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Watching the 2013 Australia Vs England Test series ("The Ashes"), I have seen for the first time an interesting piece of technology which shows the rotation speed of the ball. This is used when spinners are bowling, to give viewers an idea how much each ball is spinning (so you can see if it was an arm ball, stock ball, big turner etc). This is called the 'rev counter'.

Does anyone know, preferably with a reference, what technology this is based on? I would presume some kind of microwave doppler radar, but it seems like a very tricky thing to implement. I don't think it is a high speed camera as the results are obtained almost instantly once the delivery is bowled (as per the speed camera results, which do use a microwave doppler radar).

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It's also called as Rev Counter. –  hims056 Jul 23 '13 at 4:03
    
That's probably correct, I couldn't recall exactly what it was called. I've edited the question to say Rev Counter instead. Thanks. –  Bogdanovist Jul 23 '13 at 4:20
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I was just about to have my sleeping question on Physics SE migrated here (and now won't), so: Thanks for asking! (See physics.stackexchange.com/q/70600/17609.) –  user1564 Jul 23 '13 at 16:18
    
Maybe they use something like this ("3D Doppler radar"). Also see trackman.dk . –  user1564 Aug 9 '13 at 21:51
    
@Gugg, it's highly likely that your first link is on the money, particularly if this type of system is already in use at baseball fields, which would pose comparable challenges to setting it up to monitor a cricket game. The key is to have multiple radars. I couldn't figure out how you could do it with one (you'd just get the same info as the conventional speed gun) but with multiple radars it seems plausible. Difficult, but plausible. –  Bogdanovist Aug 12 '13 at 0:48

2 Answers 2

Ball Spin RPM - Starting during the TV coverage by Sky sports for the 2013 Ashes series, they were able to show a RPM (revolutions per minute) counter, showing how fast the ball was spinning after release. It is not clear how this is measured, though it would need a high speed camera focussed on the ball, possibly using the same images that are captured for the Hawkeye system.

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Pitches with a lot of grass on them aid fast bowlers, since the ball comes on quicker to the batsman.

Dry and dusty pitches favour slower bowlers, since it allows the ball to grip and turn in the cracks on the pitch. These factors are very important when picking your side, especially in the longer formats of the game.

This is why most sides tend to bat first in tests, since the wear and tear that the pitch endures for 5 days opens up the cracks, and brings the spinners into play.

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This sounds like a sensible answer .... to a completely different question! Did you post this in the wrong place? –  Bogdanovist Dec 11 '13 at 5:01
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The answer has somewhat to do with the question but not entirely. @LifeHacks is explaining more about the spin and speed of the pitch (rev counter) and how it effects the game. LifeHacks, this is great information, but can you please use your answer and expand more on the question that was asked? –  Zack Dec 12 '13 at 13:22

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