Advanced technology to aid Australian fast bowlers

SYDNEY • Australia's fast bowlers will embark on their upcoming cricket tour of Sri Lanka bolstered by technology more commonly used in military settings.

Researchers have developed a revolutionary algorithm using submarine and guided missile technology to reduce injuries and improve the performance of the pacemen.

The "torpedo technology" will also be used by the Australian team in their bid to reclaim the Ashes from England next year.

The algorithim was developed by sports scientists at Australian Catholic University's School of Exercise Science, in response to the inadequacy of the current method of reporting of professional cricketers' workloads, which takes into account only the number of deliveries bowled, and not the intensity and effort required to do so.

The scientists have recommended in the British Journal of Sports Medicine that coaches use missile-guiding micro-technology implanted in newly-developed wearable devices, which would run the so-called "smart algorithms".

"The same technology is used to navigate submarines, guided missiles and spacecraft," co-author Dr Tim Gabbett said.

Fellow sports scientist and researcher Dean McNamara said that once the algorithm detects a delivery, a measure of bowling intensity could be attached to that individual delivery using an "accelerometer" and gyroscope technology.

"Tagging individual balls with an intensity measure provides both immediate analysis such as identifying effort balls, or potentially a drop in performance due to fatigue, or longer term workload analysis," he said.

"Measuring bowling intensity for individual balls or sessions provides context for the acute and chronic workload of the individual bowler, and ultimately the preparedness of the bowler for the maximal workload of the immediate competition."

The new technology aims to enhance the monitoring of Australia's fast bowlers not only for injury prevention, but also enhancing performance.

The researchers are already using the technologies to assist the Wales rugby union team.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 27, 2016, with the headline 'Advanced technology to aid Australian fast bowlers'. Print Edition | Subscribe