In a fast-paced world where technology is used on an everyday basis, technological companies are now coming up with more inventions that can be used in active sports like cricket. Here are some of the technologies that you can see in domestic and international cricket leagues:
The Hot Spot
A Hot Spot is basically an imaging system widely used in cricket. It is used to determine if the ball has been hit by the batsman, the bat, or the pad. This technology is also used to help the third umpire to identify if it is an out, a caught, or an LBW.
- Out/ Dismissal in Cricket- this occurs when the period of a batsman is ousted by the opposing team.
- Leg Before Wicket (LBW)- it is a law in cricket in which the wicket is struck but was intercepted by any body part of the batsman.
- Caught- it is a method of dismissing a batsman by a fielder who caught the ball.
How Does it Work?
For the Hot Spot to work, it requires two infra-red cameras on each side of the field that records the game all throughout. These cameras can sense and measure the heat from the friction and use a series of black and white negative frames generated into the computer. This process is called the subtraction technique.
When Did They Start to Use it?
At first, the Hot Spot is a technology developed by the military especially made to track tank and jet fighters. Because of its capabilities, the Australian company responsible for the Snickometer adopted the use of the Hot Spot and used it for the first time at the BBG Sports television broadcast.
In addition to that, the first match that used Hot Spot was during the Test match of the 2006-07 Ashes at Gabba on the 23rd of November 2006.
During the second and third 2009 Tests match-series in South Africa, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced that the use of Hot Spot technology is already in trial.
In the 2012 season of BBG Sport, the Hot Spot is now equipped with high-quality SLX-Hawk thermal imaging cameras that provide clear and sharper images. The upgrade also includes an improved sensitivity feature and less motion blur.
- The Hot Spot is also used together with the Decision Review System (DRS) that is used to help the match officials to make a final decision.
- It detects the path and movement of the ball, the collision, and its amplitude.
- It is not affected by low batteries.
- It is not affected by crowd noises.
- The distance will not affect the use of the Hot Spot.
- It helps both teams and the match officials to have a fair gameplay.
- Claims to be extremely accurate but it costs around $6,000 a day for the use of two cameras and a total of $10,000 for the use of four cameras.
- The number of Hot Spot cameras is limited
- It is classified as a military device and always requires a temporary export license from the Australian Defense Department when used outside of the country.
During six months of research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, scientists proved that the use of silicon tape prevents the Hot Spot from sensing the cricket bat.
The suspicion on the silicon tape controversy fuelled up and was the talk of the town. Some India Cricket news websites revealed that during the 2013 Ashes, Hot Spot failed to clearly show the edges of the cricket bat. To fix the issue, Warren Brennan, the founder of BBG Sports and the inventor of Hot Spot proposed that the ICC should ban the use of silicon tape.
‘BBG Sports believes that in order to achieve optimum Hot Spot results then the removal of protective coating from bat edges needs to occur’, Brennan stated.
‘At the end of the day, no technology is 100% perfect, however, at BBG Sports we are continuously researching and developing our products to provide the best technological service for sport’, he added.
Brennan has also developed a Snicko audio technology that accompanies Hot Spot when it fails to show the bat hitting the ball.
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Hot Spot and Snickometer
To have a better comparison, Snickometer also known as ‘Snicko’ is a device used to graphically analyze sound and video. This technology is often used in slow motion television replays to help the third umpire to decide if the ball touched the cricket bat or went all the way through the wicketkeeper.
The Snickometer is introduced by an English computer scientist, Allan Plaskett which was firstly used in BBG Sports. Experts say that Snicko may not be the most accurate technology but it works perfectly fine when used together with Hot Spot.
A Snicko is also placed at the stumps where the microphone is connected to an oscilloscope that tracks and records sound waves. It records even the slightest sound which also appears in the slow-motion video that makes it easy to determine if the players were able to make contact with the ball.
Aside from the Hot Spot and Snickometer, here are some of the other technologies that most of the cricket leagues use:
- Stump mic- these are the recording devices invented by Kerry Packer that picks up even the slightest sound.
- Hawk-eye– it is a computer system used in numerous active sports that visually tracks the movement of the ball in which there are a number of high-speed cameras at different locations and angles of the field. This technology calculates each position of the ball in the frames by comparing its position on at least two physically separated cameras. Hawk-eye basically shows where the ball is pitched, the location of impact, and the projected path of the ball based on the programmed database.
- Led Bails– these replaced the wooden bails that flicker on even the slightest impact of the ball.
- Batcam– it is a camera equipped with a 10x zoom camera on wheels that is controlled by a remote. This type of camera usually records low tracking shots and can travel up to 30mph. It is also the kind of technology that automatically avoids if there is something on the way.
- Speed Gun– it is a type of technology used in cricket that has the ability to detect and estimate the speed of the ball being bowled. This functions when a radio wave from a moving object is received by a transmitter.
- Spidercam– it is a kind of camera equipment that allows the production team to capture smooth aerial shots which are installed in several parts of the field.
- Super Sopper– it is a machine that extracts water from the ground to dry it quicker, this is used especially after the rain. Depending on the amount of water that seeped into the ground, this can be used to completely dry the field down.
- Piero Graphics Analysis System- it is a package of 3D graphic technology that displays graphics on live screen and helps the commentators and sports analysts to explain the game. This technology also allows the viewers to view the field from different angles.
With the emergence of technology in today’s generation, sports leagues especially cricket leagues from around the world are now using high-quality technology to give the viewers an ultimate watching experience. Aside from this, it also allows you to watch your favourite cricket team online and anywhere you are. The best thing is that you can place a bet on the winning team through various cricket websites.