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How Will the Introduction of Technology in Cricket Change Its Broadcasting?



 



Life in the 21st century is dotted by new technological advancements which have altered the way we live our daily lives. From the way we run our errands and do house chores to how we coordinate at work and even the way we socialize; everything has been transformed into an entirely new light with technology.

The world of sports hasn’t been far behind in incorporating these technological features to improve the viewer experience.Cricket has been exceptionally up-to-date with new features and devices meant to improve broadcasting and increase the fairness of the game by helping umpires make more informed decisions.

The days of greyscale telecasting and helmets without proper grills are far behind us; instead, the cricket experience has been highly elevated for the players and viewers both. With the gentleman’s game gaining more and more popularity each year, there has been a need to improve broadcasting and ensure matches can be televised across the globe.

In 2019’s ICC World Cup, over 1.6 billion people watched the live coverage, sitting on their seat’s edge over every exciting ball. This has only been possible through improved technology that has made the game more credible and connectable.

So, let’s look at the technology that has come together to make our favourite sport even better. Here is how the introduction of technology in cricket has changed its broadcasting and impacted the overall game.

1.     Snicko

The Snickometer, also called edge detector, works using sound frequencies to detect if the ball has touched the bat before being caught by the wicketkeeper. It is a carefully designed analysis system that uses audio and video while broadcasting to identify any ‘snicks’.

The sound waves produced by a snick are caught by the highly sensitive mic, as they cause a sharp and sudden increase in the frequency. On the other hand, if the ball just made contact with the batsman’s gear, the waves are flatter.

Along with the audio, viewers and umpires can see a slow-mo video of the batsman

n’s movement as well. Hence, the third umpire can tell the difference and can determine whether it’s an out or not.

2.     Hotspot

Introduced to cricket in 2006, the hotspot technology uses infrared cameras that are situated on opposite sides of the ground, parallel to the batsman.

When a ball is delivered, these cameras detect the difference in heat produced as a result of friction against the bat or the batsman’s pad. This makes it easier for umpires to determine whether the batsman has been lbw-ed or not.

3.     Ball Tracking System

Ball tracking through hawk-eye technology utilizes six different cameras that are carefully situated across the ground to show viewers a detailed view of the ball’s trajectory. These cameras take snapshots at 1/100thof a second intervals, and the triangulation method is used to make 3D projections of the path the ball would take.

These images are compiled and viewed by the umpires and viewers in the form of a ball pitch map with complete wagon wheel information about each ball’s specifications.

4.     LED Lightened Wickets

This piece of technology was perhaps one of the most entertaining additions to the broadcasting of cricket globally. The bails of the wicket have a microprocessor installed that has sensors to detect when there is contact lost from the stumps.

The microprocessor then illuminated the LED lights placed on the bails, which are powered by low voltage batteries. Hence, run-outs and stumpings are easily detected by the third umpire, and the viewers get to enjoy a lit-up show, especially during the evening and night games.

5.     Spidercam

Who doesn’t love watching the spidercam swooshing across the fields, capturing each ball at close-up angles and giving viewers a truly enhanced broadcasting experience?

These cams move about on three axes, horizontal, rotary and vertical, for an excellent birds-eye view of the game. Suspended on ultra-strong Kevlar cables, the spidercams are operated with winches installed in four roof corners of the stadium.

It runs on special software and is controlled by expert videographers that give viewers the chance to watch their favorite players get ready in the dressing rooms, experience the bowler’s run-up and even see the teams align, right before a match.

6.     Game Graphics

We often come across people who previously wrote cricket off as dull, now actively sit through one-day matches and watch each ball without blinking. That is the magical effect of the added 3D graphics and animations in cricket broadcasting.

The graphics add on a whole new level of excitement to the match by allowing better viewer analysis and showing 3D models and predictions of different players’ performances. It’s an exciting way of watching the skills and tactics being applied by team captains as they strive to win the match.

7.     Powershot Analysis

Spektacom released a new PowerBat technology that offers viewers live feedback on the performance of each batsman. The technology collects data about batting speed, launch angle, impact locations and even the power used to make each shot.

By using ultra-lightweight sensors carefully placed behind the bat, this technology computes various batting metrics and pairs them up with advanced machine-learning algorithms. All of this combines to offer the audience a highly advanced outlook on the science of power hitting. They can now understand how the batsman managed to make that huge sixer, right out of the stadium.

At the End

Like most other sources of entertainment, cricket has also been highly improved by the incorporation of technology. Not only has it enhanced the viewer experience and allowed them to see the match up-close, even from their homes across the world, it has also allowed umpires to be fairer and judge the match accurately.

Moreover, cricketers have been using biodegradable paint to label the infield and outfield marks and trying to integrate more eco-friendly practices into the game. That's how we know this beloved sport is headed in the right direction for the future.

 

 


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