Cricket and Technology
Technology must be used wisely and it must not be used just because it is available. It is now used in International cricket also. Technology keeps improving everyday. As we all know it affects our lifestyle and as time goes by people tend to depend on machines rather than doing their work by themselves.
Just like everything, technology has its own pros and cons. It plays a vital role in the world of cricket. Especially, with the introduction of the UDRS (Umpire Decision Review System) the game has become more competitive and interesting for the viewers at home. On the other hand the on field umpires will be under pressure as they want to be accurate as much as possible.
The advantage of the DRS is that, it will help the umpires and the players to minimize the errors they make on the field. It will provide guidance to make the decision more accurately.
Technologies that are used in International Cricket:
Umpire Decision Review System
Hawkeye (Ball Tracking Technology)
The Hawkeye is used to determine whether the ball is in line or not with the stumps. It was first used officially in the 2005 Ashes Test series in England. It plays a significant role in tracking leg before wicket decisions. However there have been frequent changes in the system since it was first introduced to the world of cricket.
Mahela Jayawardane the former Sri Lankan captain was frequently questioning the accuracy of the ball tracking system. He suggested that the umpire’s call margin must be reduced and the debate soon came to an end when it was decided to be changed on 1st October 2016.
With the introduction of the new changes to the ball tracking system the bowlers will have an advantage, and they are able to overturn the on field decisions far more frequently now.
I feel sorry for the umpires in the elite panel. They will have to accept each and every condition that the ICC (International Cricket Council) brings in to the game. An instance where the use of the technology was a talking point in the recently concluded series between Bangladesh and England where the Sri Lankan umpire Kumar Dharmasena was under the spotlight during the Chittagong Test.
In the post lunch session on the first day, Moeen Ali was on strike to Shakib Al Hasan and Dharmasena had to overturn three consecutive decisions in two successive overs. Pathetic isn’t it?
I think the umpires must be properly trained on how they must use the technology correctly before a game starts. According to my point of view, the umpires’ call must be scrapped from the ball tracking system or teams mustn’t lose their reviews, if the decision is given as umpires call.
There is always time for improvement with the shift development in technology; I honestly hope that the ICC will have a major discussion regarding the Hawkeye and they will reassess the technical errors that it consists, so that we can think of a much improved ball tracking system in the future.
The hotspot is used to check whether the ball has struck the batsman’s bat or pad. The hotspot technology was first used in England and Australia. It requires two infra-red cameras on opposite sides of the ground above the field of play. Once the ball is struck immediately it shows a white mark as shown in the above picture. So the third umpire can clearly identify the point where the ball has been struck.
A disadvantage of the Hotspot technology is that it is too expensive, so this must be the reason where it can’t be used worldwide.
Ultra Edge is used to check whether there is a sound when the ball goes pass the bat. The Ultra Edge Technology is similar to a sound wave pattern in physics. This is quite useful when the third umpire checks for a caught behind dismissal. He also uses the split screen to clearly identify the exact point when the ball has passed the bat.
Umpire Decision Review System
The Umpire Decision Review System was initially introduced to International Cricket in 2008 for the bilateral series between Sri Lanka and India. The Review system uses all the above mentioned technologies. Tony Greig the former England captain and commentator was the person who desperately wanted technology to be a part of the gentlemen’s game. He wanted the viewers at home to be involved in the game and he wanted us to feel the same atmosphere and Tony wanted us to be part of the game that he loved. Tony Greig is known as the voice of Sri Lankan Cricket.
I honestly think that the ICC will look in to the technological errors that affect the game, but more importantly the game must be played fairly. Every cricket playing nation must be able to use the available technology worldwide.
A passionate cricket fan always wants to enjoy the game of cricket, so the ICC must always remember that they must protect the spirit of the game.
Then we can certainly say that the game has done justice to the phrase “The gentleman’s game’’