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Pyjama cricket, The Hundred … now it’s time to come in out of the rain | Emma John

ECB executives turn to Google’s X boffins in search of futuristic solutions to age-old problem

If you’ve ever come across a 1939 novel called The Amazing Test Match Crime, you’ll know it’s one of the most bonkers cricket books ever written. It is a spy-parody-caper, in which a cartel of super criminals called things like The Professor and Sawn-off Carlo plan an extravagant international heist during a crucial Ashes game. It was the first thing that came to my mind when the news emerged last week that the England and Wales Cricket Board had met with a shadowy organisation called X.

X, as it turns out, are the secretive R&D arm of Google, the shiny, happy Doodle-makers who exist to make the world a better place and definitely aren’t a frighteningly powerful mega-corporation that knows every bad thing you’ve ever done online. The details of the meeting remain classified, but it is thought the discussion involved using new technology to prevent rain interrupting games – perhaps through the repurposing of the stratospheric balloons that X have been developing to bring wifi to remote rural areas. (See? They’re definitely the goodies.)

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