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Good Innings: How Technology Keeps Making Cricket Smarter

Technology influences every aspect of everyday life, and sports is no exception. Nowhere is this more apparent than in cricket, where accuracy in refereeing and reviewing the match makes each call an umpire makes is a potential game-changer. The seamless integration of kinematics, the scientific study of the movement of objects, into playing, umpiring, and training for the game of cricket, has allowed for unparalleled accuracy in tracking ball and bat movements, in measuring speeds and trajectories, and in replicating ball movements for training purposes. From the early twentieth century to the future, read on to find out more about the vital role of technology in cricket.

Cricket Technology Of The Twentieth Century

The first cricket technology, Fergie’s Wagon Wheel, was invented right here in beautiful Australia. It is a crude graphic representation of batting shots, comparing off-side and leg-side shots. The Bowling Machine was invented in 1985, which used rifle projectile physics to replicate the spin and swing of the ball and is a foundational element of bowling training today.

The snickometer, invented by British computer scientist Allan Plaskett in the late 1990s, comprises a microphone attached to the base of the stump that records the sound of the ball hitting the wicket, providing irrefutable evidence of the exact moment when the bowler scores.

Smart Gear For Accuracy

The craze for ‘smart’ wearable technology also spread to realm of sports. In 2012, proud Aussie engineer Bronte Kermann pioneered ‘smart bails’ fitted with a sensor to detect contact and LEDs to notify players of a strike. 2018 brought us the cricket bat sensor from str8bat, which allows batters to review the strength and quality of their strikes over time.

Training Simulation Technology

Building on the foundations set by the Bowling Machine, Pitch Vision was introduced in 2007 and has become an invaluable analytical tool for coaches and players alike. It utilizes cameras and motion sensors to capture the movements of bowler and batsman and provides users with analysis of every aspect of their performances.

HawkEye technology was pioneered in 2001 by a British engineer, Dr Paul Hawkins. It comprises half a dozen cameras placed at the highest points in the stadium, to provide a composite 3D rendering of any strikes or bowls that the umpire might consult for a second opinion. It’s as sophisticated as the technology used at rush casino and similar state of the art sites.

Measuring Tools

A simple measuring tool that found great success in cricket is the Speed Gun, which measures the speed of bowling using the principles of the Doppler Effect, much like the police scanner from which it originates. It is like the Ball Spin RPM technology introduced in 2013, which added another stratum of data and analysis for players, coaches, and sportscasters.

More recently, HotSpot technology, which uses infrared cameras to measure the energy dispersal of collisions on the pad, was introduced in the late 2000s, due to some dissatisfaction with the snickometer technology, which cannot detect the difference between a ball hitting the bat or pad of the batsman and can be critical in determining LBW calls.

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