ECB unveils ‘ProBatter’, the bowling robot
London: The English Cricket Board (ECB) has unveiled ‘ProBatter’, a robot bowler capable of replicating the exact delivery of any of the world’s top players, for its team.
According to Sky News, England captain Andrew Strauss has already tested the ProBatter in preparation for the first Test against Pakistan at Trent Bridge.
“It looks very futuristic and very funky. Anything that gives players that level of realism, has to be welcomed. There are definite advantages to facing deliveries from bowlers you know you’re going to face in the near future,” he said.
‘ProBatter’ uses the same Hawk-Eye technology seen in tennis. For an added realism, it produces an image of the bowler steaming into the crease via a video screen before unleashing the ball at high speed.
Players have a chance to simulate facing the world’s fastest bowlers, such as Australia’s Mitchell Johnson or South Africa’s Dale Steyn.
And with the Ashes series due to start in Australia this November, the ECB would be hoping that the new technology, which retails for around 29,000 pounds in the US, could give England an edge over their old rivals.
The ProBatter is already being used extensively by Major League Baseball teams, and the machine, which is based at England’s National Performance Centre in Loughborough, is expected to give players at all levels of the game the chance to hone their skills ahead of competitive action.