Maintaining fluid levels is crucial but the next time one sees an Australia fast bowler sipping on a drink at the boundary after a spell, it would be because a precise reading of the level of body salts had been made than the mere fact that he is tired.
Using the GPS technology, the team management would have calculated how far he has run during his spell, what amount of energy he needs and what should be the point beyond which he should not be made to bowl. The GPS tracking science was introduced to cricket by the Canberra-based Australian Institute of Sports (AIS).
Cricket Australia began its own programme a few years ago through its Sport Science Sport Medicine (SSSM) Unit, which is administered from the National Cricket Centre, Brisbane. Studying match workload by using GPS technology has supplemented skills training and detailed anthropometric — study of measurements and proportions of the body— profiling to monitor player endurance.
Stuart McLennan, AIS spokesman, told HT: “GPS tracking and biomechanics the AIS had introduced to cricket. That was a revolutionary technology with greater results. It was AIS which brought the science of biomechanics into cricket to check faulty bowling action. Our other Olympic sports have also benefited from this technology.” Players strap the GPS device to their body, under the shirt. The data generated is used by the team doctor, trainers and coach to calculate the workload, training volumes and exertion. It helps measure acceleration, strength, movement and heart rate. The AIS, however, has moved on. McLennan said: “Now, we focus more on Olympic sports rather than professional sport.”