BBL set for introduction of Microchipped cricket balls

Kookaburra is hoping these balls will soon be used in international cricket.

White Kookaburra balls | Getty

Revolutionary introduction of microchipped cricket balls could be the newest feature added to the Big Bash League during the Australian summer. It is learnt, Kookaburra is also keen to see them used in Test cricket soon. 

The widely acknowledged Aussie ball manufacturer is understood to be in the final stages of testing balls embedded with a microchip. 

Kookaburra wishes to further its market range, possibly beyond its traditional boundaries, like in England where the Dukes is used. 

This ball named 'The SmartBall' as per a report on AAP gives an immediate update on respective speeds at release point, pre-bounce and post-bounce. And those stats would be of greater value to broadcaster and fans than the ones long provided by the normal radar. 

Number of revolutions given by a spinner to a delivery will also be measured. 

The plan is also expected to help umpires in the DRS process for close shouts that often decide cricket matches at various levels. 

The innovation wouldn't have been possible if SportCor, a firm chaired by former Test pacer Michael Kasprowicz, hadn't teamed up with Kookaburra at the task. 

While BBL is their first aim, the two companies are hoping that the SmartBall will also be used in various other T20 leagues of the world. 

International cricket is, of course, the long-term ambition. 

As opposed to stump microphones, this form of surveillance would help coaches and analysts at the highest level.

"Absolutely," England mainstay Jos Buttler was quoted as saying when asked for an opinion on the matter. 

"It'll be a great coaching tool and for viewers as well, it's amazing to see that instant feedback. It seems to behave exactly the same as a regular ball."

Whether the SmartBall is a like-for-like replica of regular balls used at this level will obviously determine the ICC view over the issue. 

(Inputs from AAP)


By Kashish Chadha - 11 Aug, 2019

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