May 30, 2012

Cricket research

Swing theory hit for a six

Carlyle Laurie

The old adage that 'moisture in the air makes a cricket ball swing', is wrong, it seems. Researchers from Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Auckland conducted tests, using 3D laser scanners in an atmospheric chamber to measure the effect different humidity levels had on a cricket ball. The result? They found no link between moisture in the air and sideways movement of the ball.

The research published in the journal Procedia Engineering concluded that while altitude and the age of the ball both increased swing, there was no link between moisture levels in the air and sideways movement. "It is therefore logical to conclude that humidity may not have the significant influence on swing bowling that is widely assumed," researchers said.

"What is clear is that the scientific community should turn their attention away from the question of humidity and focus their efforts to test the cloud cover hypothesis." Looks like the going just got tougher for bowlers.

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