How Technology has aided the World Cup Cricket

By Somali K Chakrabarti


On 13 February, the opening of the 2015, ICC World Cup Cricket tournament, one of the world’s most viewed sporting events, was celebrated with a Google Doodle. The tournament has come up a long way from the time when the first Cricket World Cup was played in England in 1975. And how!

Google Doodle Cricket Icc World Cup

Google Doodle Cricket Icc World Cup 2015

 

Back in the seventies and early eighties, when all the matches were played during the day, people would gather around the Television or radio sets to watch the match, or at least to listen to the commentary. The games were slow paced and the hangover of the 5-day Test Matches could be seen in the World Cup too. Players dressed in traditional white uniforms played 60 overs per team, with red balls.

The scene has drastically changed from then. Once the gentleman’s game, is now mixed with fun and brouhaha, to appeal to a broader set of audience. The viewership has increased by leaps and bounds with global media coverage. The changing format of the game from longer version to the shorter version (20-20) has influenced the style of playing in the World Cup, and the game, today, though still with 50 overs per team, is much more competitive.

World Cup through decades

ICC World Cup through decades

13th Feb, 2015, CWC |Aus Vs Eng |  Image Source : cricketsupport.com

13th Feb, 2015, CWC |Aus Vs Eng | Image Source : cricketsupport.com

 

Technology has touched upon all aspects of the game starting with the time of the day when the matches are played, the media coverage, cutting edge graphics for the viewers, to the equipment and gears of the players, to how they train and plan out the strategy for their game, to the decisions that umpires make.

 

Technology has aided the changes to the format of game

High power illuminating systems have made it possible for matches to be played both during the day and night to maximize viewership and pull in crowds to the matches. Even in inclement weather the pitch can be made ready for play to resume in a short span of time.

 

Technology has increased the outreach of the game

During the 1983 Prudential World Cup, cricket fans in India had to be contended listening to the commentary on radio and only the final match was telecast in India. Advances in technology has knocked down these barriers, as all matches are broadcast live on different news channels, and can be seen by a broad set of audience worldwide, either on the television or on the computer screens / laptops/ tablets, with live updates available on mobiles and smart devices.

 

Technology has sharpened the training methods

Players go through rigorous athletic training with sophisticated equipment like fitness equipment, fast bowling machines, batting practice Equipment, fielding equipment etc to improve their overall fitness, speed and accuracy of bowling and reflexes, while batting, running and fielding.

Players play wearing breathable fabric, designed to enhance performance, and safety equipment to take care of any injuries.

 

Improved Technology helps team to decide their game strategy

Players, with the use of technology, study the players on the opposite side to analyse their strengths and weakness to pick strategies for their own game. Pakistani bowlers, for instance, would study an Indian batsman, to see his comfort against pace bowling or spin bowling and identify his weakness against short pitch, good length and over pitched bowling.

 

Technology is used to review decisions

The Decision Review System (DRS), comprising of a set of technologies and protocols was adopted in cricket in 2008, to make decisions less prone to human error. Though the use of DRS has been the subject of contention, umpires now use the technology to review specific actions (like close run – outs, catches) before they reach a decision. Players can get an umpire’s decision reviewed.

 

Technology has made the matches Informative and Interesting

Stumps

Flashing Stumps

 

Whereas earlier during the 80s and 90s, commentators would look through a bunch of files to see a players records, with the history of shots available online, it is now easier for the commentators to compare the odds that a batsman has against the bowlers. Cutting edge graphics, cameras placed inside the stump or mounted on helmets, and LED lights flashing through stumps when disturbed have made the matches much interesting for the viewers on Television.

 

So, as the World Cup is televised in over 200 countries to over to over 2.2 billion television viewers, it leaves little space for doubts about how big a boon Technology has been for the World Cup Cricket.

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Readers Comments (23)

  1. Wow! Nice thought to write such an article. Connects people born pre and post 1983..

    Reply
  2. absolutely wonderful post. yes tehnology these days are used to its maximum potential . cricket has been a crowd puller always . especially technologes like snikometer , DRS system and other have made decision making more easier

    Reply
  3. With so much of money involved, all possible aids including the best of the technology are bound to be there.

    Reply
  4. Being an ardent follower of cricket, i was enthused to read this. Technology has indeed helped in many respects.
    I guess it can be useful in few other areas also, like checking for front-foot no-ball instantly.

    Reply
  5. bhudeb chakrabarti March 10, 2015 @ 7:04 pm

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading your Blog about the contribution of technology in evolving of the game of cricket in its exciting format and in being accessible to millions of cricket fans .

    Reply
  6. The first World Cup I can recollect is the one which India won in 1983 and feel that there is a huge change in the outlook of the game. Whether for better or worse the game has certainly become economically much more viable than it was. The middle class parents no longer shrug with disdain when their kid wants to be a Sachin or Virat and not a engineer or a doctor. It’s definitely makes most of the soaps cry for viewership when any of the big tournaments like the World Cup is on.

    Reply
  7. Technology has revolutionized the game of cricket. Introduction of Zing Bails, Hot Spots has improved the game a lot. Now there’s hardly any place of doubt for the umpires while giving the verdict.

    A very timely and enjoyable post… 🙂

    Reply
  8. This is currently a topic to study for 9th grade social science. 🙂
    Great post.

    Reply
  9. Even the LBW they show is an amazing technology. Definitely tech has improved every aspect of life. 🙂

    Reply
  10. Pranab chakraborti March 11, 2015 @ 12:12 pm

    Somali gone through your post on technology and cricket. It’s a wonderful write up covering all aspects where technology can be used in cricket especially in r/o the strategy decided viewing the weakness and strength of the opposition players. However the DRS system to determine LBW is still a matter of concern as the hawk eye can not be taken for granted. That is why Indian cricket board (BCCI) has not approved it.DRS is used only in world cup and in other tournaments /matches it is optional. I am also not sure about your views for technology changing the format of the game because flood lights were available earlier also and under Kerry packer day/night cricket was played in Australia in 1970s

    Reply
    • Thank you so much for your comment and for the interesting points that you’ve raised. It is true that many players have raised concerns about Hawkeye. Bret Lee said he is not sure if it is always right. Regarding Flood lights, though available, these were not initially used for the World Cup matches. Moreover the kind of lighting has improved considerably since then, thereby improving the viewing experience.

      Reply
  11. Nice post Somali, so agree technology has touched every single aspect of the game including people who can watch the scores by each delivery without seeing the match 🙂

    Reply
  12. Nice post, can you write what are the changes in cricket. for eg 10, 20, 150 years…

    Reply

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