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Fri Apr 25 10:18:57 SAST 2014

ICC to assess illegal bowling action in matches

Sapa-AFP | 28 August, 2012 07:370 Comments
Sri Lanka bowler Lasith Malinga in action
Image by: Stu Forster / Getty Images

Cricket’s governing body Monday announced it was all set to assess the legality of bowling actions in match and training conditions with “inertial sensors” attached to the bowler’s arm.

Bowling actions of several current and recently retired bowlers came into qeustion as the International Cricket Council (ICC) allowed a tolerance limit of 15 degrees to bend the bowling arm, a relaxation questioned by many.

  The ICC announced it was willing to invest in bowling action technology.

  “The ICC has entered the second phase of an agreement with a consortium of high profile Australian cricket, sports science and sports engineering institutions to develop a wearable technology to assess the legality of bowling actions in match and training conditions,” an ICC statement read.

  Actions of now retired express pacemen Australian Brett Lee and Pakistan’s Shoaib Akhtar, as well as Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, were questioned but cleared on the basis of tolerance limit or native arm joint deformity.

  India’s Harbhajan Singh and Pakistan’s Saeed Ajmal are two high-profile current bowlers whose actions come under questions several times.

  The ICC said it was working with experts to solve the problems.

  “ICC is now working with experts to produce a process capable of measuring bowlers’ actions in a match environment. Known as inertial sensors, they employ similar technology to that used in iPads, mobile phones and car crash impact detection systems.

  “It is planned the technology will be light, cost effective and wearable on the bowler’s arm and will not hinder performance while still allowing information about the throw-like features of an illegal action to be assessed in near real time in both match and training environments.”  Bowlers who have been reported by umpires with a suspicious illegal bowling action are currently required to attend an ICC approved biomechanics laboratory to assess the amount of elbow extension in their bowling action, the ICC said.

  “The second phase of the three-phase project will conclude in late 2013 and is concerned with the technology’s measurement methods and precision against current laboratory protocols,” the ICC said.

  From 2014, the focus will be on making the technology more comfortable for players.

  ICC chief executive David Richardson said the ICC was keen on using the technology.

  “The ICC is keen to see this technology implemented in elite cricket and believe it will be a significant stride forward in detecting illegal bowling actions in match conditions,” said Richardson.

  “We are encouraged by the progress made so far by the Australian research team and also acknowledge the MCC, who have made a significant financial contribution to the project.” 

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