The speed gun

For good measure

How fast are cricket's fast men? This little thingummybob tells you

ESPNcricinfo staff

Text size: A | A



I'm fast, now you know: Shoaib Akhtar © Cricinfo Ltd
Enlarge
 

What is a speed gun?
The speed gun is a device that measures the speed of the ball from one end of the pitch to the other - and is thus used to calculate the speed at which a bowler delivers the ball. It has been used regularly in cricket since 1999.

How does it work?
The speed gun is mounted on a pole and positioned next to the sight-screen. The device relays a beam from a radar head, which detects movement across the entire length of the pitch. A small pipe is used to aim the beam accurately. The whole process runs on microwave technology.

Does wind speed have an impact on the calculations?
The wind speed has no bearing on the speed gun, since the microwaves are a very strong force that can penetrate all weather conditions.

The margin of error is less than 1kph, and if the device is set up correctly, there should be no variation in speeds between geographical regions.

Is the technology the same as that used in other sports?
Yes. Tennis was the first sport to adopt the speed gun. The parameters of the software used were changed to have it apply to cricket.

The software is the most important part of the speed gun. It interrogates the speeds coming through via the radar, processes the data, and then calculates the final speed.

There are only three manufactures of the hardware, and about five companies that own the proprietary software in the world today.

With thanks to Alex Loccisano Broadcasting Service, a technology partner with Ten Sports

© Cricinfo Magazine

FeedbackTop
Email Feedback Print
Share
E-mail
Feedback
Print
ESPNcricinfo staffClose

    Crunch time for Sehwag and Gambhir

Numbers Game: The Indian T20 tournament presents an opportunity to both to show their class once again

The rise of the Associates

Firdose Moonda: Cricket below the international top tier is well structured. It's a pity the Test-playing world doesn't take a leaf out of their book

    The choking problem

Martin Crowe: If they are to live up to their potential in next year's World Cup at home, New Zealand need to look within

    Impressing Viv and Greg

Five Firsts: Former Pakistan batsman Haroon Rasheed on the compliments he received, and his admiration for Gavaskar

Why India are not cricket's Brazil yet

Samir Chopra: The numbers might be in their favour, but they can't boast sustained excellence or a distinctive playing style

News | Features Last 7 days

UAE all set to host lavish welcoming party

The controversy surrounding the IPL has done little to deter fans in UAE from flocking the stadiums, as they gear up to watch the Indian stars in action for the first time since 2006

Attention on Yuvraj, Gambhir in IPL 2014

ESPNcricinfo picks five players for whom this IPL is of bigger significance

The watch breaker, and Malinga specials

The Plays of the day from the match between Kolkata and Mumbai, in Abu Dhabi

India: cricket's Brazil

It's difficult to beat a huge talent base exposed to good facilities, and possessed of a long history of competing as a nation

The captain's blunder

The Plays of the day from the match between Chennai and Punjab in Abu Dhabi

News | Features Last 7 days