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Sight Screen

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Technology in cricket equipment

Greg Baum, writing in The Age, has an interesting take on modern cricket equipment and how it is changing the nature of the game.
Building on a platform of relevant stats, Baum writes:
Reasonably, (statistician Charles) Davis asks: "Is the increase in boundary-hitting a bad thing?" He answers: "Well, no one wants to return to the slow scoring and dull draws of the '50s and '60s. Boundaries are, after all, good to watch. On the other hand, the pendulum may have swung too far. If scoring levels change permanently, the game loses contact with its traditional standards, and that would be a real loss. The place in history of our leading players will become uncertain."
It might be that the prosecution of the case for a restraint on technology in cricket has been launched.


  • This is something that has always interested me - When we look at scoring rates going up today, top batsmen's averages averaging around 55 rather than 50 which used to be the norm, a corresponding decline in the number of top class bowlers on view, the major fear is that cricket is changing for ever. But there have been periods in the past when the bat predominated as much if not more (the entire Bradman - Hammond era) only to see a major backlash as the pendulum swung the other way. How did batsmen who grew up watching the pre and post war teams play the way they did in the 50s and 60s? What caused such a huge change in mindset and outlook?

    And if could happen then, it could well happen again - and that is part of the enduring charm of cricket, and gives me hope


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 02:16  

  • As technology improves the sports equipment will improve too. Evolution is what we call it. It is true that the bat has started to dominate the ball in cricket for obvious reason. The cricket bat's design, material, sweet-spot have been improved and that sometimes helps batsmen in getting runs easily than ancient era. But nothing has been done to the ball. If anything it is not significant enough to give bowler an advantage. In addition the bowler is only allowed to bowl 1 bouncer per over in ODI and 2 bouncers per over in Tests. That has not helped bowler's cause. The grounds too nowadays are well groomed and the ball races across the turf. So, all the modern technology has done is to improve the batting aspect of cricket as there is not much you can do with the ball than raising the seam of the ball (Oh!! and its illegal if a player does it).
    We are moving in direction of past-pace cricket. Spectators want to watch boundaries scored, sixes hit rather than watch a Wasim Akram-Lara duel where Wasim beats Lara for couple of deliveries until Lara picks up Wasim's slower ball early and dispatches it to the midwicket boundary. Test match viewership is going down, Twenty20 viewership is going up every year. Seriously, this worries me. If this continues we won't have Sachin Tendulkar, Jacques Kallis, or Lara in future but just bunch of pinch-hitting Afridis and Kluseners.

    By Blogger Rahul Kulkarni, at 09:11  

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