THE signature sound of cricket is the thwack of a willow bat hitting a leather ball. At the ICC Champions Trophy Tournament, though, which started in England and Wales on June 1st, the bats were emitting more than those soothing reverberations.
They have been fitted with sensors that enable them to fire off wireless reports that reveal how a batsman played the ball. Spectators were also treated to the slightly less pleasant whine of electric motors, as a drone armed with infra-red cameras performed reconnaissance flights over the pitch.
Both gadgets are the brainchildren of Intel, a chipmaker commissioned by the International Cricket Council (ICC), the sport’s governing body, to find new ways to keep fans entertained. Cricket is no stranger to technology. Until now, though, attention has been focused mainly on the bowler and the ball.