Quick Bite: Analysts foresee the worldwide sports analytics market to grow at a CAGR of 40.1% during the forecast period 2016–2022 to touch an aggregate of $3.97 billion by 2022.

The game of cricket is more than 100 years old but technology is enabling not only ways to better the game but will also be increasingly used to drive up engagement with its biggest stakeholder – the fan. And it’s a big business opportunity too.

Insights from data collected from sensors and video help analyze the team’s performance and data analytics has also become a major business for many vendors getting into the game said cricketing legend Jonathan Neil “Jonty” Rhodes.

South African Test and One Day International cricketer, outlaid the importance of technology in cricket and added. “In the earlier days, we did not have much data visualization of sports within our reach. Today data points on each player help them improve their flaws. There are so many players I have seen who gain confidence after we show them the areas they are good at mapping out through technology. It also allows them to be true to their unique batting style or potential and not copy what the way legends of the game bowl bat or field.”

Analysts foresee the worldwide sports analytics market to grow at a CAGR of 40.1% during the forecast period 2016–2022 to touch an aggregate of $3.97 billion by 2022 and cricket is no far behind in using technology to improve the game.

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Echoing the same sentiment, Faisal Kawoosa, principal analyst, Cybermedia research says that there are quite a few dimensions which we need to look at while using analytics in sports. For instance, one can understand a player’s stamina, muscle strength or other capabilities to improve the own game. “The technology can be used to enhance the overall game itself. Also, it can be used in mentorship and coaching to know each player’s strengths and weaknesses and the best sport the player is suited for.”

Similarly, former India coach and cricketer, Anil Kumble, while highlighting the importance of technology in cricket, said that the game of bat and ball is falling behind technological innovations and could possibly use platforms like Microsoft’s HoloLens and mixed reality solutions. “Bringing technology into the sport will eventually happen because broadcasters are looking at innovative ways on how to engage more with the fan.” Kumble was discussing cricket and technology with Microsoft’s chief Satya Nadella and said that he was very excited about the prospects of data mining.

In the recent past, a record number of teams have shown increased use of data analytics and visualization to strengthen domestic league and expedite the game’s development. Sports analytics has also received a major boost from wearable devices, video cameras and use of sensors.

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Rhodes said that data analytics is being used to bring forth finer data points about all aspects of the game and has helped bowlers, batsman and fielders are fine-tune their game by leaps and bounds as compared to our early years of cricket. “For example in IPL, each opposition player’s weak area is mapped and then we bowl and field according to that. In terms of fielding, not much statistics are present which is okay.” Youngsters especially look up for these statistics like a total number of runs score and aim to beat that in intentional cricket.

But Rhodes also pointed out that the need for better fielding statistics. “It would be great if we have specific fielding related stats also. Another area where I believe technology has to be improved is no-balls wherein you can use goal-line technology to check no balls every time.”

Technology implementations like the stump microphones sometimes muzzle such characters in the game as they think twice before speaking, Rhodes noted. But he also pointed out that just technology cannot help anyone be successful. “A great leader or a captain is all you need sometimes to better the opposition.”


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