In the heart of India, where cricket isn’t just a sport but a way of life, the stage is set for a spectacular showdown. However, beyond the cricketing battles on the field, there's an unseen force at play, driving a digital transformation that's reshaping the sport itself. Often hailed as a gentleman’s game, cricket has not remained untouched by the winds of technological change.
Technology has significantly contributed to the game’s evolution, enhancing its fairness, entertainment value and the overall experience for players and fans alike. Behind the scenes of the championship, HCLTech — the official digital partner and team sponsor of Cricket Australia (CA) — is spearheading a digital transformation that's redefining cricket as we know it.
Swapan Johri, President of HCLTech's Growth Markets, affirms the company's commitment to this vision: "Technology is enabling Cricket in remarkable ways. Our journey with Cricket Australia is beyond apps and websites; it's about reimagining the game across all its dimensions. As we gear up for this monumental event, we proudly wear our #HeartOnOurSleeve, representing the passion and innovation which defines this journey."
Recently, Cricket Australia (CA) unveiled its playing kit for the tournament, featuring the HCLTech logo on the sleeve. Stephanie Beltrame, Cricket Australia’s Executive General Manager of Broadcast & Commercial said: “The ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup is a major event on the sporting calendar that has huge global reach, so we’re delighted to have trusted global brand in HCLTech continuing to back the Australian team on and off the field.”
The technological revolution in cricket
Cricket has always embraced technology, from the use of Hawk-Eye and track ball movement to the integration of “Decision Review System” (DRS) that enhances the accuracy of umpiring decisions through video replays. The upcoming cricket extravaganza brings not only intense competition on the field but also groundbreaking technological innovations that are set to redefine the sport.
Technologies like data analytics have made a major impact in the analysis of player performance and coaching strategy. By enabling tracking of the progress of players and identifying areas for improvement, data is being used to develop tailored training programs and strategies for individual players and teams.
The role of technology is also evident in fan engagement. In the upcoming event, fans can expect immersive experiences through AR and VR applications. For instance, ICC TV will produce an additional vertical video feed for the event this year, allowing fans to watch the game seamlessly on mobile phones while on the go. The vertical feed will ensure that the key features of the usual coverage including ball tracking, field placements and player tracking fit into the vertical dimension to enhance the viewing experience.
The HCLTech partnership with Cricket Australia also focuses on enhancing the fan experience, ensuring that the Cricket Australia Live and PlayCricket apps remain at the forefront of fan engagement. Automation and analytics powered by artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and DevOps support this digital experience.
"Engagement with our fans and community is of the utmost importance for Cricket Australia," emphasizes Donald Elliott, General Manager, Australian Cricket Technology. " HCLTech has already supported us in transforming our tech stack and improving Australian Cricket’s participant and fan digital experiences. The world-class technology it provides is helping cricket maintain and improve its place as the leading sport in the country."
Fostering innovation in cricket
Over the years, HCLTech has made remarkable strides in digitally transforming Cricket Australia's assets, from cricket.com.au to the Cricket Australia Live app and PlayCricket. Their contributions propelled the Cricket Australia Live app to become the number one summer sporting application in Australia, boasting yearly sessions exceeding 100 million users.
However, this collaboration goes beyond the digital realm. HCLTech and Cricket Australia have harnessed the power of technology through TechJam, their global crowdsourcing initiative, conducted in association with Microsoft. This platform brings together data scientists, developers, tech innovators and sports enthusiasts to create technology-driven solutions that revolutionize cricket in Australia. This commitment pushes the boundaries of what's possible in the world of cricket.
Cricket: A unifying force
While cricket fans worldwide will passionately support their respective teams, they also share a profound love for the game. The cricketing event is not merely a competition; it's a celebration of the sport, shared experiences and high-performance. It unites people from diverse backgrounds and cultures, transcending borders and languages. This sense of unity, underpinned by a shared love for cricket, is what makes the event truly special.
As the world’s biggest cricketing event continues, the role of technology in shaping the sports is more evident than ever. With its unwavering commitment to innovation, HCLTech is ensuring that cricket continues to capture hearts and minds around the world, one immersive digital experience at a time, while proudly displaying #HeartOnOurSleeve.