An Australia-based sports equipment company Kookaburra is designing a smart cricket ball “SmartBall” embedded with microchip much like football, to facilitate with real-time Cricket analytics & feedback. It has been in development with technology partner SportCor chaired by former Australian bowler Michael Kasprowicz. According to the former company, this smart ball will revolutionize the way the game of cricket is coached, played, officiated and experienced.
Reportedly, this technology is going to hit the Big Bash League and Kookaburra is expecting to use it at Test level soon. The company is at the last stages of testing and is likely to give tough competition to their English rivals Dukes through this innovation.
The SmartBall will deliver comprehensive immediate statistics on the speed that are more accurate as compared to a normal radar. The ball also measures revolutions at the same points, which is unmatchable in-game data for spinners.
The chip fitted inside the core transmits data from the ball to device say, phone or tablet app. According to Kookaburra, the smart ball collects and communicates instant statistical data on revolutions, as well as the speed at release, pre-bounce, and post-bounce from the embedded microlight chip, at different stages of its trajectory from the hand of a bowler.
It will enable the bowler to look to his or her smartwatch and check the speed or degree of turn right after the delivery.
In its prospect, this innovation could be upgraded in a way to assist the umpires and the DRS process. Such surveillance would help coaches and analysts too at the highest level which stump microphones fail to do. If there are no major roadblocks, the technology will be able to perform next in international cricket.
England’s cricketer Jos Buttler said that he would like to see it used in Tests. Further, he added, “It’ll be a great coaching tool and for viewers as well, it’s amazing to see that instant feedback. It seems to behave the same as a regular ball.”
The SmartBall will undergo an acid test to check if it is a like-for-like replica of a regular ball in match conditions which would further determine whether the ICC will use it in international matches or not.