Cricket has changed dramatically since the first official match in 1877, and technology played a significant role in this revolution. Duckworth Lewis, Ultra-edge, Spidercam, Hawk-eye, Snickometer, LED bails, instant feedback; a long list of technology has been introduced recently to improve the cricket experience for players as well as their fans.
5 Incredible Technologies that Revolutionized the Game of Cricket
The 21st-century fans have the luxury to stream a cricket match from anywhere, thanks to technology. In addition, they have easy access to all cricket matches worldwide and the latest information on teams and players.
However, things weren’t the same a few years ago. For example, do you remember matches when the third umpire gave a decision using a green/red light like a traffic light? That happened more than three decades ago.
Take the Decision Review System (DRS) as another example. It was introduced in 2009. Before it, teams had to accept the decision given by on-field umpires.
Here, the point is that cricket and technology go hand in hand. Who would have thought that there will be a day when people track a ball even if it’s played by a batsman.
Who would have imagined that there will be a day when fans have access to the latest stats and cricket odds several days before the match.
Although there are many types of technologies that shaped the cricket world we’ve today, some grabbed more attention than others. Let’s learn more about them:
1. Live Streaming
More than 80 years ago, a cricket match was broadcasted by video cameras. It was a test match at the famous Lord’s Cricket Ground. Since then, the coverage of cricket matches has inevitably evolved. Today, it is possible to watch a cricket match from anywhere, thanks to smartphones and high-speed Internet connections.
From Star Sports to Sony and FanCode, there are plenty of legal applications that live stream cricket matches from around the world. This enables fans to watch not only international matches but domestic ones too.
Do you know Shoaib Akhtar bowled the fastest ball during the Cricket World Cup 2003: 161.3 kmph? Today, there are many bowlers who can bowl at a speed over 150 kmph.
We can measure their speed because of inventions like a ‘speedometer’. It was first used in 1999. However, things weren’t the same earlier. Who knows if Dennis Lillee or Jeff Thomson bowled faster than Shoaib Akhtar.
3. Snickometer and Hotspot
Also known as Snicko, Snickometer is a kind of microphone that detects sound when a ball passes near a bat. The technique helps umpires find out whether the ball hits the bat, pad, or nowhere. Today, the Snickometer is used around the world during the Decision Review System (DRS) to help detect edges.
Apart from Snickometer, there’s Hospot to spot the faintest of edges. Hospot is helpful when there’s so much disturbance that the Snickometer fails to capture the sound of a bat’s edge.
4. The Bowling Machine
A few years ago, for practice, batsmen had to rely on bowlers in their team. What if Sachin Tendulkar wanted to prepare to face Brett Lee? There’s where the Bowling Machine came to the scene.
It is a kind of device that is fed many balls to throw towards the batman at a particular speed. The Bowling Machine allowed batsmen to practice for different types of bowlers.
5. Decision Review System(DRS)
Popularly known as DRS, it is a technical process that involves the use of Hotspot, Snickometer, and ball tracking (Hawk-eye) to get accurate decisions in a cricket match. Although DRS was first introduced in 2009, it wasn’t before 2017 when it became mandatory during international T20 matches.
To use DRS, on-field umpires connect with the third-umpire. It usually happens when a player isn’t satisfied with the decision given by an on-field umpire.
These are only a few technologies that changed the game of cricket in the last few years. And, in future, we’ll have many more interventions that help connect fans with the game and their favorite players.