The growing use of technology in cricket has made it a wholesome experience for the TV viewers. It was only a matter of time that the much-debated Decision Review System would have been embraced. As the ICC makes it mandatory in all international matches, we take a quick look at the commonly used technologies in the game of cricket.
One of the most used technologies to judge the trajectory of the ball, it has been used by broadcasters for a long time to help commentators and viewers know if correct decisions were given for Leg Before Wicket (LBW) appeals. This technology predicts the path of the ball after impact, using a slew of cameras placed around the cricket ground. It was a part of the Decision Review System (DRS) in the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup. However, it is not 100% accurate. According to the ICC's latest decision, the use of ball-tracker as a decision-making aid will depend on bilateral agreement between the participating members.
It is also knows as the Thermal Imaging Technology. This ball tracking technology relies on infrared cameras which detect the heat signature of ball impact. For instance, wherever the ball hits the batsman, the heat signature of that particular spot changes – creating a Hot Spot. It is especially helpful in judging faint edges and close bat-pad LBW shouts. It is widely appreciated by players for its accuracy but is not a regular part of the ICC's DRS due its expensive implementation and sensitive equipment.
The snickometer is used to detect edges from the bat using a microphone placed near the stumps. Invented by Allan Plaskett, the technology uses the difference between sound frequencies of the ball hitting different surfaces. For example, a woody sound has a different frequency than that of the ball hitting the glove.
The stump camera for long has been part of cricket broadcasting. It is a small camera hidden inside the stumps at both ends. It provides a unique angle to the viewers. The microphone catches the conversation between the players and deters them from using foul language.
A lot of technology goes behind making a correct scoreboard appear on TV during a match. High quality scoreboards with bowling and batting statistics have been the backbone of cricket broadcast.
This technology involves the use of a high-speed camera which captures live footage and then reproduces it in an ultra slow motion format.
It is a small Doppler radar unit that is used to detect speed of the moving objects. It is commonly used to determine bowling speeds in a cricket broadcast.
Heart Beat Monitor or the Gator monitor tracks the heart rate of cricketers and displays it in the broadcast. For instance, the viewers can see the variations in the bowler's heart rate when he is running in to bowl.
With T20 cricket gaining prominence, players and umpires are hooked with microphones while playing. They interact with commentators to give a unique perspective to the match.
Similar to the Hawk-eye technology, Dart Fish tracks the trajectory and gives the viewer a clear picture of the path of the ball once it has left the bowler's arm.
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