Hawkeye is changing the world of cricket

February 4, 2012

The test series between England and Pakistan in the spring of 2012 indicates the changes that will take place in cricket as technology begins to dominate umpiring decision-making

The series has been increasingly seen as dominated by decisions referred to the off-field third umpire. This official has access to Hawkeye technology for assessing the trajectory of the ball, and infrared Hotspot technology to examine signs of ball contacting bat.

Improved decision-making

Hawkeye, now owned by Sony, has demonstrated the potential gains in accuracy of umpiring decisions. Its technology is akin to military and geo-satellite object tracking.

Changes to batting technique

The process of appeals is rather more complex than the one already in use in tennis, also using Hawkeye. The refined decision-making may result in changing techniques by batsmen. More efforts will be made to avoid being dismissed for LBW (‘leg before wicket’). Previously, batsmen were often given the benefit of the doubt.

Umpiring skills are also revealed

This series has seen a number of reversals of the decisions of the on-field umpires. Yet, a considerable majority of appeals against marginal decisions still did not succeed, and went in favour of the original call by the on-field umpire.