Cricket: On a Light Note

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Cricket: On a Light Note

Profuse sweating, dropped catches, misjudged deliveries and swinging balls characterize contemporary day and night cricket.

All the aforesaid characteristics of the day-night cricket are considered to be impacts of a single technology which is interestingly the essence of day-night cricket, the "Flood light."

 

The Technology

The flood lights used in sports are High Intensity Discharge (HID) metal Halide lamps that generate light by passing an electric arc through a mixture of gases.
These lamps are likely to be replaced by LEDs (Light Emitting Diode) in the near future since the environmentalists believe HID lamps add a further dimension to environmental pollution, the Light pollution. 

 

The Impacts

Profuse Sweating

According to various studies, exposure to artificial bright light at night results in decreased internal body temperature, thereby paving way for excess sweat. 

 

Dropped Catches

Day-night cricket has witnessed a startling number of dropped catches; predominant reasons being the  popular "ball invisibility myth" and the fielders' sweaty palms. Nevertheless, studies suggest that neither the color of the ball nor the level of luminance hinder the catching capability of a fielder.  

 

Misjudged Deliveries

The artificial flood light can have a considerable impact on the line-of-sight of the batsman attempting to judge the trajectory of the ball. 

 

Swinging Balls

Though a high degree of support for the swing bowlers is offered in an inning played under lights, it is more of evening dew and related aerodynamics that aid the swing and not precisely the lights alone. 
Apart from these factors, the floodlights might also have a significant impact on the Hawk-eye system as it greatly depends on videography where lighting plays a key role.
Keeping aside these minor impacts, the flood light technology is an integral part of cricket and any other sport for that matter since matches played towards the evening and during night have been found to draw denser crowds for obvious reasons.
But like any other technology in use, the flood lights have attracted their share of curses as well. Despite some minuscule tweaks day-night cricket under flood lights is all but fun. However, arguments like, 'day-night cricket is all about winning the toss and not the match' are relentless.
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