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.

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.

Spektacom has created a 5-gram 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 the Microsoft Cloud in real-time. Artificial Intelligence (AI) then helps the batsman understand the quality of the shot (how far the impact was from the bat’s sweet spot), the speed of the bat, the twist of the bat, and the power of the shot. All this information can be analysed in real-time across different platforms (desktop and mobile) to give the “Spek” score of that shot.

Anil Kumble is pictured throwing a cricket ball

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

- Anil Kumble, International Bowler and Founder, Spektacom

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 is watching as a 5-gram sensor has the potential to change the game of cricket for millions of players (professional and amateur) and billions of fans. With this new power bat technology, coaches, players, and fans will be able to access real-time game data via broadcast analysis and phone application.

I can see amateur players comparing their spek scores and other parameters among themselves and even their favorite cricketers.

- Anil Kumble, International Bowler and Founder, Spektacom