The International Cricket Council (ICC) has followed Cricket Australia (CA) in literally lighting up the stumps and bails during the ICC World Twenty20 tournament here in Bangladesh.
Forget about wooden stumps. These days, fast-paced Twenty20 cricket is all about glowing zings. Costing $40,000 a set, these stumps are made of composite plastic and have LEDs that glimmer at the slightest impact with the ball.
The new Zing Wicket System will see the stumps literally light up with bright red LEDs as soon as the wickets are broken. A sensor in the bails will send a radio signal within 1/1000 of a second even with the slightest impact. The Zing Wicket System has been used in the Australian Big Bash and the T20 leagues in Australia and New Zealand before.
However, each bail is precious and costs as much as an iPhone, which means players will not be allowed to take away the stumps and bails as souvenirs after winning a match.
Powered by hidden low voltage batteries, once the wicket is broken, the bails instantaneously flash bright red thanks to LED lights and send a radio signal to the stumps which also light up.”These light up stumps are all about enhancing the spectator experience during BBL matches and ensuring that the BBL remains highly entertaining for the fans,” says BBL Senior Manager Anthony Everard.
Zings inventor Bronte Eckerman admits that sometimes he does face nervous moments whenever the expensive stumps are being used — especially when Sri Lankan Lasith Malinga is firing in yorker after yorker.
The cricket addict’s ‘eureka’ moment arrived when he was at home watching a game on television. “My daughter was playing with a ball that lit up when it was thrown. I was hoping to produce something that would add value to T20 cricket. I was also excited about LED technology,” recalls Eckermann.
“Widespread use of Zings will bring down the cost. Our main aim is to help umpires make better decisions when it comes to close run-outs or stumping. May be a few years down the line, I can allow the players to keep the bails and stumps after a final,” he says.
Like the Decision Review System (DRS), the LED zing bails too have controversies associated. But so far, it has been a successful move and the ICC needs to ensure that it remains safe from the controversies.