Anil Kumble
Anil Kumble. Image-AFP

Former India captain Anil Kumble has given his backing to the technology and data used in sport to enhance the performance of a player and a team on the field.

Citing the example of the Decision Review System (DRS) used in contemporary cricket, the Punjab Kings head coach asserted that if the players and coaches don’t accept and use the technology, they risk being left behind by other teams.

India, Dawid Malan
DRS in use. [Image-BCCI]
Speaking at a webinar titled ‘Building Competitive Advantage through Sports Analytics and Data Intelligence’, organised by Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai with Deakin University South Asia, the legendary leg-spinner said:

“There is the influence of DRS already in cricket and I am sure there will be more technological influence on decision making as we go along. Also the fact about players’ acceptance of being a part of this innovation, otherwise you will be left behind.”

“I know this, we are still sort of having that debate over, is this too much technology in sport or should I just go back to my own belief that “ok I just watch the ball, hit the ball, that’s the simple way

“Yes, that’s the simple way, but then I think, if you don’t sort of adapt to technology that’s coming in and used the technology for the good of the game, I think people will be left behind,” he added.

Anil Kumble, ICC
Head of ICC Cricket Committee Anil Kumble (Photo- Getty)

Further, Anil Kumble believes that the on-the-rise OTT platforms will give stiff competition to the regular broadcasters as they use innovative latest technologies.

“I don’t see just the broadcasters influencing technology in the sport but even the federations will start looking at innovative ways of bringing in technology into sport.

“Because all these years, it is been TV and broadcasters, who pushed these innovations, which is great for the game and as we move into other OTT platforms, there will be more technology coming into sport and that to me will be the biggest change that I see going forward,” India’s leading Test wicket-taker said. 

As the game gets shorter, the dependence on data is far far more: Anil Kumble

Anil Kumble
Anil Kumble (Image courtesy: IPLT20.com)

The legendary leg-spinner highlighted the importance of data in T20 cricket and other short-format cricket. Many players and franchises have embraced the data intelligence and hired analysts for this while some others are catching up.

“So as the game gets shorter, the dependence on data is far far more in putting together a squad, strategies, match-ups, we keep talking about match-ups and that’s how you sort of build a strategy around teams, so that will only be the driving factor,” the 50-year-old elaborated.

Anil Kumble will next be seen during the second half of the IPL 2021, where he will be coaching Punjab Kings. KL Rahul-led side is currently sitting on the sixth spot of the points table with 3 wins in 8 games in the first half of the season.

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