Local game learning about analysis
Analysts are being used more and more in the top levels of cricket as teams and players take advantage of that information to improve performances.
Richard Berridge, an analyst for Cricket West Indies, was in Bermuda last weekend to hold a two-day analyst course put on by the Bermuda Cricket Board, for those interested in cricket analysis.
The course was open to coaches, scorers, cameramen or anyone with an IT background, keen to become an analyst for the BCB, national or club teams.
Roles include filming games with a digital camera and uploading data for review, providing stats for the head coach using tools such as PowerPoint, Keynote and Excel, analysing data from other teams, and match coding, which involves entering items on a laptop for each ball bowled.
Just as the VAR is being used for top-flight professional football games in certain countries, and other sports like tennis who also use technology for line calls, so, too, is cricket relying more and more on technology to help with critical decisions.
Such was the case in the second one-day international between the West Indies and Ireland last week when camera replays finally determined that Sheldon Cottrell, the West Indies No 11, was not run out in the final over.
It was shown that bowler Mark Adair broke the stumps with his hand and not the ball as he dropped it at the bowler’s end with Cottrell several feet outside his crease. Two balls later, Cottrell smashed a six to give West Indies a one-wicket win with one ball remaining.
It also gave the West Indies an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
“Obviously, the technology gives you the component to be able to do slow motion, see different angles,” said Berridge, who hails from Saint Kitts. “That’s important at the international level because when getting an opportunity at the international level, you really don’t want to be given out when you’re not out.
“In regional and domestic cricket, it is difficult to have that technology in place because of the cost. But some guys may not get another opportunity at the international level because they may have gotten a poor decision or two.
“At the international level the chances are much smaller and you want to make sure that you eliminate the bad decisions.”
Berridge added: “You see it in the other sports now, like basketball and the NFL where they are doing reviews.
“You see how it has transformed tennis, where you don’t rely solely on the linemen who are doing their best. Seeing something in real time at 100 miles per hour, as opposed to being able to slow down something is two different things.
“Whether you have the technology to change a decision or not, umpires’ decisions will always be scrutinised once you have TV coverage. Now, even if he makes a bad decision it can be overturned and not affect the outcome of the game. That gives a level of comfort to the umpires.
“I’m sure the stats will show that the volume of good decisions has improved because of the referral decision. As you know, from looking at cricket back in the day, once the umpire sticks his finger up, that’s it.
“Referring to that decision against Ireland, how does the umpire rule that in real time? It’s almost a guess.”
Such technology is being used in other ways, too, with teams using it to analyse their opponents and critique their own performances, Berridge pointed out.
“Being able to show a batsman, ‘This is what a bowler can do’, show him the slow motion of a googly and see if he can pick it or not,” he explained. “Or every time he bowls, he bowls a googly in his first over, or he bowls a googly every two overs on average. Those kinds of things they like to know.
“We had a discussion about technology being used in the sport, but most important, we focused on video analysis being used in sport. We looked at that, not just for cricket, but for football, rugby, netball.
“The rules of video analysis in terms of what you’re looking to achieve is the same across the board. The concept of what video analysis does is the same.”
Berridge found an eager audience from the ten persons taking the course.
“We slowly moved into cricket specific things, discussed the different hardware and software,” he said.
“I wanted to lay a foundation for them to understand what hardware is used to capture that data, how to set it up and how to troubleshoot.
“Then, once you have the software in place, it is about analysing the data that you collect. You can’t analyse data if you don’t collect it and you can’t collect data if you don’t have the hardware.
On Sunday, Berridge discussed the support that analysts give to coaches, players and selectors.
“It’s just like a medical; when you go to a doctor he looks up your records to see what sickness or illness you may have had in the past because it will depend on what he recommends going forward,” he said.
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