The LED wickets inventor Bronte EcKermann said that he would not mind giving Mahendra Singh Dhoni a LED stump if India lift the ICC World T20 2014.
“Well, this is a very costly system. The entire set-up during a match costs USD 40,000 [Rs 25 Lakh approx], so I don’t allow the players to uproot it during any celebrations. But I know Dhoni loves keeping a souvenir stump. If India can win the final, I might get into some arrangement with Dhoni,” EcKermann said.
32 stumps and 40 bails are being used for the tournament and he will take all the equipment back, once the tournament is over.
“The idea was to make it touch friendly. The light might not glow if someone tries to hit with a hammer but if the wicketkeeper touches the bail with ball in his gloves and even a feather touches, it would. It would make the decisions easier for the third umpire as to what exactly was impact when bail was dislodged from the stumps.”
When asked about the time he has put in to make it a success, EcKermann said, “It took around three years to turn my dream into a reality. I conceived the idea when I saw my little daughter play with a ball that would light up whenever she bounced the ball. Then it struck about how if I could create a system which would make cricket a bit more colourful.”
“I started working on the set-up. I still believe that Test cricket is the most pristine form but my idea was to make T20 a bit more colourful.”
Another issue that worried EcKermann was about monetising the project. “I came in touch with David Leigitwood and he was ready to come in as a commercial partner and thus Zing International was formed. Once I felt that it was foolproof, I approached Cricket Australia (CA) with an offer to use this in Big Bash,” EcKermann said.
“On a trial basis, it was first used in a club game in Adelaide. Once CA authorities were convinced, it was decided that it would be used in the 2012 edition of Big Bash,” EcKermann added.
“He said that for these LED stumps, he will add a new delivery to his armoury. It will be known as ‘Disco Ball’. Shane said that his only aim would be to hit the stumps so that it lights up just like a discotheque.”
EcKermann said that he is also in talks with Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) also regarding using it during the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) but is yet to sign a contract.
“Yes, I would be glad if the technology is used in the IPL. We are in negotiations with the IPL authorities but nothing concrete has happened. I don’t know whether it’s got late [since IPL starts April 16], but I am certainly interested in having a tie-up.”
When asked that whether he is scared of a situation that the product getting damaged by a player, he smiled and said: “Well, when Malinga bowls those toe-crushing yorkers, my blood runs cold. I am only scared of one bowler and that is Lasith Malinga,” he said in jest.
“But on a serious note, I get delighted when Malinga is able to rattle the stumps as it lights up the surrounding. I wish he could do more like that,” he concluded.
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