Cricket’s next big invention Smart Ball may take time for implementation

Contrary to claims that ‘Smart Ball’, the next big invention in the sports of cricket, can be used during Australian Big Bash league this summer, it might still need some more testing for a Cricket Australia nod to use the high-tech, microchip-fitted Kookaburra balls in the Australian T20 League.

The Smart Ball, an invention by Australian cricket ball manufacturer Kookaburra and tech innovators SportCor, is the first ever micro-chip fitted cricket ball that will potentially add new dimensions to the way the sport is coached, played, officiated and experienced.

After Kookaburra had introduced the ball last week, reports suggested that cricket’s new invention may put into play in the next season of Big Bash T20 League.

However, Cricket Australia’s Head of Cricket Operations Peter Roach has said that expectations of Smart Ball featuring the Big Bash League this season may be premature.  “A cricket ball that can gather data about things such as speed, movement and power is an extremely exciting innovation that will bring benefits to fans, but also coaches and players,”  Roach has “If this cricket ball is presented to us as a possible innovation to introduce into our competitions and matches, then our responsibility will be to ensure that the characteristics of how the cricket ball reacts in play will not be affected by the internal mechanisms required to support the technology.”

Tech-support has for long been accepted to add value to cricket – not just in presentation but also in judging, officiating and enhancing players’ skills. Ultra-edge, Hawkeye, hotspot, stump microphones and ball-tracking have become an integral part of all international and in major domestics cricket games.

Smart Ball will add the next leaf to the tech chapter of cricket.

The ball revealed by Kookaburra last week is fitted with a micro-chip in its innermost layer. The embedded chip enables real-time feedback that will change the way we coach, play, officiate and experience the game.

Kookaburra on its official twitter handle has share the details of this technological invention.

The Kookaburra Smart Ball looks, feels and moves the same way as a regular Kookaburra cricket ball, but collects and communicates instant statistical data on revolutions, speed -both at release, pre-bounce and post-bounce from the embedded microlight chip. Never before have we been so close to the action, nor have players and coaches had such insight to performance.

The chip transmits information from the ball to a tracked gadget –a smartphone, watch, or computer. The instantly transmitted data will help the bowlers and umpires while also enhancing the broadcast quality with new inputs and presentation on balls pace, trajectory, resolution, impact of a drive, etc.

Kookaburra will be targeting the big T20 leagues to first introduce the ball. The technology though may also be beneficial for young trainees and coaches at the academy level.

However, the cricket industry will like to find answers to the some aspects like rising cost and durability of the ball.