ICC news August 28, 2012

ICC aiming to assess bowling actions during games

ESPNcricinfo staff

The ICC is working on developing technology that will allow the legality of bowlers' actions to be assessed during matches and training sessions. According to an ICC release, it has entered the second phase of an agreement with a consortium of Australian cricket, sports science and sports engineering institutions in order to produce the technology.

The process will include devices known as 'inertial sensors', which employ technology similar to that used in iPads, mobile phones and car crash impact detection systems. The technology is being developed with a view to keep it cost effective, and making the device wearable on the bowler's arm during matches and training, without it hindering performance.

Dave Richardson, the ICC's chief executive, said the technology would be a big step forward for the game. "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. We would also like to see the technology used in training environments as a tool to help bowlers correct their flawed bowling action.

"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."

For now, bowlers whose actions are considered suspect are required to attend ICC-approved biomechanics laboratory tests to assess the amount of elbow extension (flex) in their bowling action. In November 2004, the ICC set a uniform 15-degree limit on elbow extension for actions to be considered legal.

The project is being managed on behalf of the ICC by Praxis Sport Science, an Australia-based sports science consultancy company headed by Dr Marc Portus, who was involved with the original research behind the 15-degree tolerance threshold.

This phase of the three-step project is concerned with the technology's measurement methods and precision against current laboratory protocols, and will conclude in late 2013. In 2014, phase three will begin and focus on making the technology more comfortable for players.