On November the 14th 1992, Sachin Tendulkar became the first cricketer to be given run-out by the third umpire. This was a game-changing moment in the sport as it was the very first time that technology played such a big role in dismissing a player. In terms of technological advances, the sport has come a long way, and in this article we are going to take a look at some of the technology that has made cricket more entertaining and competitive.
LED Stumps and Bails
The flashing stumps and zing bails grabbed a lot of attention when there were used for the very first time in the 2012 Big Bash League. They were used for the first time at an ICC event during the semi-finals and the final of the U19 Cricket World Cup in 2014. When the bails are knocked out the stumps, the lights flash, meaning that there will not be any confusion as to whether the bails have been removed and the player is out. Also, the flashing lights mean that it will be easier for the fans in the crowd to see that the bails have been dislodged and that the batsman is out.
Hawkeye was used for the first time by Channel 4 in a Test match that saw England take on Pakistan at Lord’s in 2001. At the time, it was used mainly to track the trajectory of the ball. The ball’s path is tracked by six different cameras that are positioned all around the ground. The footage that these cameras pick up are triangulated and used to develop a 3D image. This technology is really useful since it helps the umpire to project where about the ball pitched, the impact in relation to the batsman’s leg, and whether the ball would go on to hit the stumps.
The Radar Gun, also called the Speed Gun, is used to measure the bowler’s bowling speed, which is pretty much the same as measuring the speed that a car is going. The radar gun has a receiver and transmitter, and a radio wave reflects off the moving object, which is the cricket ball in this case, and is detected by the Radar Gun that uses the Doppler Shift principle to measure how fast the ball is going. The fastest ball ever bowled in a cricket match was produced by Shoaib Akhtar, who bowled a delivery that was clocked at 161.3 km/h. Australia’s Brett Lee and Shaun Tait are not too far behind the legendary Pakistan bowler, having once bowled a ball at a speed of 161.1 km/h.
Decision Review System
The DRS, as it is commonly called, is used to help umpires with their decisions. The main elements of this technology are television replays, a ball tracker that predicts where the ball would have hit, a microphone that picks up small sounds as the ball hits the pad or bad, and infra-red technology that detects temperature changes when the ball hits the pad or bat. In cricket games, each team gets several reviews that they can use if they think that the umpire has made a wrong decision. It will then be sent to the third umpire, and he will then use this technology to check whether the right or wrong decision was made.
Now, if there is a poor decision from the umpire, whether that is in favour of the batting or bowling side, it can be reviewed, and the correct decision made.
This floating camera that is suspended high above the field on a winch and cable system can move horizontally and can zoom in on a batsman to capture his delight or anguish, depending on the match situation. It can also give us a bird’s eye view of the game. This technology helps the umpires by giving them various angles that they can use so that they can sure that they are making the right decision, especially when it comes to run-outs, which can sometimes be in or out by a matter of millimeters.
Sometimes it will be clear as to whether the ball has hit the bat or the pads, and this is where Snickometer comes into play. With this technology, the third umpire will slow down the footage and then watch as the ball passes the bat to see if a spike appears on the snicko graph as the ball passes the bat. If it does, then it is adjudged that the batsman has nicked the ball and he will be given out and will have to make his way back to the pavillion.
Many did not think that Snicko was accurate enough, so Hot Spot was introduced to cricket. This is an infra-red imaging system that is used to determine where the ball has hit before it has gone to fielder. The infra-red technology shows a bright white spot where the ball has hit and this spot is generated by heat friction when the ball collides with the pad, bat, glove, or anything else.
Cricket is a sport that cannot be played in the rain or in wet conditions – this because when the ball gets too wet it becomes much harder for the bowler to grip and things can even become a bit dangerous. If the outfield is soaked because of a heavy downpour there is a chance that the match will be postponed or cancelled completely. When the outfield is wet, the Super Sopper is used to extract water from the surface, meaning that the outfield will dry much quicker.
This technology is used widely in cricket training systems. It is a sensor and video-based piece of technology that helps coaches judge how well batters and bowlers are playing in the nets, and whether there are any flaws in their techniques that they need to fix. Cricket is a game where even the smallest of flaws can be ruthlessly punished by opposing players, so it is vital that any flaws are fixed as quickly as possible.
Anil Kumble, in October 2018, became the ambassador for Spektacom, which is a sensor sticker that batsmen put on the back of their bat, and it measures how good the batsman’s shot is using cloud analytics and wireless sensor technology. The data can then be analysed by the batsman to give them continuous feedback.
To Wrap It Up
There will always be a debate as to what extent technology is needed in sport. One of the main reasons why people oppose using technology is the loss of jobs, and this is not a fear that only applies to the sporting world. However, what we should take into consideration is that none of the technology that we mentioned above have completely replaced the umpires. On the other hand, they have certainly decreased the number of umpiring errors in the game. This improvement in technology has completely changed the way cricket is played, how the umpires officiate, and how players perform. There have even been a number of technical broadcasting innovations in 2021 that improve the viewing experience for the cricket fans watching from home, via live streaming on the best betting sites for cricket.
In this technological era, technology plays an important part in all industries, and if we want to progress, then we must use it.