The inventor of the Hawkeye ball-tracking system is now experimenting with a new device he believes will end the controversies in county matches as batsmen often refuse to walk despite given out.
Paul Hawkins has created a unique sensor which is capable of detecting even the slightest nick and hopeful to make it available to amateur players at all levels very soon.
The size of only a small coin, the device can be attached to a bat with no problem and it is linked to an app on the umpire’s smartphone.
Umpires then have to attach their smartphone to their coats and record every single ball using the phone’s camera, giving them easy access to instant replays and, in the case of an lbw appeal, will show where exactly the ball had pitched and whether it would have hit the stumps.
Hawkins told in a recent interview he was very close to making the system available for public use.
The Hawk-Eye tracking system, developed in 2000, is based on missile guidance technology, and it predicts the path of the ball after it hits a batsman’s pad and this system now forms part of international cricket’s Decision Review System (DRS).
DRS also includes some expensive technologies like ‘Hotspot’ or ‘Snicko’, that are designed to determine whether a batsman has in fact edged the ball.
In amateur club cricket, where members of the batting team are often called upon to umpire while their team-mates are batting, few things can cause confusions regarding disputed caught behind and lbw decisions.
These days many English clubs encourage batsmen to ‘walk’ without waiting for the umpire’s decision if they know they have hit the ball and been caught.
However, there have always been batsmen who are reluctant to leave the ground and Hawkins’ idea to bring in a new system was even strengthened by his experience of playing in a club league match in Hampshire, southern England, last year.
“Batsmen have always not walked, but what really got me was that after the inevitable bout of sledging from the fielders, the batsman said, ‘I know I nicked it and you know I did, but so what, it wasn’t given’,” Hawkins told The Times.
“More and more batsmen try and get away with it. We got him out soon afterwards, but it ruined my day.”