Cricket’s demands on technology today are vastly different from those of the past. At the turn of the century, the main focus of tech companies was on broadcasting and expanding the sport’s popularity with more countries, more players, more games, more fans…
The first ever radio commentary on Cricket was broadcast in 1922 from Australia, broadcasting an Australian domestic match at the Sydney Cricket Ground. The first broadcasting of Cricket on television was first broadcast in 1938 for the match played in the Lord’s cricket ground in England and Australia.
The broadcast transmission was via Alexandra Palace in North England, and the signal was accessible only for a 20-kilometer range.
The increase was exponential from then on. About 1.6 billion viewers were believed to have watched the live broadcast of the ICC’s Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019.
Now technology has more options as you can Live Stream your Cricket match with CricHeroes and broadcast it on Youtube for your followers.
An interesting fact: The first international one-day game was played in 1971 against England and Australia to entertain the crowd after the initial three days of the match were washed away due to the rain. The format enthralled the crowd, and that’s why the limited-overs were introduced.
Today, Cricket has become one of the sports that most people watch, just after soccer. The cricket technology focus during the 20th century moved to increase the involvement of the fans of the sport – giving a more enjoyable experience by making the sport more authentic, interactive and engaging for the fans.
We will look at a number of the latest technologies to improve the fan experience.
To make the game more plausible:
Credibility is an essential factor in keeping the attention of the fans. Umpiring mistakes, especially howlers, are often subject to harsh criticism from players and spectators on both the physical and online media.
Certain errors can alter the course of play completely. The Umpire Decision Review System (DRS), commonly used in conjunction with the technologies discussed below, was introduced to fill in some shortcomings in the decision-making of umpires.
Snicko or Edge detection:
Realtime Snicko (from BBG Sports) or UltraEdge (from Hawk-Eye’s innovations) is based on the principle of sound frequency to determine whether the ball contacted the bat before being tipped from the team fielding. It utilizes an extremely sensitive stump microphone linked to an oscilloscope to allow measuring the sound waves.
These sound waves were removed to reduce background noise, then synchronized with video signals and played together with the slow-mo footage to allow the third umpire to make a decision.
Hot Spot :
The method introduced by BBG sports to Cricket in 2006. Ashes series utilizes two infrared cameras at opposite ends of the field close to the sight screen and with an excellent image of the player.
If the ball strikes any of the batsman’s equipment, the ball generates heat locally to the area because of friction between objects, and the area appears as an area of white in the infrared picture. In the light of an analysis made by the infrared images, the third umpire comes to a decision – Out or Not Out!
Ball tracking by Hawk-eye Innovations employs six cameras positioned around the ground at specific points to track the entire course of the ball, starting from the bowler’s hand and coming to a stop at intervals of one-hundredth of a second.
The ball is located in the pictures, and its position relative to the ground is calculated using triangulation which is then synchronized to produce 3D images with ball trajectory prediction, which is used to analyze umpires and spectators.
Close LBW calls can be assessed using Hawk-eye visualizations. Images from the camera are also used to show the pitch map of the ball and information about the wagon wheel.
The Smart Bails:
LED bails were introduced to Cricket by a firm named Zing Bails in the year 2013. The idea was to allow the bails to glow when they are successfully removed from stumps. They are fitted with a microprocessor that detects broken contact between the stumps and the bails. They are powered by a low voltage battery, which is illuminated in 1/10th of one second.
The third umpire rapidly analyzes run-outs and stumpings. The LED lights provide spectators entertainment, particularly when games are played in the evening. With the advancement of cameras and stump lighting, there is an ever-growing debate over the need for bails in the game.
Making the game more interactive and enjoyable
View from the bird’s eye:
Spidercam, designed by an organization called Spidercam GmbH, uses cameras that move across all 3 axes: vertical, horizontal, and in the rotation of the axis. It gives a bird’s-eye perspective of the game at angles not seen by broadcasting cameras.
Cameras are suspended by using Kevlar cables, which are controlled by motorized winches on four roof corners surrounding the stadium. The Spidercam pilot manages the camera via a computer, and the commands are sent to the camera using fiber optic cables connected with Kevlar cables.
With Spidercam, you can even watch the usual routines like the bowler’s run-up batters taking guard fielders aligning to places, etc., are enhanced for viewing by the public and commentary.
Drone camera made by Batcam, a Batcam Company Batcam was utilized in the ICC Men’s World Cup 2019. The cameras offered 360-degree viewing angles and were utilized to record images from the ground to the skyline. The camera was remotely controlled and came with automatic collision avoidance systems.
Game and Player Graphics:
3D graphics and animations have added a fun element to the method by which data is analyzed and presented to the public. There are plenty of companies operating in both the graphic and analytics space.
3D models of the players presented during the game, and post-match broadcasts are intriguing ways to see the team and players’ ability, tactics and performance.
Power Shot Analysis:
PowerBar technology developed from Spektacom gives real-time feedback on the performance of the batting that includes data on the bat’s speed, its direction of impact, angle of launch, twist, and the strength behind every shot.
It uses ultra-light, non-obtrusive sensors behind the bat to calculate its metrics using machine-learning algorithms. The results are broadcast in real-time, and the public can know the scientific basis behind power hitting.