In recent matches, the Sri Lankan players have been seen wearing a device with the blue-and-green light blinking in it, on their backs. It’s a GPS device, given by their high-performance center, which allows the trainers to track their players closely, record their athletic performances, and use the data to analyze their efficiency.
The GPS technology was brought from Barcelona through Nic Pothas, the fielding coach who had first pitched the idea to improve the fielding standards in the team.
It helps Sri Lankan support staff to observe Sri Lankan players on the field and during training. The data is automatically fed in players profile, and Simon Willis, who is head of the high-performance center said, “The data helps us to get live updates; it helps the support staff. This system will allow evidence-based decisions to be made.”
Willis explains how the technology has helped in reducing the injuries. He said, “When I joined, there were nine players out due to muscle injury. And now, touch wood, the number has come down from nine to two. In today’s time, it is important to manage players’ workload and there should be proper management system to help players know about their efficiency levels, and what more they need to do to get better.”
He further added, “The players’ workload going forward for Sri Lanka’s cricketers is massive, the matches over the next 18 months are going to be massive. We need our best players available for the biggest tournaments. It has helped us to not just understand players better but also to better predict when to rest a certain player.”
Football teams world over have been using the GPS concept. In India, the well-known football club Bengaluru FC have used this GPS technology to monitor player performance.