I remember some of my relatives talking about how they would listen to score updates on radio during their childhood, especially those amazing matches between India and the Mighty West Indies and how the West Indian bowling ripped through the Indian batting except Gavaskar. The excitement was definitely there in listening to score updates on radio and the commentators too made it extremely exciting, “Walsh over the wicket teeze se aate hue, gaend off stump ke bahar aur gavaskar shaandar cut maara point ke daini aur se gend square boundary ki or, chaar run, beheterin stroke play…” But technology has a come long long way since then, first the TV, then the Color TV so we could see the matches. Apart from use of technology for viewers, the game itself used it. Let’s see some of the technologies used in the game that have made a huge impact on the game making it better for viewers and the game itself.
One of earliest technological tool that was used in Cricket was 3rd Umpire. Until then the umpires on the field had the final say. But thanks to cameras on the field, umpires off the field could get a better view and hence provide the correct decision. Unfortunately the first scalp for the Third Umpire was the Master Blaster himself. Today the 3rd Umpire has got multiple camera views at this disposal. Apart from this the slow replay, zoom feature, etc has proved beneficial for the game. For viewers its great to see in real time what the 3rd umpire sees, so you why a batsman was adjudged out / not out.
Another technology that has been used quite a lot is the Hawk Eye. It’s not used only in Cricket though, it’s even used in Tennis and Badminton. The technology works with few extra cameras put up at both the bowling ends. These cameras have the ability to capture a higher number of frames. This technology has had a huge impact on the game as it is able to aid the umpires to judge the crucial LBW decision. One can easily see where the ball pitched and where it hit, so its amazing for the viewers and a boon for the umpires.Can you see the highlighted spot on his bat ? Image courtesy: cricspirit.com
Apart from the Hawk Eye there are a couple of other technologies like the Snicko and the HotSpot. These two have had a huge impact as they provided crucial insights to where the ball actually hit. Often used in case of LBW and caught decisions, these technology helps the umpire to decide where the ball hit. Whether it hit the bat during a close LBW call or whether it missed the bat during a caught out call. From viewers point of view, its great improvement since it gives clearer view as how crucial that edge is.
Leaving these technologies that have impacted the game and helped the viewer, there are few other advancements in the game that are treat to the eyes of the viewer. The Spider Cam has got to be there, it gives a great view from the field which is not at all possible. The Stump Mic which helps the umpires, also adds the spiciness for the viewers who can enjoy those heated exchanges between Kohli and Faulkner.
So Technology has impacted the game in a big and has had a lot of positives.