How does cricket Ultra-Edge work?

The ultra-edge technology relies on mics placed in the cricket stump with high reception to pick sounds made by a nicked ball. If a batter nicks the balls before it hit the pads, it will result in a ‘Not Out’ through ultra-edge.

Is Ultra-Edge the Same as Snickometer?

Ultra-edge has similar operation with a snickometer, as both system tell if a batter nicked the ball. Ultra-edge and snickometer both rely on waveforms made by sounds captured by the mics at stumps.

Does the Ultra-Edge Fail?

Several notable failures of ultra-edge technology have been noted in Indian Premier League (IPL) games. Let’s see some of the most popular failures of this technology and how IPL fans react to its errors.

Wrong decision against Matthew Wade

Ultra-edge is not a perfect technology as expected since it has several errors on record. A popular error occurred in an IPL game involving the Gujarat Titans (GT). Aussie and GT batter Matthew Wade was deemed out after nicking the ball because ultra-edge technology failed to capture this action.

The incident was so super-charged that the Australian cricketer got into a prolonged rage in the GT dressing room. A fan commented on the incident through X (formerly Twitter):

BRING BACK HOTSPOT! This sniko meter is Worst!Sad for Matthew Wade was absolutely not out. Now ultraedge also getting fixed😂This season Umpiring and Sniko meter r bullshit #IPL20222 #GTvsRCB#GTvsRCB #RCBvGT #ViratKohli #BCCI @BCCI

— Vinay Kulkarni (@vinayk_415)

Another user had this to say about the incident:

Ball clearly change the direction…. but no spike on ULTRAEDGE……….. imagine AMBANI JOKES and UMPIRE JOKE if this happens when Mumbai Indians bowling…………

— Anmol (@anmol1999)

The matter was quite charged at that time, and the-then GT skipper Hardik Pandya weighed in on the incident:

I think it was slightly there (spike) in UltraEdge. From the big screen, it was not visible, but you can’t fault it. If technology is not helping, then I don’t know who’s going to help. Obviously, it’s nothing personal from anybody, but technology sometimes helps, sometimes it does not. This time, it did not help but most of the time it has worked and kind of overturned decisions. Most of the times, the right decision has been taken.

Wrong decision against Rohit Sharma

Other incidents have occurred in IPL cricket that has also seen Mumbai Indians (MI) player Rohit Sharma adjudged as out after nicking the ball against the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).

Repeat failures from ultra-edge ahs been a cause for concern among fans and players, with some sets of commentators calling for an overhaul of the current system. Reactions trailing the failure of ultra-edge technology have not been subtle, as an X post showed:

BCCI SHOULD ADD HOTSPOT SYSTEM.WTF ULTRA EDGE #rohit #MIvsKKR

— Vikas Kumar (@VikashK21296234)

Wrong decision against Mitchell Marsh

Delhi Capitals (DC) batsman Mitchell Marsh nicked the ball before walking off against Lucknow Supergiants (LSG). Replays showed that the batsman nicked the ball as he thought, but ultra-edge gave a different result.

Will Ultra-Edge Technology Get Better?

Ultra-edge technology will evidently become better with more updates to its overall system. It will not be the first time a new technology fails to achieve its potential after deployment on the big stage. Many sports technologies in ice hockey, football (soccer), basketball, and other sports have gone through several reviews across seasons.

What Can Make Ultra-Edge Work Better?

Hotspot technology can make ultra-edge work much better in cricket games. The technology relies on infrared (IR) cameras as part of its ball-tracking system to identify heat patterns made by cricket ball on impact. Hotspot can help determine whether a batsman should be out or not.

With the technology, umpires can determine if a cricket ball strikes the player, ground, or equipment. Heat signatures will register in any location impacted by the cricket ball. The system works with heat signature intensity and will be able to detect if a ball hits a pad, bat, or multiple locations.

Why is Hotspot Not Deployed Alongside Ultra-Edge?

Hotspot technology can help curb the spate of wrong decisions made against cricketers in high-value matches. However, the technology can be quite expensive to maintain across all IPL locations at once. Hotspot technology relies on multiple cameras to function and its state-of-the-art features may be too complex or costly for some franchises to maintain.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has not made ultra-edge or hotspot technology compulsory for franchise cricket. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) also doesn’t seem too interested in adopting the technology all over IPL cricket venues for now.

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