers with a 360-degree viewing angle, from the ground level to the skyline view. These drones can be washed and controlled remotely and help capture dynamic videos and shots. Automatic collision avoidance systems are also installed in the drone cameras.
This system is popularly known as ‘Snicko’. It makes use of sound technology to examine appeals for leg before wicket. Edge detection determines whether the ball has come into contact with the bat at any point before it is caught. A microphone is attached to the stump and then connected to an oscilloscope to interpret the sound waves. These filtered and interpreted sound waves are paired with slow-motion videos recorded during the game to assist the third umpire in making a judgment.
Modern technology has allowed for the invention of a GPS-enabled device attached to the players that serve multiple services. The device contains an accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer. Doctors and physiotherapists also use such devices to track performance and fatigue levels to plan and determine training intensity. Players must stay sharp and healthy to guarantee good results at the pitch.
Bronte Eckermann invented the LED bails to replace wooden bails. The bails are made of composited plastic containing low-voltage batteries and a microprocessor. The LED lights will illuminate when contact is broken between the ball and the stump. Even though there is room for more improvement, this invention has helped reduce uncertainty. Otherwise known as smart bails, this invention is essential in analyzing run-outs and stumping by the third umpire. Apart from these crucial applications, it is also visually satisfying to see an illuminated ball fly across the field when watching the game at night.
Cricket Umpire Counter (CUC) is a device designed to fit in one's hand and used by umpires to keep track of numerical occurrences. It contains separate counters to help them keep track of metrics such as deliveries, overs and wickets.
Bird’s eye view
Spidercam designed a camera that can move vertically and horizontally along rotary axes, which are suspended from Kevlar cables. These cables are operated by the use of winches, positioned on the four corners of the stadium and allow the camera to provide a bird's eye view. The audience can comfortably see everything happening during the game, and the commentaries become even more enjoyable.
Thanks to technology, the gaming quality has been dramatically improved, and cricket fans can keep up with all the action on the pitch. Ambiguity has also significantly been reduced, making cricket more credible over the years.The experience is getting better for the fan, and the future is even brighter as new tech takes center stage.