Sight Screen

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Cricket World cup 2015 has started and already fans are at war. Everyone is supporting their team passionately. Storms are being raised in tea cups. And we would like to fuel this madness with some fun facts of cricket.

There’s always a curtain behind the bowler. This is known as the ‘Sight Screen’. Although some people mistakenly call it the ‘Side Screen’. You might’ve deduced that it is related to the sight of players.

A cricket ball is quite small in diameter. When this small ball is moving at speeds at 80-100 km, it gets difficult for the batsman to see the ball. And if it’s a fast bowler, then there’s nothing more to say. Usually, a cricket pitch is 22 yards in length, and a ball traveling at 140 km. speed takes only 0.5 seconds to cover this distance. The Speed of the ball combined with the multicolored crowded gallery makes it difficult to see. Not only this, if the bowler is wearing a white jersey and the ball is also white, then good luck Mr. Batsman! The ball will meet the stump before the batsman even sees it. Even the umpire wearing white garments can create problems. These are the reasons why the sight screen is different color than the ball.

ICC has declared that there shouldn’t be any types of advertisement on the sight screen of the bowling side. Also, no one is allowed to sit behind the sight screen. No reflective material is placed near the sight screen because it might reflect light and confuse the batsman.

In one day matches usually white colored balls are used. Nowadays Twenty-20 format has become much popular. This format also uses white balls. That’s why these formats use black colored sight screen. Because it is easier to detect, white on black. Test matches use red balls, that’s why we see red sight screens in test matches.

Great batsman are very choosy when it comes to sight screen, especially the Little Master- Sachin Tendulkar. He wouldn’t start batting unless the sight screen was set to his demands. He said in an interview “If the sight screen is not perfectly set, it take the batsman a few moments more to see the ball. And this slight lag will result in delayed connection between the bat and ball”.

It’s not easy to see the ball when the bowler is someone like Dale Steyn or Mitchell Jhonson. Especially Dale Steyn’s bowling can be dangerous as it can be both fast and a bouncer. If there’s no sight screen then it will be impossible for the batsman to see the ball. He might lose his wicket or worse, become injured by the speeding ball. That’s why the sight screen is so vital.

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