Wanderers going high tech

Barbados Nation article.

BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS - Wanderers may not be playing in the Barbados Cricket Association’s Elite Division, but that hasn’t stopped the club from adopting an elite approach to development.

Thanks mainly to the brainstorming of Gary Belle, Wanderers have become the first local cricket team to offer live streaming of their matches.

The process started on the opening day of the season against Banks and continued last Saturday against Yorkshire at Friendship, with live airing on Ustream.

The club has embraced the use of technology to aid in its development, having also established a Twitter account three years ago which now has more than 300 followers.

According to Belle, the team’s video analyst, the idea of providing live streaming was conceptualized last year, and after some deliberation, a decision was made to implement it at the beginning of the 2013 season.

He said that along with live streaming, he would also be providing video analysis in an effort to improve the quality of play at the club.

“This is all of part of our efforts to improve the level of cricket at Wanderers and in Barbados on a whole,” he told MIDWEEK SPORT during an interview.

“Although we are in First Division we still attract some of the best players in Barbados such as Kraigg Brathwaite, Kirk Edwards and Jason Holder, and we also have some up-and-coming young cricketers,” he said.

“We didn’t want to just provide live streaming, however, so we decided to offer the video analysis so that we would be able to provide information to our players to try and help them to improve.”

Belle, a former Barbados Under-15 off-spinner who was member of successful Roody Estwick-coached Combermere School teams, revealed that the information which he extracted from the video analysis wouldn’t only benefit his club.

Umpires and opposing players would also get the opportunity to use the data if they desired.

“I’ve already been approached by umpires who wanted to know if they had made the right decisions in giving batsmen out, or if they had missed a no-ball or a wide,” he said.

“Even players from opposing teams have the opportunity to use the information if they desire, although they would have to pay a small fee.”

Belle maintained that this was a huge step forward for local cricket and he would like to see it emulated elsewhere.

“It would be great if other clubs could offer live streaming and video analysis as well.

“That would really assist in helping their players to develop, and in the long run Barbados’ cricket would be the biggest winners of all,” Belle said.

Referring specifically to the club’s use of Twitter, he said that since creating the account in 2010 the club had attracted several followers and fans from outside of Barbados.

He said that now that they were offering live streaming, those persons could now watch cricket from the comfort of their homes.

“At first our Twitter account was used strictly by people within the cricket fraternity, but it has grown and grown since then,” Belle added.

“Now we have some overseas followers from as far as Europe and Asia, some of whom have even visited Barbados and joined the club based on our tweets.”

First Published In Barbados Nation.

Wed, 05/22/2013 - 03:49