Sri Lanka hope new software can power cricket recovery
Colombo, Mar 12 (AFP) Sri Lanka is adopting an advanced software used by football club Barcelona to manage its injury-prone cricketers as the national team trains for the World Cup next year, officials said today.
The island's cricket board hopes the state-of-the-art player management system will restore Sri Lanka's prestige on the world stage after their worst year in international cricket.
The board spent $75,000 on the software, adapting it to suit its cricketers.
Officials said coupled with a match analysis system designed in-house, Sri Lanka could boast the most advanced player management technology of any cricketing nation.
"We are investing a lot of resources and technology to develop the game with an eye on the World Cup," Sri Lanka Cricket chief Ashley de Silva told AFP.
Sri Lanka won the World Cup in 1996 but have not repeated the feat since, despite twice making the finals.
They were World T20 champions in 2014 but have tumbled down the rankings, hit by injuries and scandal.
Under new coach Chandika Hathurusingha, the side has been rebuilding after a year of humiliating defeats and few wins.
Sri Lanka bounced backed in a tour of Bangladesh in January, thrashing the hosts in all three formats of the game.
The team's high-performance manager Simon Willis said the new technology would help selectors and managers monitor their squad's performance with real-time data.
"This system will benefit the national team and allow evidence-based decisions to be made," the former Kent coach told AFP.
"It's not cheap, but it is a good investment because it gives us instant information."
Sri Lanka's cricketers will wear GPS devices during training and tournaments to monitor fitness and performance, he added.
The technology has been rolled out during the ongoing home tri-nation series against India and Bangladesh, with players wearing the GPS devices during matches.
Willis said instead of subjective decisions about players and their fitness, the new system allowed for better-informed choices