By Anuroop Alberts
Cricket is the 2nd most popular international sport right behind football (European, not American) and has been recognized as an international sport since the 1800s with an English history dating back 200 years prior to that.
There’s no doubt certain technological advancements have enhanced the overall ability for fans and novices to better interact with the sport.
Part of that, of course, has to do with the internet and the wide reach now available for the sport.
But there have also been massive advancements with the physical products available to cricketers to practice and play their sport more widely.
Cricket's Huge New Reach
The internet, for example has had much to contribute: Numerous sites including CricX and Youcricketer exist right now for the benefit of fans to keep up with scores, current players, and even become a part of associated clubs and future technological innovations.
Certain technologies were imperative during the 21st century to the connectivity of the sport and giving fans greater flexibility on the support, regulatory, and symbolic aspect of things by watching videos on a screen vs physically going to a game in another country.
Through these technologies such as TV, the internet and smart devices, we have dramatically impacted the accessibility of Cricket worldwide.
If you wanted to get the highlights of Sachin Tendulkar, you could easily type his name on Youtube and find numerous videos, many of which already have millions of views.
But keep in mind these technologies have only been around for a few years, and Cricket became an international sport in the late 19th century.
The first commercial TVs in the US were sold in 1928, and the internet only started in the 1980s. I think in order to truly appreciate the value that current technologies bring to the table, it’s important to have an understanding of what technologies were used in the past.
Technology, according to merriam-webster is defined as “the practical application of knowledge, especially in a particular area." With that in mind, there are other technologies that I believe deserve credit for certain areas of Cricket aside from its symbolic aspects including its material and values side.
Materials unique to Cricket can include bats, balls, stumps, bails and if safety is of concern, certain arm and leg guards.
These days, transportation of any material from country to country may take only a few days with the use of cars and airplanes, and perhaps 2 weeks to a month with the use of cargo ships.
In the late 1800S, ships took even longer with expected travel times ranging from 6 to 14 months depending on the length of the trip and weather conditions. This doesn’t even consider other factors such as disease, need for supplies other than the respective cargo including food and water, and physical conditions of the ships being used.
Some areas may not have even needed appropriate equipment to start playing. Thanks to the spread of information especially to areas where British colonialism was prevalent including India, Jamaica and much of Africa, some people may have known enough about the game and used whatever was available for supplies such as sections of banana and coconut trees to substitute for stumps and bats.
I think it is important to acknowledge the technologies of the past in order to truly gain an appreciation for current technologies as well as those that are upcoming.
For example, in the past if you wanted to practice, you would probably need others to practice with because unless you’re the flash, chances are you can’t both pitch a ball and hit the ball with a bat at the same time.
In the near future, we can expect to see upcoming technological advancements that will actually bowl Cricket balls for you, like Football (American) snapping machines or Baseball pitching machines. Despite Cricket being older than either of them, it’s only been recently that such technology has been considered for commercial use.
Furthermore, bowling a cricket ball may involve quite a unique degree of physical kinetic work to throw, which varies greatly from Baseball or American Football.
This is very difficult to achieve with a machine, but we're proud to have pulled it off with the Superthrower.
Machines that have this capacity to contort in a unique way, combined with an amount of storing convenience, environmental consciousness and adjustability not only show how far technology, such as that offered at freebowler, is capable of, but it also enhances the sport's overall value by showing that Cricket is worthy of such unique features and that there are motivated individuals who will work to enhance the game.