MELBOURNE, 13 August: A cricket ball embedded with a microchip stands to revolutionize cricket – and it is being developed in Victoria by renowned sports equipment innovator Kookaburra.
Kookaburra’s SmartBall has been in development with technology partner SportCor for the past two years and was
revealed to the cricket world at a special launch in London on Saturday night.
Minister for Jobs, Innovation, and Trade Martin Pakula says, “Kookaburra is a terrific Victorian company with a record of world-leading innovation and SmartBall is a stunning example of its commitment to staying ahead of the pack.”
“Victoria is the home of innovation and that means we are creating the jobs of the future right now.”
The Moorabbin-based Kookaburra pioneered white and pink balls for use around the world and believes SmartBall
has a future in Test cricket and top T20 leagues.
The key to SmartBall is a microchip embedded in the core which provides advanced, real-time data for players,
coaches and viewers. The ball calculates the speed at three points – release, pre-bounce, and post-bounce.
A bowler will be able to release delivery and then immediately look to his or her smartwatch and check the speed
or degree of turn.
Kookaburra managing director Brett Elliot says, “Kookaburra has been at the forefront of innovation in cricket, from the first-ever white balls used under lights in World Series Cricket, through to the pink balls now used for day/night Tests.”
“The logical next step is to combine the data and analytics side of cricket that is becoming so critical to players,
coaches and fans, with our traditional style of hand-making cricket balls.”
Data could be used just as readily by broadcasters or relayed directly to fans. Future capabilities include information
on whether the bat has nicked a ball, whether the ball has hit the grass on low catches and improved tracking for
DRS (decision review system).