The demands of Cricket in terms of technology in the 21st century are significantly different from the requirements of the previous era. Furthermore, the only target for these tech companies was to broadcast and increase the sport’s reach to more countries, hence, promoting more audiences.
The first-ever commentary on Cricket started in 1922 in Australia on the radio. The commentary covered a domestic game at the Sydney Cricket Ground. The first TV broadcasting of the sport happened in 1938, for the match played at the Lord’s between England and Australia.
Therefore, the range of the signal came to only 20kms. In today’s time, Cricket is the most-watched sport, after football(soccer). The focus of technology for Cricket in the 21st century has taken a shift towards improving the fan engagement of the sport. Furthermore, it will enable a better experience by making Cricket more credible, connected, and enjoyable for everyone in the world. Credibility plays an essential role in the recurring engagement of the fans. Both on the online and offline platforms, decisions, especially umpiring errors, get heavy criticism by netizens and fans all over the world.
Today we talk about several technological advances in the field of Cricket. These said advances have made a huge difference in the game. They have also enabled another whole level of fair play in the game. These technologies help the umpires in declaring a better and fair decision during the game.
1. Hot Spot
This particular technology came to the sport by BBG sports during the 2006 Ashes series. Hot Spot uses two infrared cameras placed on opposite sides on the ground, near the sightscreen, with a transparent view of the batsman. As the ball hits the batsman anywhere, it creates a heat spot. Therefore, the region displays as a white spot on the infrared image screen. The infrared image screen is a black and white live image. The heat signatures highlight by the white color, which makes it easy to track on the black picture. Furthermore, this software helps the game be even more fair, considering that it will help the umpire come to a fair and just decision.
2. Snicko Or Edge detection
Real-time Snicko (from BBG Sports) or UltraEdge (from Hawk-Eye innovations) operates on the basis of sound frequencies to assess whether the ball nicked the bat before going into the fielder’s hands. It uses a high-sensitivity stump microphone connected to an oscilloscope for acoustic wave analysis. The sound waves are then filtered for ambient noise, synchronized with video signals, and played alongside the slow-motion video for the third umpire to finally make a call for the umpire on the field. Furthermore, this software helps the umpires in making a call for the edge and caught situation. When the umpire is uncertain whether the ball hit the edge of the bat slightly, the third umpire uses this software to review the call. The sound waves tracked by the sensors near the stumps show an apparent hit or miss of the edge of the bat. This further results in the Out or Not-Out decision.
3. Smart Bails
Zing bails introduced LED bails to Cricket in 2013. The concept behind this is to design form the bails to glow on after they dislodge from the stumps. The bails consist of a microprocessor that detects the contact getting lost between the stumps and the bails. The bails get their power from a coffee voltage battery that illuminates within 1/1000th of a second. The smart bails are very innovative. But, at the same time, they are an attraction as well. The fans who are sitting high up in the stands can easily see the wickets flying because of these LED bails. They look pretty and have a pretty generous cost as well. When triggered, these smart bails light up with red color and are very precise.
4. Ball Tracking
Ball tracking is a technology by Hawk-eye innovations. The ball-tracking technology uses six cameras placed around the ground in specific locations. This tracks the whole trajectory of the ball – from the bowler’s hand to prevent at intervals of 1/100th of a second. The ball finds its identification in the images. Furthermore, its position from the bottom is calculated through a triangulation method. Therefore the images are then synchronized to make a 3D visualization with ball path prediction, to be utilized in the analysis by the umpires and viewers. Ball tracking comes in as a great help for when a review is going on. This software helps the third umpire to get to a solid decision on the leg before the wicket call. Furthermore, it promotes fair play too.
5. Power Shot Analysis
PowerBat technology, by Spektacom, shows the real-time feedback on the performance, including information on bat speed, impact location, twist, launch angle, and therefore the power behind every shot played by the batter. Furthermore, it uses super-lightweight unobtrusive sensors placed behind the bat to analyze the batting statistics using machine learning algorithms. Then it broadcasts to the audience all over the world. This way, the audience can now understand the science behind power hitting. The power shot helps the audience know the speed at which the bat was swinging. Furthermore, the force with which the ball gets hit displays clearly as well.
In conclusion, there is no doubt that the technological advances in the field of Cricket have helped the sport adapt to the growing trends in the world. This aforementioned technological software introduced to the field of Cricket is no less than a boon to the sport. They rigidly support fair play and help the umpires to make a fair and just call during the game.