Phoenix to extend cricket software for wider use

By : |October 30, 2001 0

Y.P. Rajesh

NEW DELHI: A computer software product used by India’s cricket team to
analyze and improve its game will soon be modified for use in golf, tennis and
soccer, its developer said on Tuesday.

The product, expected to be called "e-SportsPro", will record video
pictures of the games and store the action under various categories. The
visuals, and the data accompanying them, can be recalled during or after a match
to analyze players’ mistakes and opponents’ strategies.

"Golf, tennis and soccer are highly competitive sports where people are
willing to make investments in technology," Satish Bangalore, managing
director of computer software firm Phoenix Global Solutions India (PGSI), told
Reuters. "For us, it will legitimize the role of our technology in sports
beyond cricket," Bangalore said in an interview.

PGSI, the software development subsidiary of US insurance giant Phoenix Home
Life Mutual, launched its cricket software called "e-CricketPro" in
January this year. The software, a brainchild of Indian fast bowler Javagal
Srinath, has been used by the national team since the Australian tour of India
in February, Bangalore said.

e-CricketPro, which initially only stored and analyzed batting and bowling
performances, has been improved to cover fielding and also generate text
analyses for use by players or coaches, Bangalore said. Some Indian players had
also programmed the software to generate player-specific reports and visuals
that were copied on to CD-ROMs and studied by them.

Marketing alliance

Bangalore said Phoenix was looking for a global partner to promote e-SportsPro
which he believed would be unique in the market. While cricket-playing nations
like Australia, South Africa and Sri Lanka used similar homegrown technologies,
golf academies in the United States also used such software to coach players.

"But there’s nothing that is as systematic and available as easily as
our product and we hope to fill in that space," Bangalore said. Global
consultant Ernst and Young had been asked to shortlist marketing partners and
PGSI hoped to finalize it in the first quarter of 2002, Bangalore said.

He said the company saw a good market for the golf and tennis versions of e-SportsPro in the United States while Europe and South America looked promising for soccer. "The United States may be a starting point even for the soccer version as it is gaining popularity as an alternative to American football and baseball," Bangalore said.

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