A few men are featured hitting a ball with a cricket bat with data overlaid.
Sports

Anil Kumble brings an intelligent edge to batting

Sports technology developer Spektacom, founded by cricket hall-of-famer Anil Kumble, is designing technology that enhances the fan experience and empowers athletes to play better and smarter.

As a young boy in India, Anil Kumble dreamed of playing cricket professionally. Through hard work and countless hours spent studying the game, he not only achieved that dream, but also went on to have a storied international career spanning 18 years.

Today, he’s turned his attention to building technology that will help some of the hundreds of millions of cricketers around the globe improve their performance and give their billions of fans a new way to engage with the sport they love.

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Seeking the perfect shot

It all started with a simple question: What makes the perfect shot?

Spektacom, a sports technology company founded by Anil, is partnering with Microsoft to help cricketers, coaches, commentators, and even fans find the answer through real-time data in every swing.

A man bowls a ball to a cricket batsman in a batting cage.

“We’ve always heard experts talk about how a particular batsman is more powerful than the others. But what does all of that really mean in numbers?”

- Anil Kumble, international bowler and Founder, Spektacom

Spektacom has created an ultra lightweight credit card-sized sensor that seamlessly and unobtrusively adheres to the back of a cricket bat—transforming it into what Anil describes as the “power bat.” The sensor captures a number of data points, without the batsman noticing any difference. Then, using a “stump box” positioned behind the wicket and equipped with Azure Sphere, it securely uploads the data to Microsoft Azure. Artificial Intelligence (AI) then helps the batsman understand the quality of the shot—that is, how far the impact was from the bat’s sweet spot—as well as the speed of the bat, the twist of the bat, and the power of the shot.

All this information can be analyzed in real time across different platforms, both desktop and mobile, to give the “Spek” score of that shot for player and coaches. To stimulate and enhance fan engagement, Spektacom has joined forces with Star TV, the leading cricket broadcaster in India and Spektacom’s broadcast development partner, to provide live statistics and insights straight off the oval in recent cricket series.

A man holds his phone while standing inside a cricket batting cage.

“I can see amateur players comparing their Spek scores and other parameters among themselves, and even with their favorite cricketers.”

- Anil Kumble, international bowler and Founder, Spektacom

The transformative power of data

Data is leading a transformation in sports like no other time in history, presenting a new fusion of information and human achievement. The world will be watching as the Spektacom technology sets out to add a new dimension to the game of cricket for millions of players—professional and amateur—and billions of fans.