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Ultra Edge Technology: What is it and what are potential reasons for a glitch in its functioning?

After a controversial decision against Rohit Sharma, the debate between Ultra Edge and Hotspot technologies in cricket has arisen once again

Ultra Edge Technology: What is it and what are potential reasons for a glitch in its functioning?

C.C. Chengappa

Updated: 10 May 2022 7:59 AM GMT

After a controversial decision against Mumbai captain Rohit Sharma in the match with Kolkata Knight Riders at the 2022 IPL, the debate about technology's effective use in cricket has once again arisen. We take a look at how Ultra Edge functions and potential reasons for an in-game glitch which could lead to a wrongful dismissal of a batsman.

What is Ultra Edge technology?

Ultra Edge technology is a system used in cricket to judge whether the ball has touched the bat after going past it, post a valid delivery having been bowled. It has been approved for use by the International Cricket Council after thorough tests and verification. There is a system of stump mic's placed behind the batsman and cameras placed around the stadium that observes the ball and the sound it makes. Upon striking the bat, the ball produces a particular sound that is picked up by the wicket and detected on the tracking screen.

What is the process for tracking a potential wicket claim?

This stump mic is able to differentiate between sounds made by the bat, pad and body based on frequency levels. As soon as the ball goes near the bat, the cameras placed on either side of the batsman on opposing ends of the field track the ball for a visual depiction. The sound microphone then picks up the sound based on the movement and sends it to an oscilloscope. This oscilloscope shows the sound frequency levels in waves.

The combination of the camera and stump mic helps umpires decide whether the ball touched the bat.

What are the potential reasons for an Ultra Edge sound glitch?

There are multiple reasons that may cause glitches in the functioning of Ultra Sound. The most common one is when a spike is witnessed in the sound wavelengths prior to the ball coming near the bat. This could be due to a potential fault in the stump mic or due to external sounds picked up by the mic at the time of the ball being bowled.

The bat hitting the ground at the same time as the ball hits the bat is one potential contribution to a glitch where the sound detected by the mic causes confusion. The ball hitting the body after passing the bat which is in close proximity to the body can also lead to a distortion in the sound lengths detected.

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