As the Northern Hemisphere summer begins, up to 2000 cricket clubs throughout England and Wales will don whites, toss a coin and strap on their pads. But the tradition of teams swapping scorebooks is quickly becoming something of a relic in cricket and a New Zealand company is behind it all.

NV Interactive began in the corner of Matt Pickering's Christchurch bedroom 21 years ago alongside his brother Gus. Gus moved out of the room soon after but he remains with the company as technical director.

Matt is the manager director of the digital agency with a staff of 30. The pair have always been passionate about cricket and the company's breakthrough came in 2006 when they rebuilt Cricinfo, the world's biggest cricket website, and as part of it, the site's famed ball-by-ball scoring system which is still used today.

Two years later, they were doing the same for New Zealand Cricket.


"As our partnership with New Zealand Cricket deepened and we got involved in the high performance based, umpire reporting, health and safety and match reporting. A lot of the systems that have been driving the last 10 years of New Zealand Cricket's success, we've been a big part of," Matt Pickering said.

Five or six years ago, they started to engage with England and Wales Cricket Board, and worked with New Zealand Cricket to share some of that intellectual property.

"The opportunity came up more than a year ago to take all that IP, buy it back, commercialise, productise it and license it back to England Cricket initially and New Zealand Cricket this season wrapping up. So took the leap and NV Play was born.

It all hinged around a competitive tender that England Cricket was putting out for a professional scoring solution. So why not a Kiwi company to run it?

"We've been operating at the elite level of games, national teams and first class, but this is for 2000 clubs in the UK. We were a bit reluctant to look at it to start with but the more we looked at it, the more we seemed perfectly suited to it with all our background and knowledge."

It means all levels of cricket across the UK and New Zealand can have access to high performance data and ball-by-ball analysis which has previously been on offer to New Zealand Cricket and the England Cricket Board's elite sides.

"Scoring and ball-by-ball data is still the heart of it, it's very much the core everything is built around.

"We've still got your professional scoring and this is not your iPhone mum and dad watching their kids and keeping track. This is professional modelling of all the rules of cricket, Duckworth-Lewis integration. Everything," Pickering said.


"We've got the video analysis and high performance aspect which is a whole another product in its own right, built off the same core. That's used quite extensively by coaching teams and talent recognition and strategy. Because all this was initially developed for the very elite end of the game, we're able to push it down to the more serious end of the recreational market. The uptake of tools and data that previously hadn't had access to, has been overwhelming.

"We're making ball-by-ball capture and highlights available to lower down teams with a portable and cost effective video set-up with the ability to live stream it with live replays."

It's not just the village greens that will benefit from the new tools. NV Interactive also run all the live scoreboards around the biggest grounds in England, so bear that in mind when you see the Lord's scoreboard flashing up New Zealand's total at the World Cup.

"For a cricket geek, that's pretty cool," Pickering admits.

All those games means a lot of data. Around 25,000 matches of cricket, 85,000 players and 8000 teams all run off Microsoft cloud technology.

"Microsoft are leading the way in the very high-end cloud computing side of things. From a very basic level, with great confidence, we can say 'yes we can handle every match in the UK starting at 11am on a Saturday'.


"And all the demand on that, we know the infrastructure will scale up and be able to handle that where the demand goes.

"Cricket has so much data, so getting insights into that and presenting them to players a bit further down the food chain who doesn't have a full analysis team."

"We've got about 11 million balls of elite grade cricket captured within this platform. Of that, 2.5 million has full video; around 21 terabytes of video data. That is an incredibly powerful tool for coaches and players."

Keeping score

NV Play so far has collated:

24,069 matches scored

7723 teams participated


83,397 players played

11,000,000 balls scored

2,400,000 of these with full video (22 per cent)

21TB of video generated

This equates to:
18,900 hours or 2 years 2 months of continuous video.