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October 19, 2009, 11:59 PM
Binary numbers in cricket.

Stupid Stats

And to finish up, here is a statistical oddity for all you science and cricket nerds out there – and I mean that as a complement, as clearly I am one. This comes from an article by Andrew Miller on the very comprehensive and well-regarded cricket website, Cricinfo.

Prior to the start of the Australia vs Sri Lanka game on April 16, the One-Day International statistics for Australian fast-bowler Shaun Tait had a rather unusual bent to them – they were a computer geek’s dream - everything was in binary.

Matches played 11, Innings 1, Not Outs 0, Runs 11, Highest Score 11, Average 11.00, Balls faced 10, Strike Rate 110.00, Hundreds 0, Fifties 0, Fours 1, Sixes 1, Catches 1, Stumpings 0.

So there you go, the guys over at Cricinfo have too much time on their hands...If you are indeed interested, this binary number 1110111111001011000001110 is equal to 31430158 in normal old decimal


October 20, 2009, 12:06 AM
How do world-class cricket batsmen anticipate a bowler's intention?

According to folklore, cricket is 90% a mental game.

Independent studies by Alistair McRobert from Liverpool John Moores University in the UK, and Dr Sean Müller from RMIT University in Australia, have both concluded that the very best batsmen can predict the sort of ball they will receive even before the ball leaves the bowler’s hand.

The research programs were conducted in parallel without feeding into each other, suggesting that it is with such scientific studies that countries are looking to find the edge.

The programs, conducted for the ECB by McRobert and published in the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology by Müller, state that mediocre batsmen do not pick up on the subtle clues given off by a bowler, showing that perhaps the importance of psychology in cricket is even deeper than we might have first thought.

Whilst a lesser batsman will only make his decision about where the ball will land once it is in flight, or will perhaps make an early faulty call, an experienced player can start this decision-making process earlier, giving him more time for shot selection – very important if you’re facing Steve Harmison or Brett Lee.

McRobert’s study found that skilled batsmen pick up information from the bowlers “central body features (head-shoulders, trunk-hip)” and less skilled batsmen rely on clues in the bowler’s hand and ball position. The Australian study found that “highly skilled players demonstrated the …unique capability to pick up advance information from some specific early cues to which the less skilled players were not attuned.”

Both experiments were conducted on elite players – in Müller’s case, the Australian cricket team – and then repeated on intermediate and novice cricketers.

One test involved showing the participants a video of a bowler running in from the batsman’s perspective, and stopped the video at various points so that the batsman could make a prediction about what might happen next. McRobert’s tests also focused on the eye-movements of the batsmen using head mounted optics and high speed cameras to try and understand the subconscious decision making of the batsman.

The research has the potential to allow coaches to understand how body language is communicated. McRobert’s study suggests that experience against all types of bowlers is also important.

“Our research revealed that a batsman uses different search strategies when facing fast and spin bowlers… It is important that information relating to potential visual cues is specific to the type of bowler.”

The work also suggests that match context determines how a batsman makes his decisions, and so coaching sessions could be designed to focus on the aspects of the game that play with the mind, rather than aspects of a batsman’s technique.


October 20, 2009, 12:09 AM
Curse of the Duck

Tuesday, 30 December 2008
The curse of the duck
Cricket fans love their stats. Even the most casual follower can rattle off the batting averages of their favourite players or tell you how many wickets such-and-such a bowler took in the last test. The most passionate followers can recite each scorecard from this year's Wisden.

The recent news of the great Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar surpassing West Indian Brian Lara's record number of test runs has given maths-loving cricket geeks another opportunity to pull out their calculators and Excel spreadsheets. I'm openly one of these nuts and did just that.

At the time of writing, Tendulkar had scored 12,027 runs across 247 innings, to overtake Lara's 11,953 from 232 innings. After a little investigation, I found that despite his outstanding average of over 54 runs per innings, Tendulkar's most common score in test cricket is ... zero!

This was quite a shock — the most prolific run-scorer in test cricket has been out for nought (a duck in cricket parlance) 14 times, well ahead of his second most common score — which incidentally is the next lowest you can get: one!

This is completely counter-intuitive, so I took this investigation further. Australian cricketer Sir Donald Bradman is universally regarded as the best batsman ever to have played the game. His average, an astounding 99.94, is so far above every other batsman in the history of the game that he is often acclaimed as not only the best cricketer ever, but the best player ever of any sport. His average is so iconic in Australia that the postcode of the ABC (the Australian version of the BBC) is 9994 in every capital city. If it wasn't for the fact that much more test cricket is played nowadays than in the early 1900s, and for World War II interrupting his career for six years, Bradman would have scored many more than the 6996 runs he did score.

So, guess what Bradman's most common score was?

That's right, zero!...


October 20, 2009, 12:17 AM
Correlation of the Week: Ashes success and El Nino

As we have shown on this blog a number of times (see here, here and here for starters), cricket fans love their maths. So it should come as no surprise that another cricket/maths story has recently come out, this time from the University of Reading linking cricket success with the weather! I only blog my maths/cricket geekiness, these guys have research funding!

Manoj Joshi has shown that the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon has a significant effect on the results of The Ashes cricket series between Australia and England when the series is held in Australia. The Australian Cricket team is more likely to succeed after El Nino years, while the English cricket team does better following La Nina years (the opposite phase). Their study, Could El Niño Southern Oscillation affect the results of the Ashes series in Australia? was published in the journal Weather.

I didn't quite believe this at first, so I took their data, redid the maths, and it turns out that they are correct! However, the media interpretations of these results are not surprisingly a little over the top. Whilst there is a significant correlation between the state of El Nino in the year before the Ashes series and the result, the correlation itself is weak. This is an important point to keep in mind with any correlation - strength and significance are two different things - even sciencedaily got this wrong in its reporting on the topic. There is a nice explanation of these ideas here.

Strength refers to how well the data sets move with each other, significance refers to how likely it is the correlation occurred by chance. For example, you can easily get a strong correlation between two data sets if you have only a small amount of data. But as you lack data, it is unlikely that the relationship will actually be significant. In our case however, the correlation is quite weak, but the relationship is significant. The conclusion to this study should be that ENSO plays a very small role in determining the results of Ashes series in Australia, but that other factors are likely to be more important, and that simple noise and randomness will probably have more of an effect than the phase of ENSO. It is only over time that this correlation can be teased out. The study does admit this, with Joshi saying:

"There are of course many different factors governing the outcome of any given sporting contest, which would act as noise in this analysis."

But I think his statement that "the study could even influence whether the England touring team should include more fast bowlers or more 'swing' bowlers" is probably a little bold (and to his credit he does admit this)!

So, how does this all work?

There are two phases of ENSO - during El Nino, the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean warms by about 1 degree. For Australia this means low rainfall and high temperatures. La Nina is a reverse, with more rain and a drop in temperature. The study analysed the results of all Ashes matches held in Australia from 1882-2007 and found that during El Nino years, the Australian team won 13 out of 17 series (76%), but only five out of the 13 played in La Nina years (38%). England has only won one Ashes series in the last 100 years following an El Nino event - the Bodyline series in 1932/33. The author speculates that cricket pitch conditions can affect the outcome of a match with the drier pitches of El Nino favouring fast Australian bowlers with the English slower swing bowlers enjoying La Nina.

Now to the maths. I have reproduced the results from the paper in our chart as you can see here. On the y-axis is the series result (English wins minus Australian wins). On the x-axis is the Nino 3 index, which is the mean monthly temperature anomaly in the eastern tropical Pacific: 5S-5N; 150W-90W. Of course, all the dots should be on integer values of y - some were shifted in the original paper for ease of viewing. The correlation is still correct.


bujhee kom
October 20, 2009, 12:30 AM
Munshi bhai, apni daroon brainy manoos!

October 20, 2009, 12:45 AM
Ranking Cricketers

Cricket is one of the world's most statistical sports, and mathematicians in cricket-loving nations love nothing more than delving into the minutiae of the numbers and diving into averages, strike-rates and custom-made measures of batting and bowling effectiveness.

For many people, including me, cricket isn't just a sport, it is a way of life.

These words could easily have come from me, but are actually the words of Rob Eastaway, a cricket-loving mathematician from the UK, and originator of the official International Cricket Council cricket-ratings which rank not only teams, but players within each team. In this week's podcast, I chat to Rob about how you mathematically rank cricketers.



October 20, 2009, 01:28 AM
oh no! not again.... :wow:

October 20, 2009, 01:42 AM
oh no! not again.... :wow:

Just being a messenger that's it. This time I have no hand in this... :)

October 21, 2009, 12:16 AM
WOW!!!!! Very Interesting. Nice to read. Thanks.

October 22, 2009, 07:32 PM
Curse of the Duck
That's right, zero!...


Thats because batsmen are most vulnerable, getting settled in

December 24, 2009, 09:17 PM
The masters of sports psychology

THE most fascinating piece of sports theatre on television over the weekend might not have been Tottenham putting nine past Wigan's goalkeeper in the Premier League, nor Lee Westwood's domination of a rich golf tournament in Dubai. It was a hit-and-giggle affair from the Gabba, Australia against the All-Stars in a Twenty20 cricket match.

Specifically, what made it riveting was the fact that the key players were miked up. Here in the space of a couple of hours were a series of gentle reminders of what we all miss about Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Adam Gilchrist. Here was a reminder that in top-level sport, brains are everything (and take note, you recruiters heading to Thursday's AFL draft).

Here is McGrath bowling seam-up with the new ball, chiding himself about only reaching 110 km/h speeds, but still ridiculously miserly. McGrath is approaching 40, and has played two Twenty20 games in the past six months, but he could bowl stump-to-stump in his sleep.

Here's where the brains kick in. McGrath bowls a couple of inswingers to the left-handed David Warner, cramping him for room. Then he flags that he will bowl a little slider, running the fingers down the seam and angling it across Warner. He tips that Warne, standing at slip, will get himself a catch.

On cue, Warner nicks it. McGrath only gets one aspect wrong. The catch flies to Gilchrist behind the stumps. Gilchrist, who also is miked up and who has heard the plan hatched, is exultant.

Soon enough, Warne is bowling and the boys from Channel Nine ask him for a running commentary on his over. As it happens, he's bowling to Michael Clarke, one of the best players of spin in the world, a man with dancing feet. Moreover, Warne and Clarke are friends; Warne is calling Clarke his personal Daryll Cullinan but, at 40, there is a question mark as to whether he can back it up.

Immediately, Clarke is advancing down the track to cover the spin. Speaking through his microphone, Warne reveals his plan to draw Clarke out of his crease, then fire one down a little wider of off stump. Quicker and straighter, it could produce a stumping, or a nick.

It's great theatre now. Down comes Clarke, unaware of the trap. Warne pulls it wide and Australia's captain-in-waiting is stranded, on the verge of a major embarrassment. A lunging bat and a thick outside edge saves him as the ball squirts to point. Warne groans, and we've surely heard that before - a few thousand times.

At this level of sport, everyone is so good that they are all looking for an edge. Warne and McGrath have great physical gifts, no doubt, but it is nous and cunning that set them apart. It is working out what you can and can't do, and then applying the same logic to your opposition, augmenting your great skills.

They are champions of sports psychology, that pair. But then there is Gilchrist, who represents another genre. He might well be the opposite, in the sense that the less he thought, the better he played, an instinctive genius. During one particular patch of poor batting some years ago, he was asked what he was thinking about at the crease. Gilchrist replied that when he started thinking, he knew he was in trouble. Like David Gower, who summarised his method as ''I see 'em, I hit 'em'', Gilchrist was an instinctive player, and he knew it.

Just watch the ball and let everything else happen was his mantra. So that when Peter Siddle fired one in short to Gilchrist on Sunday night, it was automatic. He rocked back and hit it into the seats at deep mid-wicket. Now there's another one we've seen before.


================================================== =======================================

A related link. Has an important statistic like "to score a test century, which takes on 3.5 hours, a batsman will stand still for two hours, walk for an hour, jog for 10 minutes, spend only five minutes running hard, and about 1.5 minutes spriting." Explains why not so super duper fit guy like Sehwag can score such fast test centuries.

Read on.... http://cdn4.libsyn.com/mrscienceshow/Cricket_Science_Canberra_Times.pdf?nvb=20091225022 303&nva=20091226023303&t=022ca3d6b80a474007fb7

December 24, 2009, 09:24 PM
Here are some questions I found interesting culled from an interview:

Should science of cricket be introduced as a subject at Graduate/ Post graduate level? May be, appropriate certification from universities as a discipline as in the case of Film industry - acting, directing etc.?

Do you think in near future Cricket players would be selected after testing for their physical fitness, for their suitability and then going through intense training for both the game and athletics - using advance simulators, like we do in Aircraft Pilots' training?

How the application of Mathematics and Physics have helped in better bowling and fielding?

For the answers, read on... http://www.vigyanprasar.gov.in/comcom/inter72.htm

December 24, 2009, 10:02 PM
Thats because batsmen are most vulnerable, getting settled in

It kind of elaborates further on it. Enjoy. :)

Neel Here
December 25, 2009, 03:59 PM
fantastic thread ! more please !

A related link. Has an important statistic like "to score a test century, which takes on 3.5 hours, a batsman will stand still for two hours, walk for an hour, jog for 10 minutes, spend only five minutes running hard, and about 1.5 minutes spriting." Explains why not so super duper fit guy like Sehwag can score such fast test centuries.

Read on.... http://cdn4.libsyn.com/mrscienceshow/Cricket_Science_Canberra_Times.pdf?nvb=20091225022 303&nva=20091226023303&t=022ca3d6b80a474007fb7

may be that's why he tries to do it before he gets tired ! :-p

August 22, 2010, 01:24 AM
It’s not just cricket – actually it's physics

<small>October 6, 2006

</small><!-- Main --> <!-- <div id="news-main"> --> <!-- google_ad_section_start --> Ever wanted to face a Shane Warne spin delivery or smash a Glen McGrath speed bowl? A new bowling simulator may enable you to do just that. The machine is the first of its kind to use physics, real cricket balls and novel speed and spin generating mechanisms to imitate realistic deliveries (e.g. spin, swing and pace) as generated by professional cricket players. Dr Andy West, the machine’s inventor at Loughborough University described it at an Institute of Physics conference, Physics and Engineering – Synergy for Success, yesterday.
<!-- Google FISRT Adsense block --> <script language="JavaScript"> <!-- var google_adnum = 0; google_ad_client = "pub-0536483524803400"; google_ad_output = "js"; google_feedback = "on"; google_max_num_ads = 2; google_ad_type = 'text'; // ch news google_ad_channel ="0559369967+7377547201+0981327436"; google_hints = "ball air flow"; --> </script> <script type="text/javascript" language="JavaScript" src="http://www.physorg.com/js/adsense_news_page2.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript" language="JavaScript" src="http://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/show_ads.js"></script><script src="http://googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/test_domain.js"></script><script>google_protectAndRun("ads_core.google_render_ad", google_handleError, google_render_ad);</script><script language="JavaScript1.1" src="http://googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/ads?client=ca-pub-0536483524803400&output=js&lmt=1282458251&num_ads=2&channel=0559369967%2B7377547201%2B0981327436&ad_type=text&ea=0&feedback_link=on&flash=10.1.82&hints=ball%20air%20flow&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.physorg.com%2Fnews79359101.ht ml&dt=1282458251868&shv=r20100818&correlator=1282458251870&jscb=1&frm=0&adk=3201916084&ga_vid=224532626.1282457554&ga_sid=1282457554&ga_hid=453271655&ga_fc=1&u_tz=-420&u_his=50&u_java=1&u_h=1024&u_w=1280&u_ah=994&u_aw=1280&u_cd=24&u_nplug=9&u_nmime=46&biw=1263&bih=834&ref=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.physorg.com%2Fsearch%2F%3Fsea rch%3Dcricket%2Bscores&fu=0&ifi=1&dtd=16"></script>
Dr West said: “By considering the physics of air flow around a ball and launch conditions we have made a robotic bowler that we can programme to mimic Warne, McGrath or the style of any other bowler. When we were designing the machine, we considered all the things that real players use, such as the orientation of the seam and the speed at which the ball is released to vary how a ball travels when it is bowled.”

“Real life bowlers can get tired or injured during extensive training periods so the machine is ideal for batsmen to practise with. The team coach can programme it to bowl whatever sequences of deliveries he wants. Alternatively, exactly the same ball can be bowled again and again (referred to as shot grooving) until cricketers become expert at hitting them.”

The trajectory of the ball from the bowling machine to the batsman is dependent on how the boundary air, the air next to the ball, moves around it and how it separates or moves away from the ball. There are two different types of air flow – laminar, which is smooth - and turbulent, which is rough. In laminar flow the boundary layer separates approximately halfway around the ball whereas in turbulent flow the separation is later.

The seam on a cricket ball “trips” the air flow into turbulence so there is rough air flow on one side of the ball and smooth air flow on the other. This creates an uneven air flow around the whole ball which causes a sideways drift. The size of the drift depends on the angle of the seam, the speed of the ball and the condition of the original air flow around the ball. It is essential therefore that the seam is aligned accurately to enable any machine to be able to generate this type of “swing” delivery.

Dr West continued: “Consideration of the physics of flight and the requirements of players and coaches has enabled us to make a very realistic bowling machine that will be great for professional cricketers to practise with. However our vision is that the machine is not just for the professional. The cricket emulator is part of a co-ordinated suite of sports simulation machines that have been or are currently under development at Loughborough covering sports such as golf, football, cycling, rowing and weight training.”

Source: Institute of Physics


August 22, 2010, 01:27 AM
Cricket ball quality hit for six
<small>November 26, 200

</small><!-- Main --> <!-- <div id="news-main"> --> http://cdn.physorg.com/newman/gfx/news/2008/SG_rubber_cork_lowres.jpg
<!-- google_ad_section_start -->
A cross-section of two cricket balls to illustrate the issue - the same brand, same model of cricket ball, but with two different cores. Left (darker core): rubber (extremely soft ball). Right: cork core (extremely hard ball). Photo courtesy of Dr Franz Konstantin Fuss.
(PhysOrg.com) -- A study by a University of Adelaide sports engineer shows that not all cricket balls are consistently manufactured, causing quality issues and potentially having major implications for cricket matches. <!-- Google FISRT Adsense block --> <script language="JavaScript"> <!-- var google_adnum = 0; google_ad_client = "pub-0536483524803400"; google_ad_output = "js"; google_feedback = "on"; google_max_num_ads = 2; google_ad_type = 'text'; // ch news google_ad_channel ="0559369967+7377547201+2366399984"; google_hints = "cricket ball balls"; --> </script> <script type="text/javascript" language="JavaScript" src="http://www.physorg.com/js/adsense_news_page2.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript" language="JavaScript" src="http://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/show_ads.js"></script><script src="http://googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/test_domain.js"></script><script>google_protectAndRun("ads_core.google_render_ad", google_handleError, google_render_ad);</script><script language="JavaScript1.1" src="http://googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/ads?client=ca-pub-0536483524803400&output=js&lmt=1282458323&num_ads=2&channel=0559369967%2B7377547201%2B2366399984&ad_type=text&ea=0&feedback_link=on&flash=10.1.82&hints=cricket%20ball%20balls&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.physorg.com%2Fnews146926770.h tml&dt=1282458324185&shv=r20100818&correlator=1282458324186&jscb=1&frm=0&adk=3201916084&ga_vid=224532626.1282457554&ga_sid=1282457554&ga_hid=1574988941&ga_fc=1&u_tz=-420&u_his=50&u_java=1&u_h=1024&u_w=1280&u_ah=994&u_aw=1280&u_cd=24&u_nplug=9&u_nmime=46&biw=1263&bih=834&ref=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.physorg.com%2Fsearch%2F%3Fsea rch%3Dcricket%2Bscores&fu=0&ifi=1&dtd=14"></script>
The research, conducted by the coordinator of the Sports Engineering degree program at the University of Adelaide, Associate Professor Franz Konstantin Fuss, studied five models of cricket balls manufactured in Australia, India and Pakistan.

The study looked at the methods of construction, stiffness, viscous and elastic properties, and included changes to the balls' performance under compression and stress relaxation tests.
The results of his study will be discussed today (Thursday 27 November) at a free public event, Pride, Prejudice, Power & Race in Cricket, being held at the University of South Australia and University of Adelaide this week.

Dr Fuss found that the model manufactured in Australia - the Kookaburra Special Test - was the only cricket ball manufactured consistently. The other four models were found to have inconsistent "stiffness", which can play an important part in how a ball reacts when struck by the bat.

"In contrast to other sport balls, most cricket balls are still hand-made, which may affect the consistency of manufacturing and thus the properties of a ball," Dr Fuss says.

"Of the five we looked at, the Kookaburra was the only one manufactured consistently. The other four models revealed two different, yet externally indistinguishable constructions, which resulted in two clusters of different stiffness: soft and hard. In some cases, balls tested from the same model behaved like completely different balls.

"The consistency of cricket balls may have severe implications during a match, as softer balls are more 'forgiving' because they have a smaller impact force, a longer contact with the bat, larger deflections as well as larger contact areas during impact, which, in sum, allows a batsman to place the ball more precisely.

"If the batsman doesn't hit the ball perfectly, a softer ball can still go in the direction aimed at by maintaining its velocity; a hard ball might slide off the bat," he says.

Issues that may impact on the inconsistent performance of cricket balls include: different core sizes, different core materials (cork, rubber, or a mixture of the two), the tension of woollen twine inside the ball, and lacquer surface finish.

Dr Fuss says he believes a standard manufacturing process should be enforced to reduce the "lottery effect" of unseen inconsistencies. "A more stringent quality control and testing standard is required for cricket balls in order to avoid unequal chances for both teams," he says.

The results of this study were published in the international journal Sports Technology earlier this year. For a full copy of the paper, please go to http://www3.inters … 073/PDFSTART (http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/fulltext/120195073/PDFSTART)

(http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/fulltext/120195073/PDFSTART)Provided by University of Adelaide

(http://www.google.com/url?ct=abg&q=https://www.google.com/adsense/support/bin/request.py%3Fcontact%3Dabg_afc%26url%3Dhttp://www.physorg.com/news146926770.html%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dca-pub-0536483524803400%26adU%3Dwww.usa.siemens.com%26adT %3DImageAd%26gl%3DUS&usg=AFQjCNFiNBLD3q9evJNAyN26MZ39OAK0TQ)

August 22, 2010, 01:35 AM
Why the slow paced world could make it difficult to catch a ball...

<small>August 4, 2008 </small> <!-- Main --> <!-- <div id="news-main"> --> <!-- google_ad_section_start -->

BBSRC researchers at the University of Birmingham have uncovered new information about the way that we perceive fast moving, incoming objects – such as tennis or cricket balls. The new research, published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), studies why the human brain has difficulty perceiving fast moving objects coming from straight ahead; something that should be a key survival skill. The research has implications for understanding how top-class sportspeople make decisions about playing a shot but could also be important for improving road safety and for the development of robotic vision systems.

The information that the brain uses to process moving objects and to estimate their likely trajectory – which can then be used to decide whether to move out of the way or how to play a shot or catch a ball – is biased by the generally slow moving world around us. Dr Andrew Welchman, a Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) David Phillips Fellow, has discovered that this bias affects the way we perceive and interpret objects approaching from dead ahead far more than objects moving side-to-side in our field of vision.

Dr Welchman explains: "We may think we live in a fast moving, hectic world, but statistically our environment moves around us slowly. Apart from the odd speeding car, buildings, landscape and walls around us all move past us at slow and predictable speeds. Our brains are constantly building up a statistical picture of the world around and, based on experience, it is a statistically slow world.
"When an object moves quickly – be it a football, cricket ball or, for our ancestors, a spear – our brains have to interpret the movement rapidly and, because our brains draw on experience, it's often biased by what it already knows. The less certain we are about what we see, the more we are influenced by the brain's statistical assumptions, which means in some circumstances we get it wrong."

The human visual system can interpret sideways movement better than it can the movement of objects straight towards us, and this affects our judgments about objects coming our way. Working with colleagues at the Max Planck Institute in Tuebingen, Germany, Dr Welchman developed a mathematical model to show how the brain predicts the motion of an incoming object and tested this with experiments. His model shows that our previous experience of the world around us guides our perception more for objects that come straight towards us than when objects move sideways. The result of this is that approaching objects can look slower than they are and we can believe and object will miss us when actually due to hit us.
Dr Welchman said: "Although it is not surprising that sportsmen who practice a lot build up a better statistical picture in their minds about where a ball might go, it is surprising that what should be a vital survival skill is based on such a trial and error learning experience."

The research has serious applications beyond the world of sports. Motorists driving in poor visual conditions such as fog often drive too fast for the conditions because they judge speed inappropriately. The poor visual information produced by fog means the brain relies more on its assumption that the world moves slowly, so the car's motion is judged slower than it actually is.

Dr Welchman said: "The research also has important long term application to robotics and assistive technologies. Capitalising on nature's design is a good way of building artificial visual systems for robots – as humans get visual judgments right a lot more often than the best current robot systems. Further, knowing the situations in which humans get it wrong is a useful starting point for the design of assistive devices to help correct those errors before they have serious consequences."
Source: Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council


August 22, 2010, 01:48 AM
A Mathematical Modelling Approach to One-Day Cricket Batting Orders

September 18, 2012, 05:28 PM
Why top sport stars might have 'more time' on the ball

The oft-repeated statement that the very best sportsmen and women seem to have more time may have a kernel of truth, according to neuroscientists.

Researchers at University College London have found that an individual's perception of time does seem to slow as they prepare to make a physical action.

They suggest that getting ready to pick a pass or smash a ball affects the way the brain can processes information.


September 19, 2012, 02:00 AM
Loved reading this thread !!! Thank you !!!

October 23, 2012, 04:58 PM


One World
May 16, 2013, 12:17 AM
Randomness and Cricket, how Einstein is quoted multiple times in the comments is really breathtaking.