Athlete Monitoring Technology Helping to Drive Performance in Elite Cricket

The 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup gets underway in England and Wales today, with the world’s ten best teams coming together to compete for the game’s greatest prize.

Cricket is a sport that has transformed almost beyond recognition in recent years. The rise of T20 cricket and improvements in power and athleticism have seen the game become faster and more physical than ever before. A part of that transformation has been the widespread implementation of athlete monitoring technologies at the highest levels of the game, helping to quantify the demands of elite cricket and support innovative performance projects.

At Catapult, we work with a number of the world’s leading cricket teams to help them optimise performance, reduce injury risk, and support return-to-play. In 2017, we worked alongside the English Cricket Board (ECB) on a landmark project to develop a unique fast-bowling algorithm.

Designed to automatically recognise deliveries by fast bowlers using the inertial sensors within Catapult GPS units, the award-winning algorithm quantifies the loads bowlers are placing on their bodies. This information is used to establish training and match demands and ensure that bowlers are fully prepared for the rigours of competition. The data is also used to benchmark individual players, helping users to improve rehabilitation processes and only bring athletes back to match intensities when they’ve reached their pre-injury numbers.

Cricket Australia have also been active users of Catapult solutions in recent years. Applying GPS technology to measure the intensity of training and support injury risk reduction processes, Cricket Australia are using our systems to inform their sports science and conditioning work across all formats of the game.

“In cricket there are a couple of metrics that are important to us,” says Andrew Weller, Physical Performance Manager for Cricket Australia. “High-speed running we use a lot both in our training and match analysis because of the relationship it has with soft tissue injury, and the bowling algorithm is something we look at to measure intensity of bowling.

“It’s also been a way for us to change how players look at their training by getting a measure of intensity. Previously in cricket, all deliveries were counted as equal, and through the use of GPS technology we now know that’s not true.”

Athlete monitoring is also being used widely in some of the T20 leagues around the world. For example, the Rajasthan Royals have been using Catapult technology in the Indian Premier League to quantify demands and improve coach-athlete communication for a number of seasons.

“We feel that Catapult allows us to have a better relationship with the players,” says John Gloster, Head Physio for the Royals. “So it’s been a really interesting tool for us in terms of communicating why we do what we do, especially off the field, and why we train the way we train.

“Sometimes it’s difficult for a player to understand why we do the running sets that we do, or the high speed sets that we do. However, once we have this information, it’s easier to get them to buy-in to the whole concept and the relevance of that type of training for this type of sport.”

As the World Cup gets underway, we look forward to witnessing a great tournament and continuing to work with elite cricket teams around the world to support innovative performance project.

Interested in discovering how Catapult can help your team find its competitive edge? Click here to find out more.

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During the Cricket World Cup 2023, Catapult’s technology has been a game-changer for top teams like India, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. It provides an edge through detailed player performance analysis, helping coaches make informed decisions on workload management and injury prevention.

Read more about how Catapult is influencing teams at the CWC23, click here.

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