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How cricket ball speed is measured

How cricket ball speed is measured

How cricket ball speed is measured? 

How cricket ball speed is measured is a frequently asked question. In this article we will talk about how the speed of cricket ball and how it is calculated and what methods are there to calculate and which is efficient and which is not. 

There are three ways to calculate the speed of the ball and we will discuss them in details so here they are. 
  • Using a Stopwatch 
  • Using a Radar Gun/Speed Gun 
  • Hawk Eye 

Using a Stopwatch


The first and the easy way to calculate the speed of the ball is to use a stopwatch and it is easy and there are built in stopwatch in the smart phones these days. If you want to calculate the speed of your bowling then you can ask a friend to pick up a stopwatch and start it and not the time the ball took from leaving you r hand to the other side of the wickets. 

To calculate the accurate speed of the ball it is recommended that you need to buy a professional stopwatch which is cheaper to buy. Once you get the data you can calculate the speed of the ball easily using a formula SPEED=DISTANCE/TIME. Make sure to get the best results that the person doing it has good hand-eye coordination and reflection. 

Using a Radar Gun/Speed Gun


The second method to calculate the speed of the ball is through the speed /radar gun and it Is more efficient. Measuring the speed of the ball through one of these guns is like measuring the speed of the moving car. It was discovered in 1947 by John Baker and it works of the Doppler’s principle. 

The speed gun has a receiver and a transmitter. It is placed on a high place from where I can send a radio signal to the pitch and calculates the speed of anything moving in the pitch. 

The principle on which the radar gun works is similar to that of the SONAR. Sends a signal and then catches the echo of the radio waves and it’s called Doppler Shift. The data obtained is then inserted in an image processing software which identifies the ball from other moving objects and displays the speed of the ball. 

The major advantages of Radar Guns or Speed Gun techniques are: 
  1. Radar Gun or Speed Gun calculates the exact speed of the ball because it measures the speed of the rotating ball without any error.
  2. As soon as the ball passes in front of the Radar Gun, it immediately records its speed. This is the reason that whenever a bowler throws the ball in any cricket match, its speed detail is displayed on the screen immediately.

Radar Guns or Speed Gun technique was discovered to measure the speed of service of players in Lawn tennis, whereas this technique was first used in cricket in 1999.


Hawk-Eye uses six or more computer-linked television cameras situated around the cricket field of play. The computer reads in the video in real time, and tracks the path of the cricket ball on each camera. These six separate views are then combined together to produce an accurate 3D representation of the path of the ball. 

The Hawk eye system was launched in 2001. It was first used in television coverage of sporting events such as Test cricket, and has now reached the stage of being used by officials in tennis to assist in adjudicating close line calls. 

In the case of LBW decisions, Hawk-Eye is able to project the likely path of the ball forward, through the batsman’s legs, to see if it would have hit the wicket. In addition to providing information to TV viewers, the technology is also used by the third umpire to adjudicate on LBW decisions that have been referred 

The key benefits of Hawk Eye Technology are: 
  1. Through this technique, the accurate speed and direction of the ball is assessed because the ball is clearly seen by Hawk Eye technology.
  2. Hawk Eye technology is bale to measure the direction and swing of the ball simultaneously.
  3. With the help of this technology; it can be said that whether the ball is hitting the stumps or not.
  4. Apart from all of the above benefits this technique can ensures the legality (15-degree angle) of the ball also.

Why Measure Your Speed?

There are a number of reasons why a player might want to know how fast they are bowling. 

Firstly, and most simply, if you bowl very fast, you’ll be very hard to bat against. If you know your speed and can compare it to others in your team, or even professionals, then you will know the extent to which you need to improve this aspect of your game if you want to take it to the next level. 

It is also a good measure of the consistency of your bowling technique. After all, if you bowl three balls an over at 70mph, two at 60mph, and one at 80mph; but don’t know why this is – then you need to find a way to address it. After all, controlling the speed with which you bowl, is just as important as controlling the line and length with which it pitches. 

But finally, you might simply want to see how you fare in comparison to the great fast bowlers in cricketing history. If you’ve grown up watching the likes of Brett Lee, Shoaib Akhtar, and Mitchell Johnson, firing it into the batsmen at more than 90mph; then there will no doubt be some curiosity as to how fast that actually is. 

So, the use of modern technology is ensuring the transparency in the games. I am hopeful that as the use of technology will increase in the sports it will increase the interest of the games. 

I am hopeful that use of more and more technology in the games, will increase the interest of the games.

Written by nabeel

Muhammad Nabeel is passionate about the sports and now he delivers his passion into the words. Content Writer with Software Engineering Skills.


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