New device could spell the end of no balls
Foot fault no balls could be eliminated from cricket thanks to a new device that aims to stop bowlers overstepping the mark.
QUT's technology transfer company, qutbluebox, partnered with Cricket Australia to create a training aid that uses a sensor to detect when a bowler commits a no ball by overstepping the popping crease.
The simple device shines a light sensor from one side of the popping crease line to a reflector strip on the other side. If the bowler's foot crosses the crease, the device emits a loud beep to signal a no ball, alerting the batsman and warning the bowler to pay more attention to the rhythm of their run up.
Qutbluebox consultant Sam James said they had helped Cricket Australia refine its original prototype into a robust version that was reliable and easy to use in the field.
"Qutbluebox has a strong track-record developing a range of sporting training devices for elite athletes, including the Corsuit used by members of the Australian swim team," he said.
"We were happy to share our experience with Cricket Australia and if we can take some credit from Australia's teams giving away fewer no balls in the future we'll all be delighted."
Troy Cooley, head coach at the Bupa National Cricket Centre, in Albion, and a former first-class cricketer, said the device had proved effective in curbing no balls among young guns at the centre.
"Being able to objectively determine a no ball is really valuable, even in a nets session," Mr Cooley said.
"This device ends the argument over whether a delivery was a no ball and, more importantly, ensures bowlers are getting feedback on their run up and approach.
"We've been looking for a device like this for a while and with qutbluebox's help we've ended up with something we're really happy with.
"It's effective, simple to use and helps make our practice perfect."