Watch the ball
: An exploration of gaze behaviour while batting in cricket

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This programme of research sought to investigate the gaze behaviours of amateur and elite level cricket batters using both table-mounted and mobile eye-tracking systems. Three original studies were conducted in both laboratory settings and real-world cricket environments to better understand batter gaze behaviours. Study one used a table mounted eye-tracker to explore what semi-elite cricket batters fixated upon during the bowler’s delivery approach (pre-delivery) and how the batters tracked the ball through its flight when facing bowlers of varying speeds. The pre-delivery results highlighted that the gaze behaviour of the batters did not significantly change as a result of viewing varying bowling styles and velocities. Contrary to previous research, the ball flight data revealed that as the bowling velocities increased the amount of ball flight batters tracked significantly decreased. Study two was conducted in a real cricket environment; with amateur batters wearing mobile eye-tackers while batting against human bowlers of varying speeds. The pre-delivery results from this study revealed no significant differences in gaze behaviour when facing different bowlers. The ball flight results from study two suggested that batters tracked the ball significantly longer when facing slower bowling velocities. The final study was a comparison of elite (international and professional batters) and amateur (club) batters gaze behaviours. This study highlighted some key differences in the pre-delivery gaze behaviour between the elite and amateur batters, as well as the methods that they employed to track the ball during the flight. Additionally, both studies two and three analysed whether there was a change in gaze behaviour or methods used to track the delivery when batters made correct compared to incorrect decisions. The results revealed that incorrect decision-making was not the result of a change in pre-delivery gaze behaviour, but that the ways in which batters track the ball could impact decision-making. Applied implications of the research programme are presented alongside recommendations about how the findings can be applied to develop the vision of batters.
Date of Award6 Oct 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Winchester
SupervisorStewart Cotterill (Supervisor), Jordan Randell (Supervisor) & John Batten (Supervisor)


  • Cricket
  • Batting
  • Eye-tracking
  • Gaze behaviour

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