High-tech cricket

Vocable (All English) - - Découverte -

If you have ever been to a cricket match, or in­deed taken part, you will know that it can be a long drawn out af­fair. Imag­ine the ef­forts that are re­quired of com­men­ta­tors to main­tain the in­ter­est of its spec­ta­tors. A com­pany in In­dia, linked to the gi­ant In­tel, has cre­ated a sen­sor which can be fit­ted into the cricket bat, and which pro­duces some in­cred­i­ble sta­tis­tics in real time. That should give ev­ery­one some­thing to talk about!

The sig­na­ture sound of cricket is the thwack of a wil­low bat hit­ting a leather ball. At the ICC Cham­pi­ons Tro­phy Tour­na­ment, though, which started in Eng­land and Wales on June 1st, the bats were emit­ting more than those sooth­ing re­ver­ber­a­tions. They have been fit­ted with sen­sors that en­able them to fi re off wire­less re­ports that re­veal how a bats­man played the ball. Spec­ta­tors were also treated to the slightly less pleas­ant whine of elec­tric mo­tors, as a drone armed with in­fra-red cam­eras per­formed re­con­nais­sance fl ights over the pitch .


2. Both gad­gets are the brain­chil­dren of In­tel, a chip­maker com­mis­sioned by the In­ter­na­tional Cricket Coun­cil ( ICC), the sport’s gov­ern­ing body, to find new ways to keep fans en­ter­tained. Cricket is no stranger to tech­nol­ogy. Un­til now, though, at­ten­tion has been fo­cused mainly on the bowler and the

ball. A sys­tem called “Hawk­Eye” tracks the ball’s tra­jec­tory, help­ing pun­dits an­a­lyse bowl­ing styles and um­pires judge leg-be­forewicket de­ci­sions. “HotSpot” uses in­frared cam­eras to de­ter­mine where a ball struck the bat, or the bats­man.

3. But the sub­tleties of a bats­man’s style have so far es­caped scru­tiny. Com­men­ta­tors must rely on lit­tle more than ed­u­cated guess­work, says Anuj Dua, an In­tel di­rec­tor. To fix that, In­tel and Specu­lur Tech­nol­ogy So­lu­tions, a firm based in Ban­ga­lore, have de­vel­oped BatSense, a diminu­tive gad­get that play­ers can at­tach to the top of their cricket bat.

4. Based on a coin-sized In­tel mi­cro­com­puter, BatSense in­cor­po­rates ac­celerom­e­ters, a gy­ro­scope and a wire­less trans­mit­ter, al­low­ing it to beam data to the commentary box on ev­ery­thing from bat an­gles to stroke speed. Be­sides snazzy graph­ics on match day, the sys­tem can also help hone a bats­man’s skill, says Atul Sri­vas­tava, Specu­lur’s boss. A ver­sion aimed at am­a­teurs that en­ables the de­vice to trans­mit to a smart­phone is un­der devel­op­ment.


5. Cricket’s lan­guid, civilised pace can pose prob­lems for com­men­ta­tors, who feel the need to keep talk­ing even when not much is hap­pen­ing on the field. A favourite topic is the state of the pitch, the strip in the cen­tre of the field where most of the ac­tion hap­pens, and the state of which can have a big im­pact on bowl­ing. But as with talk of a bats­man’s tech­nique, such dis­cus­sions are of­ten lit­tle more than con­jec­ture.

6. Hence the drones. Be­fore the matches, and again at lunch, a ma­chine of the sort used to an­a­lyse farm­land flies over the pitch. It maps things like to­pog­ra­phy, grass den­sity and soil mois­ture, pro­vid­ing hard data for pun­dits to chew over.

7. Such aug­men­ta­tions may seem out of place in a game so wed­ded to tra­di­tion. The trick, says Mr Dua, is to feed fans’ ap­petites for fresh in­sights with­out dis­tract­ing them from the game it­self. So drone flights will be lim­ited. And be­cause BatSense is so small and un­ob­tru­sive, there should be no change to that tal­is­manic sound of leather on wil­low.


8. Game an­a­lyt­ics en­ables play en­hance­ment by analysing per­for­mance on field and as­sist­ing coaches in tak­ing cor­rec­tive ac­tion. It helps pre­dict per­for­mance and de­velop win­ning game plays. The ‘gut feel­ing’ that has tra­di­tion­ally dom­i­nated sport is wan­ing away. Play­ers and coaches alike are de­pend­ing on an­a­lyt­ics to train, in­struct, and ex­cel. Most ma­jor sports have in­cor­po­rated an­a­lyt­ics in train­ing and coach­ing to gain com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tage. Digital tech­nolo­gies are also play­ing an in­creas­ingly im­por­tant role en­gag­ing sports fans with 360-de­gree re­plays and new ath­lete per­for­mance data. For in­stance, this year, the National Foot­ball League (NFL), National Bas­ket­ball League (NBA), the National Col­le­giate Ath­lete As­so­ci­a­tion (NCAA) and Pro­fes­sional Golf As­so­ci­a­tion (PGA) turned to new view­ing ex­pe­ri­ences from In­tel freeD cam­era tech­nol­ogy or In­tel True VR to im­merse fans with new vis­ual per­spec­tives.

(Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP/SIPA)

Sri Lanka's Kusal Janith plays a shot dur­ing the ICC Cham­pi­ons Tro­phy match be­tween In­dia and Sri Lanka at The Oval cricket ground in London, Thurs­day, June 8, 2017.

(In­tel Cor­po­ra­tion)

Specu­lur BatSense with In­tel tech­nol­ogy in­side.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from France

© PressReader. All rights reserved.