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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Cricket World Cup fever ..... advent of 4K technology !

World Cup Cricket fever is catching up ! – this time, downunder, 14 teams are participating in  the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. The initial phase will involve two pools of seven teams playing in a round-robin format. The top four teams from each pool will proceed to the knock out stage of the tournament, which will comprise quarter-finals, semi-finals and the final. There will be no third place play-off.

In the above photo is Kapil Dev -  played in 1979; peaked in 1983; played in 1987 and finally in 1992. India is yet to see an allrounder closer to him !!!!

Though the format ensures that each team gets to play a minimum of six matches  - the group stage of 42 matches may become not so important, as qualifying to next stage is not seen as a real challenge.   In Pool A are : England,  Australia, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Scotland.   In Pool B it is : South Africa, India, Pakistan, West Indies,  Zimbabwe, Ireland and United Arab Emirates.  A team can lose to 3 major teams beat Zimbabwe, Ireland and UAE to be in QF from which stage it is a knock-out any way. 

Indians have been winless [not counting today’s match against Afghan] – their bowling cupboard is weak – yet for an ardent fan, there are chances as we expect a good performance.  Many other teams are going through lean phase as well.  One among leads the once mighty West Indies -  Jason Holder,  appointed leader at the age of 23 may not be feeling all comfort.  Practice matches mean nothing else than practice – yet their loss of being bowled out within 30 overs and thrashed by nine wickets by England must rankle.   If West Indies' aim really was "not to peak too early" as the team manager, Richie Richardson suggested, they can look back on their crushing defeat at the SCG with a sense of a mission accomplished, wrote a critic.  Beaten by nine wickets in a game that barely lasted 50 overs in its entirety, is an indicator that  West Indies cannot sink  any lower. 

Back home, the Champion side, which was almost out of the format – Mumbai beat Karnata to qualify; while Tamilnadu came good against Baroda.  Playing at home, Mumbai gained three points on the basis of first innings lead from the drawn game against Karnataka at the Wankhede Stadium and Baroda’s loss helped them to qualify.  Mumbai, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu from Group A, Delhi, Maharashtra and Vidarbha from Group B, and Assam and Andhra from Group C have  qualified for the Ranji Trophy quarter-finals.  On last day Tamilnadu  required 156 with 9 wickets in hand and some doubt in mind.  Murali Vijay played a valiant knock adding runs from his overnight 26,   eventually remaining unbeaten on 104 ensuring a QF spot for the team. 

Getting back to World Cricket, sure this WC will have more audience than the ealier ones.  Naturally, there is going to be much less than 2011 on the venue.  So, ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 broadcast’s array of on-air enhancements and compelling and new graphic presentation to accompany the insightful and trusted voices of its expert group of commentators is going to be a hit.   ICC claims that the High Definition (HD) format and audiences will  provide  the most riveting experience as each and every match will be covered by at least 29 cameras, including Ultramotion cameras, Spidercam at 13 matches and the drone camera at all the knock out matches. Technology in use includes Real Time Snicko and LED stumps.

For the first time ever cricket will be covered using cutting edge 4K technology. To bring its viewers closer to the game, Star Sports will produce live coverage of seven matches in 4K, including the semi-finals and the final. The live broadcast will feature more than 30 commentators, past ICC Cricket World Cup winners and legends of the game from the leading participating countries. These include Wasim Akram, Russell Arnold, Michael Atherton, Ian Bishop, Allan Border, Ian Botham, Simon Doull, Rahul Dravid, Damien Fleming, Sourav Ganguly, Sunil Gavaskar, Matthew Hayden, Michael Hussey, Dean Jones, Nasser Hussain, Brendon Julian, Nick Knight, Brett Lee, David Lloyd, Sanjay Manjrekar, Damien Martyn, Mpumelelo Mbangwa, Tom Moody, Shaun Pollock, Rameez Raja, Mark Richardson, Michael Slater, Ian Smith, Scott Styris, Mark Taylor, Shane Warne, Mark Waugh alongside Harsha Bhogle, Mark Nicholas and Alan Wilkins.

4K TV, also known as ultra HD or UHD, is the next generation of television picture quality, displaying four times the detail of HD.  4K refers to a display device or content having horizontal resolution on the order of 4,000 pixels. Several 4K resolutions exist in the fields of digital television and digital cinematography. The use of width to characterize the overall resolution marks a switch from the previous generation, high definition television, which categorized media according to the vertical dimension instead, such as 720p or 1080p.

Looking forward to seeing the matches and hoping that India wins some of them.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

10th Feb 2015.

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