How is the bowling speed measured in cricket?

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How is the bowling speed measured in cricket?
In cricket, batsmen can face balls bowled up to 100mph. (cricket batsman image by patrimonio designs from

Bowling is an essential part of cricket, bringing the ball into play, often at great speed. The world's fastest bowlers regularly produce deliveries travelling at over 95mph. There are two main ways to measure the speed at which the ball is bowled.

Radar Gun

Radar guns measure the speed of a cricket ball in much the same way as they measure the speed of a moving car. A radar gun includes both a radio transmitter and a receiver. It sends out a concentrated radio wave which is reflected off any object in its path -- in this case the cricket ball. The gun receives this "echo" and uses the Doppler shift principle to calculate the speed of the moving object.

Hawk Eye

Hawk Eye technology also measures the speed of a cricket ball as it is bowled. Using technology originally created for missile tracking and brain surgery, Hawk Eye takes data from six cameras. It uses this data to track the path of the ball from the time it leaves the bowler's hand to the time it goes dead, and presents this information as a three-dimensional image.


Technology measuring speed has come in for criticism over the years, casting doubt on the achievements of some of the world's top bowlers. In 2002, Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Akhtar reportedly passed the 100mph mark in a game against New Zealand, but many commentators expressed scepticism about the accuracy of the speed gun used to take the measurement.

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