The Smart Ball in Caribbean Premier League
In this digital age, technological advancements have played an important role in cricket. From television replays to ball-tracking Hawkeye systems to stick meters, technological progress has been rapid and has become an integral part of the sport. It has altered how the game is played and viewed.
The Smart Ball will be introduced in the 2021 Caribbean Premier League, which begins on August 26. It’s a ball with an electronic chip embedded inside that provides data like speed, spin, and power from as far away as 22 yards.
a sports technology company, collaborated with leading ball manufacturer Kookaburra to create it. It will be the first time that such a ball is used in a professional league. With the smart ball set to make its debut, Firstpost spoke with former Australia pacer Michael Kasprowicz, chairman, and co-owner of Sportcor, to learn more about it.
What is the purpose of a smart ball?
Because it provides feedback to the player. After 30 years in the game at the highest level, almost 20 years as a player, and then in administration, my attraction to this is that it’s the first piece of sports technology I’ve come across that is actually for the player.
Every piece of sports technology we’re seeing right now is for the fan, in the sense that it’s in the broadcast, decision reviews, and for the strength and conditioning coach or trainer. The player does not receive a lot of feedback. So (it’s fantastic) to be involved with a product that can provide the player with data and feedback from the ball.
— CricWick (@CricWick) August 27, 2021
What kind of information does it provide?
To begin, we’ve kept things simple. In terms of velocity and revolutions. The spin rate. Speed out of hand, speed before and after the bounce, revolutions on the ball spinning out of hand, and spin after the bounce We’ve increased the bowler’s approach speed to the delivery.
We’ve been able to determine the power algorithm on release in watts because we have that. The ball’s power ejected from the hand. There are many terms in cricket that people outside of the sport have no idea what they mean. And as a former fast bowler,
The cricket ball of the future (with a microchip inside it) has arrived.
The Kookaburra Smart Ball is making its debut at the Caribbean Premier League, and could be everywhere in professional and amateur cricket very soon. https://t.co/lVMRcsf0Ld
— Ben Bloom (@benbloomsport) August 31, 2021
I know what it means when someone bowls a heavy ball. Or smacks the bat hard. This is a benefit because we can pick up data on release and power from inside the center of the ball. To me, that’s the closest we’re going to get to measuring the heavy ball.
Why are these parameters, such as pre and post-bounce speed and spin, important, and what do they indicate?
Today, in limited-overs cricket, particularly T20 cricket, it tells us about the ball’s deceleration. In cricket, we talk about a concept known as ‘feel.’ You can have the coach tell you that everything is going well. Then you can look at a video of it and notice how good it looks. But, when it comes down to it, as a bowler, you own your journey and your performance. It’s all about how you feel, what feels good.
And if someone tells you it looks good, but can you get the data in there to match all that information in the feel? That is what we as players are aiming for. Recognizing how you do it. Spin bowling is a good example; some bowlers find that they are at their best when they are ripping it and bowling the leg spinner at 2900 revs,
but when they go a little higher and try to spin it too much, they lose consistency down the other end. The point is that you are using our platform to improve yourself as an individual.
How different is the Smart ball’s behavior from that of a traditional ball?
There isn’t even a smidgeon of a difference. We had it tested and validated at the University of Queensland, where Cricket Australia developed the pink ball. They are extremely strict about this procedure. So we went through it and had it verified by a third party.
The ball was used in a blind test in Australian cricket during a Marsh Cup 50-over match to see if the players reacted in any way. And there weren’t any. So everything has been verified and measured. We only replaced the cork rubber compound. It is located in the center of the cricket ball. And it was perfectly matched (with our specially designed core with the chip).