Day 49 – Q 3. How does ball tracking technology work in Cricket? Explain. 

  • IASbaba
  • August 5, 2020
  • 0
GS 3, Sci & Technology, TLP-UPSC Mains Answer Writing
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3. How does ball tracking technology work in Cricket? Explain. 

बॉल ट्रैकिंग तकनीक क्रिकेट में कैसे काम करती है? समझाएं।

Demand of the question:

It expects students to give a clear account of mechanism of ball tracking technology in cricket. It also expects students to put forth its lacunas in short and write improvement as way forward. 


Ball tracking technology is in numerous sports such as cricket, tennis, Gaelic football, badminton, hurling, rugby union, association football and volleyball, to visually track the trajectory of the ball and display a profile of its statistically most likely path as a moving image.


Working mechanism of ball tracking technology:

  • Ball tracking technologies  work on the principles of triangulation using visual images and timing data provided by a number of high-speed video cameras located at different locations and angles around the area of play.
  • The system rapidly processes the video feeds from the cameras and ball tracker.
  • A data store contains a predefined model of the playing area and includes data on the rules of the game.
  • In each frame sent from each camera, the system identifies the group of pixels which corresponds to the image of the ball. It then calculates for each frame the position of the ball by comparing its position on at least two of the physically separate cameras at the same instant in time.
  • A succession of frames builds up a record of the path along which the ball has travelled. It also “predicts” the future flight path of the ball and where it will interact with any of the playing area features already programmed into the database.
  • The system can also interpret these interactions to decide infringements of the rules of the game.
  • The system generates a graphic image of the ball path and playing area, which means that information can be provided to judges, television viewers or coaching staff in near real-time. 
  • The tracking system is combined with a back-end database and archiving capabilities so that it is possible to extract and analyse trends and statistics about individual players, games, ball-to-ball comparisons, etc.
  • Its major use in cricket broadcasting is in analysing leg before wicket decisions, where the likely path of the ball can be projected forward, through the batsman’s legs, to see if it would have hit the stumps.

Benefits of ball tracking technology in cricket:

  • Due to its real-time coverage of bowling speed, the systems are  used to show delivery patterns of a bowler’s behaviour such as line and length, or swing/turn information.
  • It helps the umpire to take the right decision, as one wrong decision can change the fate of game.
  • Batsmen also benefit from the analysis of ball tracking technology, as a record can be brought up of the deliveries from which a batsman scored.
  • Information such as the exact spot where the ball pitches or speed of the ball from the bowler’s hand (to gauge batsman reaction time) can also help in post-match analysis.

Lacunas of ball tracking technology:

  • In the 2007 Wimbledon Championships a shot that appeared to be out, was called by Hawk-Eye as in by 1 mm, a distance smaller than the advertised margin of error of 3.6 mm. Hence, it has received criticism on the ground of accuracy.
  • Another doubt raise is that, that ball tracking technology may struggle with predicting the trajectory of a cricket ball after bouncing; the time between a ball bouncing and striking the batsman may be too short to generate the three frames (at least) needed to plot a curve accurately.


The large scale developments in technology and their wide scale application have proved to be beneficial to ease the living of people. The ball tracking like technologies have helped to have a fair and unbiased decision making in sports game, hence, if the newly emerged technologies if implemented in the sports, can develop the sports to its true spirit of a fair play game.

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