Jonty Rhodes, the iconic South African player turned IPL coach, takes centre stage at Cypher 2023 reflecting on the sport's evolution, and the integration of technology and AI in cricket today.
Ace cricketer Jonty Rhodes had a field day at Cypher 2023. The retired South African player and legendary fielder, who currently coaches IPL team
“It is insane how the game has changed in most capacities. I remember Bob Woolmer was the first coach who used a laptop, he would flip it out and begin analyzing the opposition,” he said.
Using technology in sports isn’t new. In cricket, which has more pauses in between the game as compared to football, for example.
Jonty Rhodes discussed the evolution of analytics in cricket, moving beyond individual player statistics to finding team patterns.
For example, if a minimum score of 45-50 hasn’t been achieved in the powerplay with a loss of fewer than three wickets, then it becomes incredibly difficult to make up for it in the middle section.
Jonty believes there is untapped potential in personal player data, including physical exertion and neurological feedback.
While data and analytics play a significant role, Jonty emphasized the importance of the human element in the game. Instinct and experience of players cannot be replaced by statistics.
Jonty expressed his fear of cricket becoming overly analytical, which might take away the game's charm. Surprise elements in the game require preparedness, something that goes beyond data.
However, Jonty emphasized that a couple of pieces of advice or information can still make a significant difference in how players practice and approach the game.