This article appears in the Summer 2012 iPad edition of Computerworld Australia, available free in the iTunes store now.
When men and women step out onto cricket pitches around Australia this summer in their whites, it’s not just the eyes of the crowd upon them but a wider audience following the action online.
Faced with competing summer sports such as soccer — and families who may not have the time to attend some matches — this is all part of Cricket Australia’s long-term strategy to hold its spot as one of the most popular sports in Australia.
The national cricketing body uses technology to both attract new blood to the sport and support its players and staff.
As any team manager will tell you, player recovery and support is a very important part of ensuring professional athletes perform at their best.
For example, the national men’s, women’s and state teams all have access to a private iPhone and iPad app. This app includes a calendar of matches and a contact list that lets support staff send bulk SMS messages out to the players.
These messages contain travel details, training schedules and accommodation details — for both around Australia and overseas.
Cricket Australia IT program manager Katie Twomey says the latest update to the app allows the players to submit forms containing Sport Science and Sport Medicine markers.
“Staff use this information to monitor training and playing loads as well as monitoring general muscle soreness and wellbeing,” she says.
The Science and Medicine markers also include a set of wellness questions which ask about the players sleeping habits.
The markers connect to the athlete management system which is a database that contains all of the information about the organisation’s athletes. This information includes fitness testing, nutrition, medical and training details.
“We’ve recently employed a data architect who is solely dedicated to developing a data orchestration layer, business intelligence and analytics for the team performance department,” Twomey says.
“We have an abundance of data in relation to players which has been collected over a long time but it is a matter of collating that data into a single data warehouse and starting to analyse it.”