TEST V NEW ZEALAND, IT20 V INDIA
Samit Patel caught a glimpse of how technology can assist in cricket becoming a game for all at Trent Bridge this week, and the stalwart all-rounder was excited by what he saw.
The Nottinghamshire venue welcomed BatFast, the locally based global cricket entertainment company, as they celebrated the 5 millionth delivery bowled via their interactive software by laying on activities for participants in the club’s charity and community schemes.
Developed by childhood friends Runish Gudhka and Jignesh Patel, BatFast integrates a bowling machine with a visual projector to deliver a batting experience akin to the real game with speeds and bowling styles controlled from a single device.
Participants from Trent Bridge Community Trust’s Forget Me Notts and YouNG initiatives were given an opportunity to trial the technology in line with BatFast’s desire to use its platform as a force for good within the local community.
Patel praised the company for their efforts in creating a unique participation aid and entertainment product, as well as hinting at a possible impact within professional cricketing circles.
“Cricket can be a costly sport, and this technology enables anyone to go in with a bat and have a hit,” he said. “That's a hugely attractive prospect, especially for young kids to have a go at cricket and develop.
“It can be used at many levels, too. Being able to change the speeds and the types of delivery is really useful both for professional cricketers and children, and it helps to hone the fundamentals.
“There are a lot of different ways to train, and this has that point of difference that you can train and have fun without needing anyone to bowl or throw at you. It’s different and I enjoyed it a lot.”
Fateh Singh, a recent graduate of Nottinghamshire’s Academy, was also in attendance to engage with those in attendance and take a turn against the machine.
Combining their love of sport and technology, young entrepreneurs Gudhka and Patel won University College London’s prestigious Bright Ideas Award and a grant to develop the first prototype in 2015.
Since then, the company has sold simulators in five continents, enabling hundreds of thousands of participants from grassroots to an elite level to utilise the technology in order to participate in the game.
Navdeep Sethi, Chief Operating Officer of Batfast, said: "The event was a huge success and it was wonderful to be able to see people of all ages pick up a bat and play.
"I’d like to extend a massive thank you to all players and coaches from Notts CCC’s Street and Wicketz Cricket programmes and the Trent Bridge Community Trust’s Forget Me Notts and YouNG initiatives.
Great things happen when you make sport accessible to all and this event was a great example of that."
The ITV Central cameras were at the BatFast event interviewing Samit Patel, Runish Gudkha and participants of the Forget Me Notts initiative. The package can be found here starting 23:47 into the programme.
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