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The position of impact of a ball striking a cricket bat: assisting coaches with performance analysis of cricket technique and skill levels.

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The purpose of this study was to use the data collected in three previous studies (Stretch et al 1998/99, Stretch et al 2000 and Stretch et al 2002) to determine variations, if any, between the position of impact on the cricket bat for cricketers of different batting skill levels, as well as for various strokes played off the front foot. The cricket bat was divided into a Cartesian grid (width - 0 to 110 mm; height - 0 to 555mm) and instrumented to identify the ball impact point, while the software stored biographical and stroke data (McKellar et al. 1998). All three studies used a similar data collection method with a bowling machine project the ball at a velocity of 100 to 105 km h-1 on a line about 0.1 m outside the batsman's off stump and on a length that enabled the batsman to play all the strokes off the front foot. Typically each player took part in three testing sessions of 60 deliveries (10 overs), with their normal training programmes supplemented with some additional form of intervention. Players were divided into two groups (Batsmen and Bowlers), as well as classified at the highest level at which they had played at the time of data collection (Provincial and Club). The results of the 60 cricketers and 9052 recorded impacts showed non-significant variations in the impact location for the Provincial and Club cricketers. Significant differences (p < 0.05) occurred between the impact points for the batsmen and bowlers, as well as between all the strokes with the exception of the off-drive. As the strokes were played wider of the pitch, the off- and cover drives on the off-side and the on-drive and leg glance on the on-side, the impact point was further from the midline of the bat thus increasing the risk of being dismissed. The instrumented bat was devised to assess the accuracy and consistency of stroke reproduction and the effects of various intervention modalities. It has shown that it has implications for performance analysis of cricket technique and skill levels.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2004-12-01

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