Whither the cricket scoreboard? Time was when spectators would look at the scoreboard a lot: a single taken, a glance, end of the over reached, another glance, many glances over the course of a game. When the Beeb covered test cricket at the end of an over a shot of the scoreboard would often appear. Then came the 21st century, Sky and, at least at some grounds, free Wi-Fi; electronic boards replaced mechanically operated ones to some advantage, which is not to say that they are always easier to see from a distance.
The photo to the right was taken this summer at the Oval during a county game. The blogger’s take is that the information from the scorers has been well-filtered, for those taking a glance what else might they reasonably expect to see during the first innings of a Championship match? For other details the BBC website, cricket archives and Wikipedia; a good job done, as usual, at the Oval.
As for T20 cricket, the scoreboard at Old Deer Park, Richmond on the left, also this summer, doing scoreboard essentials in a manner of speaking; gleaning from somewhere the batsmens’ squad numbers would be useful for spectators, but for a board at a club ground doubling as an outground nothing more expected.
T20 cricket at the Home of Cricket, a large crowd come to see and make the game’s future. The scoreboard for action replays, umpiring decisions and the faces in the crowd whose Thursday night just got better giving thanks for being in receipt of a (sponsor’s name) hamper. As for spectators keeping an eye on the score as well, the scoreboard(s) were doing something suspiciously like information overload; a distant second in terms of clarity to what Sky show during their coverage of matches and not obviously helping newcomers take more interest in the game. If the board just showed the score, batsmen runs (balls), the bowler bowling overs/runs and the target to win/off, it could be made a whole lot more visible to those who come without a camera with zoom.