“No dream is ever chased alone.”
- Rahul Dravid
It is evident from the above quote that no one can achieve any goal in isolation. In the game of cricket, apart from players and coaches or commentators, technology in cricket has an integral role to play.
Technology has seamlessly merged into the game of cricket. From managing competition and a database of cricketers, technology has influenced cricket coaching to viewership around the world. As a result, there is a paradigm shift in technological focus from broadcasting to game play and decision-making.
For instance, advancements in cricket technology have empowered coaches to maximize the potential of their players and teams. This has not only benefited the players but also provided spectators with a captivating and exhilarating viewing experience.
How has technology in cricket changed the game?
Hail with applause to the new technology in cricket that took the game of cricket beyond the alleys of England.
Technology in cricket played a remarkable role to establish the credibility of sport beyond the alleys of England and touched the lives of more than 1 billion cricket spectators around the world.
Which Technology is Used in Cricket?
Technological advancements like hawk eye technology and third umpire technology in cricket make the process of decision-making simpler on the other side, tools like cricket bat sensors or ball spin RPM enhance the playing techniques and analytics of cricket for the better.
How Does Cricket Technology Work?
Each technological advancement in cricket is based on specific scientific principles. The game now utilizes tools and techniques from IoT (Internet of Things), ML (Machine Learning), AI (Artificial Intelligence), infrared technology, and various other scientific disciplines to enhance accuracy in both playing and viewing experiences."
It should be noted that while these technologies are used, their implementation varies. For example, AI and ML might be used for player performance analytics or predicting match outcomes, while infrared technology is used in tools like the ball-tracking system
Curious about the latest technological advancements in cricket and their impact on the game? This blog has got you covered. Dive in as we delve into the innovations that are taking cricket to unparalleled heights.
Evolution of Technology in Cricket Over the Years (Till 2023)
If we divide technological changes into two segments, we can claim that the 20th century belonged to broadcasting or commentary advancement and the 21st century to coaching techniques and analytical advancements.
Between the 30s to ’80s majorly technology was used to take the game of cricket closer to spectators. As television was a luxury in those days, the main focus was on radio commentary. But soon television broadcasting of cricket came into trend and special commentary rooms were set up for spectators.
Let’s move on to cover the astounding technological advancement in cricket till 2023.
1. Fergie's wagon wheel (First Technology in Cricket– Early 20 Century)
More than 100 years ago, an Australian clerk known as Fergie created a wagon wheel to show the batting innings of the batter’s scoreboard. More than a century has passed but still, the wagon wheel holds special importance in the game of cricket.
Spectators can witness the graphical representation of batting shots on tv screens, with time these representations took a three-dimensional graphical representation, but without a second thought, it gives an in-depth insight into the batter’s flexibility to score multi-dimensional cricket shots.
2. The Bowling Machine(1985)
The bowling machine was invented by Michael Stuart in 1985 with the purpose of batting training. The bowling machine opened the doors of innovations in the field of coaching. This machine can replicate the spin and swing bowling styles of bowlers. Based on the rifling theory of sidespin, the bowling machine uses two spinning wheels and one barrel that bowls sidespin.
Soon new features were added to this machine and paired with a remote control system to facilitate coaches to keep track of the batting skill of batters for the leg break and off-break deliveries. This machine can add variations in ball speed and add swing by keeping seam orientations like real bowlers.
Many readers might have experienced the technology used in cricket at clubs or play zones, where they've had the chance to face deliveries mimicking the styles of fast and spin professional bowlers from around the world.
3. Snickometer - ultraedge (1990)
Often referred to as sniko, the Snickometer was invented by the British computer scientist Allan Plaskett in the ’90s. Snickometer empowers third umpires to take complex decisions on catches and LBW appeals. The sound of a bat hitting the ball is shown in the form of a spike on a graph.
Snick-o-meter is an unbeatable technological advancement that remains in widespread use. In the snickometer system, a microphone is installed on the stumps. When the ball makes contact with the bat, the impact duration is brief, producing a distinct sound frequency. However, if the ball touches the gloves or pads, it results in different sound frequencies.
After synchronization, the microphone captures these sound waves and amplifies them in conjunction with slow-motion cameras, which are then depicted as spikes on graphs. This graphical representation of sound waves verifies whether the ball has made contact with the bat. The presence and detailed analysis of these spikes assist the third umpire in making a conclusive decision on screen
4. Stump Mic & Camera (mid of 1990)
A stump mic and camera are also very useful tools to confirm dismissals. Two micro cameras are inserted into the hollow part of the stamps that captures the front and back area of the stumps. These cameras are connected with underground wires to transmit the data to pc or broadcasters. It provides useful information about the quality of cricket shots, foot movement of batters, and dismissals by stumping, run-outs, or close catches.
5. Third Umpire (1992)
The Sri Lankan team first conceptualized the third umpire technology in cricket in the year 1992 during domestic cricket matches. The third umpire is an off-field umpire and his role is to assist on-field umpires in the case of doubt. The third umpire has the leverage of various screen and replay tools that can help on-field umpires pass a verdict more scientifically and practically. It would be interesting to mention that Sachin Tendulkar was the first victim of the third umpire system who was declared run out by Karl Liebenberg
6. Speed gun (1999)
The speed gun or Radar Gun was first introduced in 1999 with the motive of knowing the speed of the bowlers. This gun works on a similar principle to that of a car speed radar, mainly used by traffic police on roads to know the speed of moving vehicles. It supports the principle of Doppler shift and confirms the speed of bowling delivery by the bowler. The main aim of introducing the speed gun was to know the speed of fast bowlers and facilitate them with the speed of their deliveries.
7. HawkEye - Ball Tracking System (2001)
Hawk-Eye technology in cricket was developed in 2001 by British national Dr. Paul Hawkins to make television broadcasting more interactive. Multiple cameras are placed under the roof of the stadium to capture the ball from different angles, videos of six cameras are combined and a three-dimensional video is created.
The help of Hawk’s eye technology is generally taken for the second opinion, to know the line and length of the ball delivered, the bowling delivery’s impact with the position of the batter’s leg, and the projection of ball movement beyond. With Hawk’s eye view, the third umpire can view deliveries bowled and their impact from various angles, this improves decision-making.
8. Spidercam (2004)
Like Hawk-eye, spider cam is also used in many sports. It is a rotating camera that is built on winch and cable systems. Spidercam can move vertically and horizontally in all dimensions of the cricket ground to give a bird’s eye view of the cricket ground along with a zooming view of the cricket pitch. There are many uses of spider cam starting from assisting third umpires with 3D ground data to confirming run-out decisions and showing the anguish of batters in case of dismissals. Spidercam makes video delivery of entire cricket grounds from multiple angles possible.
9. Hotspot Edge Detector (2006)
Many users search, what is hot spot technology in cricket. So Hotspot Edge Detector is the answer. The hotspot is based on an infrared image system. It establishes whether before going to the ball to the fielder it is struck with the bat or not. When the ball hits the bat, glove, or pads of the batter it generates friction. As we know scientifically friction generates heat. Hence with the help of an infrared image system friction is shown as light. This helps the third umpire to know the exact impact of a ball on the batter, thus making the decision easy.
10. Pitch vision (2007)
Pitch vision was developed by a UK-based firm and mainly applied in cricket coaching. This technology helps bowlers to analyze their ball’s length, bounce rate, foot position on crease, or deviation. This technology is a boon for bowlers and improves their overall bowling skills. It helps batters by analyzing their cricket shot variations to different types of bowling lengths.
11. Decision Review System (2008)
DRS is a technology-based system that helps to reach better decision-making by third umpires. Either side of the players gets an opportunity to challenge the decision of the on-field umpire by referring it to the third umpire. This is called a player review that is sought against dismissal. From the bawling side only the captain can ask for review whereas, on the batting side, the striker can demand one. Players get 15 seconds of the window to opt for the review.
With the third umpire technology in cricket, or DRS (Decision Review System), umpires get an immersive view of all angles on the field and leverage technological aids to make better-informed decisions.
12. Led Stumps bails/smart bails(2012)
Developed by Australian mechanical designer Bronte Ec Kermann, bails carry a microsensor that gets lit as the bails or stumps are hit. Led bails are very helpful in runout or stump-out cases.
13. Ball Spin RPM(2013)
Ball spin RPM gives an idea about bowling spin deliveries by spin bowlers. It gives an idea of the spin or turn the ball makes before striking the bat. It gives an insight into the spin quality of the spinners.
14. Cricket Bat Sensor(2018)
The cricket bat sensor is one of the revolutionary technological advancements in cricket about upscaling cricket shots. str8bat launched its first cricket bat sensor in 2018, it helps batters to improve their game play by recording and analyzing the quality of shots. They can share their recording with their coach and can compare their data after a certain interval of time. The statistics and recording of batting data can help batters excel in their game of cricket.
15. Flying Camera/Drone (2019)
Flying cameras or drones help to capture a better 360-degree view of the cricket ground by giving a bird’s eye view of the entire ground. It mainly helps to make the game-watching experience more appealing. It won’t be wrong to consider drones as an extension of technology in cricket as well.
16. Front Foot No Ball Technology (2020)
The International Cricket Council (ICC) first tried this technology during the Women's T20 World Cup held in Australia. Since its successful implementation, the ICC has made it obligatory to utilize this system in all of its major tournaments.
With the aid of the Front Foot No-Ball Technology, on-field umpires receive instantaneous feedback regarding front foot no-balls. Instead of the on-field umpire having to check the bowler's front foot landing position, this task is delegated to the third umpire who monitors it in real-time using the technology. If a no-ball is detected due to a front foot infringement, the third umpire immediately communicates this to the on-field umpire.
This advancement has multiple benefits. Firstly, it ensures more accurate and timely detection of no-balls. Secondly, it allows the on-field umpires to concentrate solely on the batter and bowler, ensuring that they can make better decisions without the added task of monitoring the bowler's front foot. This, in turn, enhances the quality of the game and the accuracy of umpiring decisions.
17. Wearable Sensors for Monitoring Bowling Actions
Enter the new technology: inertial sensors. These are small, lightweight devices that can detect and measure motion. They are similar to the technology found in most modern mobile phones, which can detect the phone's orientation and movement.
When applied to cricket, these sensors can be attached to a bowler's arm without causing any hindrance or discomfort. As the bowler delivers the ball, the sensors can measure the degree of arm bending in real-time. This gives officials an immediate indication of whether a bowler's action might be illegal.
Technology in cricket by 2030: Our Assumptions
Throughout its evolution, cricket has experienced numerous transformations. We are confident cricket technology advancements will benefit everyone who feels a connection to the game.
However not every technology is welcomed by ICC. But still, governing bodies are in a constant bid to improve the various aspects of the game and have time-to-time incorporate the latest technology into the sport.
Are you excited to know what more breathtaking technologies are coming in 2023 or the near future?
Yes!Here are some technologies which are supposed to hit the floor by 2030
- Retractable roof to continue the game of cricket in challenging weather conditions.
- Compression garments, a piece of clothing that provides support to people who have to stand for a long duration or have poor circulation.
- No-ball sensor to avoid no-ball calls that result in adding an extra run to the scoreboard.
- An inertia sensor is an instrument that senses the change in the spatial position of any body part like the wrist, elbow, and shoulder joints to determine the elbow extension and catch the illegal action of the bowler.
- Practice equipment to provide a live match experience to young players while practicing.
The blog will end here but not the list of technology in cricket that will continue to evolve in the future. Change is part of life, whether on-ground or off-ground, as progress is impossible without change!