Cricket, as we know is more like a religion than anything else here! Everything comes to a standstill when arch rivals meet, which has to be without any doubt India Vs Pakistan.
Australia Vs New Zealand and of course England Vs Australia entices the audiences just as much as well. They are all the same, the fans, all over the world. The crazy breed. Crying or leaping with joy, sending crazy selfies from the stadiums or unbelievable forwards on WhatsApp; same insanity all over.
And when the ICC Twenty20 World Cup is in progress, madness has to be in the air. So, when the fans do their stuff, curiosity gets the better of me and since there is no way I can ever understand the difference between a leg-side and off-side or comprehend how and what is LBW. And the worst is the Duckworth Louis formula when it rains. How I hate these over intelligent men who complicate matters so much that I wish there is an earthquake too along with all of the watershed to finish the story once and for all.
Amidst all these difficult things, I get cracking on stuff which makes sense to me better, besides of course all the great looking guys on the field from all over the globe!!
The World of Data & Analytics in Cricket
They say, wars are fought on desks first and then it goes to the battle field. True that! More than 50-60 years’ worth of recorded data in cricket, I assume; put to use intelligently to strategize play before facing the opponents on the field.
Technology warfare comes to cricket too!
Analyzing the moves of the players, predicting what is about to happen next and combining with intuition have led teams to victories.
Big Data in Cricket
Cricket is a game where players from 10 full time countries and 96 part time countries participate. ICC T20 World Cup is the most awaited event for all these players. Cricket is a professional sport for the past 160 years. Everyday data is being generated in cricket. Ball by ball data of around 531253 players in 540290 different cricket matches across the world.
This is a lot of data available to predict the accuracy of each player’s next movie perfectly.
Analytics in Cricket
Analytics has a major role to play in cricket. As cricket is a sport where lot of data is generated every game, Analysts come up with Dashboards and reports for teams strategize against a team. An analysis of the opponent team’s strengths and weaknesses, how they score runs, what mistakes they make and the stronger points and the weaker breaches.
Ending the Disputes in Cricket
Most of these techniques; what I make out evolved to capture the on goings, one way or the other, basically to come as a helping hand in case of disputes between the teams. Cool and cooler they get every passing year!
The Third Umpire
Wireless communication at its best. Our third man sits away from the field, I suppose to avoid pressure from the eyes of the handsome men on the green and is a savior of sorts when both the men in black on the field are at a loss of words or are challenged by the Decision Review System.
Tracking the Ball
It is a computer system that shows the path of a cricket ball. It is a commonly used tool for cricket commentators. It is in use as a part of the DRS for adjudicating Leg Before Wicket decisions. It was first introduced in 2001.
Super intelligent stuff. A 3D representation of the trajectory of the ball. Enhancing what you see on the screen, following the path of the ball as a stroke of a brush painting the journey of the ball from the bowler’s hand to the man on the crease.
It is used to predict the way the ball would be delivered by the opponent bowlers.
This technology is used to review if the ball has hit the bat, mainly when there is a small nick.
The infrared imaging system to review if the ball has hit the bat or not, especially when there is a small nick.
If the ball makes any contact with the bat, it generates a small amount of heat. Hot Spot uses infra-red cameras to sense and measure this heat. Ball on Pad, Ball on Bat, Ball on ground or Ball on Gloves can be confirmed using this technology.
Stumps To the Rescue !
The stumps and bails with LED lights flashing when the ball hits them is an aid to the umpires mostly when the batsman is being stumped out or it is the case of run-out. The bails and stumps fitted with microprocessor, a low voltage battery and a sensor are instrumental in detecting the contact with ball with in 1/1000th of a second. Cool is the word!
Straight out of a 007 movie, this small microphone is literally sneaked into one of the stumps to make sure if the ball touched the bat or not. Vital information to decide the fate of the batsman especially when the ball lands in the hands of the keeper!
Measuring the Speed of the Ball
Ball Spin RPM
This technology shows how fast the ball was spinning after its release from bowler’s hand. It was first introduced by Sky sports for 2013 Ashes series.
This is the technology to show the spin speed of the ball once released from the bowler’s hand.
Borrowed from tennis, this technique uses a Doppler radar to determine the speed of a ball leaving the bowler’s hands. This gun is located near the sight screen and uses microwave technology. Throwing a beam across the pitch that detects the movements of the ball the gun determines the speed of the ball by co-relating the speed of movement.
Light, Camera, Action
This is as crazy as it gets. They are transitioning from human umpires to the robotic ones I suspect. Whoever likes to see an umpire resembling a scuba diver? The battery pack is on the umpire’s back and a freaky strap running across his shoulder keeping the cameras, batteries and the radio devices connected together.
The spider is an inspiration to many. Starting from the friendly neighborhood guy to the Spider CAM on the cricket ground, this not only looks insane but also creepy. What is the need to record so much from all these angles this piece of technology is geared up to?
The expert moves the remote head with camera inside it to any position wanted using gyro-stabilized carrier. These cameras pan, tilt, zoom and focus according to the conditions. The Kevlar cable have fiber optic cables within and carry the streaming from the camera to the production room.
Another technique to put an end to disputes. Broadcasters use this technology to show replays in slow motion. First introduced in 2005, this technique records videos in slow motion with special slow motion cameras placed all around the stadium. These cameras record the match at 500 fps as compared to normal ones which are capable of recording the match at 24fps.
Really bowled over by all these techniques, and I know most of the super crazy fans have not even noticed these as yet. And I still struggle with the game as ever!
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