Technology has driven Sport in the Modern era and Cricket is no different. The international cricket organizers are taking revolutionary steps to introduce technological advancement in the sports in order to boost the interest of the audience and bring more attraction to the game. In this post, you will know such top ten technological advancements applied in modern cricket nowadays!
Here are the top ten technological advancements applied in modern cricket nowadays :
1: LED Stumps and Bails
With conventional bails, it is difficult for the umpire to tell when the bail is ‘completely dislodged’. A bail is only ‘completely dislodged’ from a wicket when BOTH spigots have separated from their stump grooves.
Bronte EcKermann, an Australian mechanical industrial designer along with South Australian manufacturer Zing International developed the Zing Wicket System which means glowing LED stumps and bails. Using LED technology, the Bail glows once the ball struck the wicket/bail or the wicketkeeper whips off the bails.
The Zing Wicket system has sensors in the bails and stumps that can determine the impact within 1/1000th of a second. With a $40,000 worth of patented technology, it is quite an expensive piece of equipment at the moment and would restrict the players from taking the stumps as a souvenir after winning the match.
2: Bowling Machine
A bowling machine is a device which enables a batsman to practice (usually in the nets) and to expertise specific skills through repetition of the ball being bowled at a certain length, line and speed. It can also be used when there is no-one available to bowl, or no one of the desired style or standard.
The main mechanism of the machine consists of two heavy wheels, each driven by its own electric motor. These are mounted in a frame such that the wheels are in the same plane. A ball joint allows the machine a wide range of movement. The whole assembly is mounted on a sturdy tripod or other frames so that the plane of the wheels is roughly at the height that a typical bowler would release the ball. A chute delivers the ball between the wheels, protecting the coach’s hands.
3: Flying Cameras (Spidercam and Dronecam)
The trademarked term for the flying cameras is the Spidercam and Dronecam. These cameras provide a unique angular view of the matches to the viewers.
The Spidercam is a system that enables the cameras to move both vertically and horizontally over a defined area i.e. the Cricket ground. It is operated using four motorized winches positioned at each corner of the ground. Each winch is controlled using a Kevlar cable connected to a gyro-stabilized camera-carrier. This system is controlled through software and enables the camera to literally reach each and every corner of the ground as defined in its 3-dimensional coverage area.
Whereas drone cameras are used to capture a unique perspective of the game, including the aerial perspective of the majestic cricket stadiums from above. And also it is used for advanced pitch analysis before every game. The Intel Falcon 8 Drone is an advanced, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) designed for professional use. It can get 180-degree, unobstructed views, and excellent stability with the unique patented V-shaped design.
4: Stump Camera
In order to provide a more in-depth experience to the viewers, the Stump cameras are utilized to closely cover the game happening in the ground. The Stump Camera is a small TV camera stuffed inside a hollow stump. The camera gets aligned vertically the camera view through a small window on the side of the stump via a mirror. These small cameras are hidden inside the stumps at both ends providing a unique angle (for ex: view of a batsman gets bowled) to viewers.
5: Ball Spin RPM/ Rev Counter
The ball spin RPM (revolutions per minute) counter provides the rate of spin of a ball after it is released. This technology is also used to show the rotation speed of the ball. It is able to measure the components of sidespin and top-or-backspin once the ball is off the pitch. The RPM counter is a critically important development to estimate the skills and abilities of the spinners as the speed gun was developed for the Pacers. This technology is able to demonstrate how fast the ball is spinning after release.
6: Super Slow Motion
This technology involves the use of a high-speed camera which captures live footage and then reproduces it in super slow motion format. Ultra motion cameras are used for capturing clip in slow motion to help the Third umpires. The third umpire has got to TV replays of certain situations (such as disputed catches, run outs and boundaries) to advise the central umpires and hence makes use of the slow-motion clip. These cameras are usually used for judging runouts.
7: Super Sopper
In order to have the optimum conditions for playing cricket, the ground needs to be dry. If there has been a lot of rain before the match is due to start then the match may need to be postponed or even canceled altogether. The super-sopper is a machine that helps to extract water from the ground meaning that it will dry quicker. Depending on the amount of rainfall that has taken place, this machine can be used to make sure that the ground is dry enough to play on. It can also be used during the match if rain has stopped play to try and get things up and running again.
8: Ball Tracking System or Hawkeye
Developed by Dr. Paul Hawkins from the UK, the Ball Tracking System or Hawkeye was originally implemented in 2001 for making the television broadcast more interactive. In cricket, it is the most extensively used technology by the broadcasters to provide another perspective view for the Leg Before Wicket (LBW) appeals to the commentators and viewers. It is also implemented in the Umpire Decision Review System.
This technology works via six or seven powerful cameras, normally positioned on the underside of the stadium roof, which track the ball from different angles. The video from the six cameras is then triangulated and combined to create a three-dimensional representation of the trajectory of the ball. Hawk-Eye is not infallible and is accurate to within 5mm (0.19-inch) but is generally trusted as an impartial second opinion in Cricket.
9: Pitch Vision
PitchVision is a state of the art cricket performance technology for players of all levels, from grass root to professional. Developed by miSport, a UK-based company, the technology has been widely used in the Cricket training system. Priced almost 2/3rd of a bowling machine, the technology helps bowlers to measure and record bowlers pace, line, length, deviation, bounce and foot position on bowling crease ball by ball. The technology is able to show the map of bowler’s line and length.
It also helps the batsman to see whether their shots would have pierced the field, identify which specific deliveries get you in trouble, compare performance against different bowlers, bat in real game scenarios against real field placements, see a ‘Wagon Wheel’ of shots from the session and confirm whether the batsman is constantly getting to the pitch of the ball.
10: Hot Spot
Hotspot is an infra-red imaging system used to determine where the ball has struck before going to the fielder. It uses two infra-red cameras positioned at either end of the ground. These cameras sense and measure heat from friction generated by a collision, such as a ball on pad, ball on bat, ball on ground or ball on glove. Using a subtraction technique, a series of black-and-white negative frames is generated into a computer, precisely localizing the ball’s point of contact.
The Snickometer was not considered as accurate enough, hence the Hot Spot was introduced to Cricket. It is substantially helpful in judging the slightest edges and close bat-pad LBW shouts. Although it provides highly accurate results, the technology is not widely implemented in Cricket due to the expensive and sensitive equipment. India does not favor it as its effect can be nullified using Vaseline.