Club Cricket Conference

Tuesday, 30th November 2021

OBE for cricket-playing founder of Hawk-Eye tracking system

By Charles Randall

14 June 2014

Paul Hawkins, a former Club Cricket Conference under-25 player from Marlow CC, has been awarded an OBE for bringing electronics into cricket,

Dr Hawkins, 40, became better known for his work developing the Hawk-Eye computerised tracking system than for representing Buckinghamshire in minor counties cricket, Durham University, or even for his efforts with the CCC.

Hawk-Eye was first introduced purely for media illustration by Channel 4 in 2001, and gradual sophistication took the cameras to a more serious role with the ICC and the referral system . Dr Hawkins, a PhD graduate in artificial intelligence, worked on refining it for Siemens at Roke Manor in Hampshire. He went independent with David Sherry under Hawk-Eye Innovations before the system was bought by Wisden in 2006 and sold on to Sony in 2011.  

Dr Hawkins had a remarkable one-match batting career for Buckinghamshire, extraordinary because he was run out for nought in a one-run victory over Cumberland at Barrow and never played for the county again. Though he had designs on a professional career, along with many young players, he made his name influencing the careers of a host of people, including umpires, through Hawk-Eye.
Other Queen's Birthday Honours in cricket have been awarded to the England women’s captain Charlotte Edwards, CBE, and vice-captain Jenny Gunn, MBE. Ken Lake, general secretary of the English Schools Cricket Association for more than 20 years, gets an MBE.

Sue Drinkwater, scorer for her local cricket club Chedworth CC, in Gloucestershire, for more than 30 years, has been awarded the British Empire Medal, having won a NatWest OSCA for outstanding service to cricket. Other British Empire Medal recipients include Gordon Cooper, involved in grassroots cricket in West Yorkshire for more than 40 years as a player, coach, administrator and youth organiser, Jane Hannah, the ECB’s national volunteer and participation manager – she is working with the Asian community this year -  and Julie Cowley, event co-ordinator for the ICC Champions Trophy 2013 at Edgbaston.