A trio of England players are trialling new technology during the Champions Trophy that could lead to improved performances with the bat should their form desert them.
Indeed, you may not have noticed, but Ben Stokes, Alex Hales and Jason Roy have been using Software giant Intel’s ‘Batsense’ – a small micro chip weighing 25g and the size of a 50p piece that sits in a rubber cap at the top of the bat handle.
The software measures a player’s bat speed, as well as recording vital statistics from the angle of backlift, point of impact and follow-through. Available to players and coaches, Intel believe the software’s use as a training tool will see more players come on board, and it will be used by broadcasters throughout the tournament as part of a long-term use of technology in cricket.
Former England captain Nasser Hussain, an ambassador for the project, said: “As a coaching tool it is absolutely vital. Look at someone like Jason Roy, who is struggling at the minute. Say this was in place two, three years ago, he could look at the data and say, ‘is everything I am doing the same as it was?’”
‘Batsense’ units will retail at around £120 later this year, and will be available to recreational players and coaches with a downloadable app. It means club players can measure and monitor performance like runners and cyclists – which has been a huge success in the development and growth in cardio sport participation in recent years.
On the chip itself, Hussain added: “You know how fidgety I was with my bat, but it’s not too intrusive and it’s not something batsmen will think, ‘crikey, that feels too uncomfortable or heavy’.”
As part of the software rollout at the Champions Trophy, Intel will also use drones to give aerial detail and views for pitch reports – a far cry from the days of Geoffrey Boycott sticking his car keys in the wicket before play.