Be a swashbuckler with ~~Smart Cricket Bat~~

Published: Tuesday, May 8, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Sydney:World Cup hero Adam Gilchrist will not need a squash ball in his palm to see a cricket ball vanish into the stands, as it could be more to do with the make of the bat than the batsman's ability to hit the ball.

A 'Smart Cricket Bat' to be launched in the market within 18 months can minimise vibration felt while batting by 42 per cent, thereby, making it easier for the batsman to go for the slog shots with minimum effort.

The unique bat, developed jointly by Melbourne's RMIT University, the Australian Research Council and the manufacturer Kookaburra Sport and sensor company Davidson Measurement, has been patented to be the World's first bat with active vibration control.

The bat is expected to be priced around US$100. The technique to develop this bat, which is also used in baseball bats and tennis racquets, uses the innovative handle to reduce the ''zinging effect'' felt by the batsman while big hitting.

This US$6,00,000 project uses electro-mechanical sensors and actuators built into the handle. The technology is used in collaboration with a vibration-absorbing polymeric-based synthetic material. The materials convert shock waves into heat and dampen vibration by generating waves in the opposite direction.

''The technology had increased the 'sweet spot' of the cricket bat - the area in which the batsman experiences least impact when hitting the ball hard - providing greater control.

''It may also reduce the injuries experienced by top-level batsmen,'' RMIT project leader Sabu John told The Australian.

''The big push for this is going to be players who want a bit of technology in the bat and it would make them feel slightly better when the ball hits the bat away from the sweet spot,'' said Associate Professor John, who is based in RMIT's School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering.

Kookaburra Sport last year voluntarily withdrew a bat, made with a carbon fibre coating on the blade, used by Australian captain Ricky Ponting after it riled cricket's lawmakers.

''As far as we know it (Smart Cricket Bat) is legal,'' Professor John said.

The latest recommendation from the International Cricket Council was that bat handles could be made from any material.

The bat is expected to cost US$100 more than the most expensive bats in the market today, which are priced at US$500 to 600.


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