Cricket, and its embracing of technology in order to enhance the viewing experience for supporters, is determined not to stand still and this year it has introduced another new system designed to do just that.

WASP - Winning and Score Predictor - aims to predict a possible score in the first innings of an ODI and also the possibility of the team batting second winning the match by giving them a percentage chance throughout their innings. The viewers, and indeed the players themselves, can therefore track the progress of their team and see whether the percentage chance of victory is in their favour or whether they are going to set a decent target.

The system itself was developed in New Zealand, at the University of Canterbury, and was first used by Sky Sports New Zealand in November 2012 in a game between Auckland and Wellington.

The model itself is highly complicated as it does not just take into account the game itself. It is designed to factor in the match situation such as the size of the boundary, the pitch and also the weather. It also looks at the average batting side playing against the average bowling side. The model that has been designed is based on historic matches from both ODIs and T20s since 2006, played by the top eight countries.

WASP does have its drawbacks in the sense that it does not take into account the individuals involved. For instance, if a side's best bowler is bowling it will not factor that into the equation but in reality we all know that if Saeed Ajmal is bowling against an average batsmen then Ajmal and his side are probably going to be in the ascendancy.

Also, if a batsmen that has had to bat at say ten or eleven because of incurring an earlier injury in the match, WASP would not take that into account as it would simply look at the wickets and runs situation. So in theory a side's best batsmen could be coming in lower down the order and make the percentage chance of winning look totally wrong. However, these instances are rare.

Sky have adopted WASP this season so you may have seen it in the bottom right corner of your television screen during England's recent ODIs and also the domestic one-day competitions. Although it may have its faults, it does add to our experience and is a great way of increasing debate on the game currently being played.

Obviously technology can get out of hand when introduced into sport but the introduction of WASP is most certainly not one of those instances. I have no doubt technology will continue to progress in cricket, whether it is for the benefit of the game or not, but it will be interesting to see what is next.


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