Hi tech cricket

Posted by Digital Life
Digital Life
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on Thursday, 20 September 2007
in Digital Blogs

So I've been watching the cricket (who hasn't) and if one thing never ceases to amaze me it's the technology that enhances the viewing. That and six sixes off one over, of course.

We've now got Hawk-Eye, the hotspot, super-slow-mo cameras, cameras that cover every square inch of the ground including aerial shots from one suspended over the players, cameras and mikes inside the stumps...it's unbelievable. Surely we'll have cameras mounted in the players helmets next...

Of course there's some argument about whether this is all a good thing. After all, the umpires don't have access to the same replays, and that can undermine their authority when they don't give a wicket and the crowd is immediately greeted with a Hawk-Eye replay on the stadium screen that suggests it was a mistake.

Fair enough, but you can't use the tech for every decision – it would take all week to play a limited over game. And the umpires do, in general, a really good job.

It's interesting to see how other sports are taking it up. Rugby is arguably further ahead, with refs readily refering decision “upstairs” for the TMO to make the call on a chancy try or bit of fisticuffs. Soccer is behind, with bodies like FIFA resisting technology because they feel it would undermine the on-field referees and slow down games.

Most American sports have been using tech like this for years, but I think cricket is far and away the most advanced in terms of getting fans close to the action. Should the umpires have the same access? Is it a good thing for the game? It's hard to say for sure, but as a spectator and a fan, I'm loving it.


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