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Cricket Technology

Cricket is a very traditional sport, and changes to the rules and playing conditions are not taken lightly. Sports have varied in their take up of modern technology. Fortunately, cricket has not ignored the possibilities of using technology to aid the game, for the players, umpires and specatators.

Over the years cricket has incorporated into the game a few of the latest technological advances available, such as decision reviews for catches, LBW, no balls and run-outs. There have also been some rejections of technology, such as the use of aluminum cricket bats, but generally the ICC has been rightly cautious about making changes to the game that will impact the players and spectators.

Here are discussions about a few of the technological innovations that are in cricket or are being discussed to be included.

Third Umpire

In international cricket, the third umpire has been used to supplement the role of the two umpires on the ground. The third umpire is equally qualified, and sits off the ground with access to TV replays of certain situations (such as disputed catches and boundaries) to advise the central umpires. The umpires out on the field are in communication via wireless technology with the other umpire. The third umpire is also asked to adjudicate on run out decisions, which he uses video replay and makes a decision without consultation with the two central umpires.

cricket on tvDecision Review System (DRS)

Cricket has joined some other world sports and has included an umpire referral system in some international matches. Such a system was first trialled in 2008 (in a Test series between Sri Lanka and India). Unlike in tennis where the challenge and referral decision is clear cut using hawke-eye technology, the cricket referral is adjudicated by the third umpire, and is open to further errors. The actual way it works may change and develop, but when it was first brought in this is how it worked.

Players are allowed to challenge decisions made by the on-field umpires, and have them referred to the TV official. For each innings of the Test, each team can challenge any decisions, though they will be limited to three unsuccessful challenges per innings. Only the batsman on the receiving end of the umpire’s original decision or the captain of the fielding side can appeal by making a “T” sign with both forearms at shoulder height. The third umpire uses the technology of the hot spot and slow-motion replays at different angles to gain information and make decisions.

It all sounds great for the players and viewers at home, but the pressure is on the umpires. In reality, the process often takes too long and can distract from the game. When the teams have challenges remaining near the end of an innings, players tend to make frivolous challenges on the off-chance of getting a decision overturned. So there are still problems that need to be ironed out, but the referral system is a great step forward for cricket.

TV Technology

New Technology

Cricket is a sport steeped in tradition. Making changes to the rules that have been in place for a long time is not taken lightly. In addition to the uses of technology that are discussed above, here are a couple more ideas

Other Technology and Rule Change Ideas

Related Pages

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