Technology with Mathematics in Cricket!

                      With the recently concluded India tour of England, I got this thought ringing in my mind as to "How Cricket would be in the next 10 years?". While by football fanatic friends are supposing a possibility of a robotic opponent in 10-15 years in football, I don't think robots would debut in cricket so soon. So, what else could be the changing factor and I found the answer in technology or more specifically, in information.

                      Yes! You can ask me, information has always been available about players, their strategies, their weaknesses and of course their strengths. During the initial years, it was in the players minds', then it was on paper with the team strategists analyzing ways to win and it went obviously to a computer. But now, more than ever computers are not only giving information but always constantly learning that piece of information. With this learning, it is predicting various possibilities with a probability for each possibility. At the endpoint, we get the power to determine exactly what we need to do. So, the only work that needs to be done by a cricketer is limited to execution of what a computer says, plain and simple.

                      I still remember the time when technology made it's debut in cricket. It was the Third Umpire run-out and sadly, Sachin Tendulkar was it's first victim. It is still there and after that many technologies have come in such as Snickometer, HotSpot, Hawk-Eye to name a few. If you look closely, all these technologies were primarily invented to reduce the chances of human errors during umpiring. With the cameras improving each year, it made it's impact in cricket capturing almost everything that is happening in the ground.Anything with numbers always has a formula and to resolve the boring draw in the game, Duckworth-Lewis method was accepted as a method of finding the winning team.

                       Now, what's there is something of a combination of all these previously adopted methods. If you look closely, all these technologies helped umpires primarily to notify elements which cannot be accurately captured by humans. Now, what I'm talking about has a repository of information about each player; each shot hit and runs scored by that shot; where was the shot hit, who was the fielder was and how he fielded; did the backup fielder come immediately and the list goes on and on. Information of such specificity when fed into the computer with appropriate parameters makes it predict almost how the game would progress and of course everything has a probability of occurrence. This occurred to me initially during the test series when there was a Plan A and Plan B to bowl for each batsman from his dismissals in the last three years. This was exciting to read and so was all the stats which was given about his percentage of dismissals to spin, more specifically off-spin or leg-spin. No batsman in the world has a foolproof technique, so when information of such specificity is there, getting someone out isn't going to be as difficult. I feel it's only a matter of time before we ( I mean the computer that we have) to find out what exactly is THE PLAN. I include the time factor here because we won't have enough data to arrive at a prediction if the player had just debuted. I don't know if someone is observing this. Longevity in cricket is challenged immensely by this information and if you want to stay long, you have adapt, change and ensure that you forget how you got out last time before you step out to the ground.

                          What struck me was that if we could give technologies of such details to domestic levels, can we get better cricketers in future? I'm not concluding that the current players are not good enough. The power which resides behind this information demands each player to ensure that there is no weak spot in his arsenal to allow someone to creep in. It perfects each player after every match thereby sculpting players for the international level. So, we can make this available from the domestic levels, there are chances of getting well-tuned cricketers.

                          Coming back to the future of cricket, I don't think of robots but I wish Google Glasses could guide bowlers on exactly what ball to bowl for the field set and for the batsman. Else, if not for the bowlers let at least the umpires sport Google glasses. We can avoid wrong decisions then.

Few of my Other posts regarding Cricket:

I've written few posts about cricket like "Cricket- From a Gentlemen's Game to the Strongest Man's Game"  and  Brand MSD- The Chanakya of Cricket!!

P.S: The right to be forgotten will soon be demanded by cricketers as well.  :D :P

Another Cricket Lover,
Ram

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