Strokeful Wonder

Bangalore man invents a unique machine that makes bats of all sizes match-ready in minutes, cutting down on time.

New Delhi: A unique sensor-driven fully automatic machine — possibly the only one of its kind in the world — has just reduced several days’ process of making bats match-ready to a few minutes.

A leather ball, fitted on top of the bat in the machine, in 25 minutes flat hits the willow 4,000 times, the number ideally required in bringing the ‘stroke’ out and making the bat fit for matches.

Normally, it requires a few days for players to make a new bat match-fit by gently knocking it with a ball repeatedly until the ‘stroke’ is brought out.

One special aspect of the batstroking machine, which measures 2- foot x 3- foot and is 40 inches high, is that it can ‘season’, to use a cricketing jargon, all sizes of bats — from 28 inches long to 32 inches.

Another feature of the machine helps in customised knocking, in specific areas on the bat. It can ‘play’ up to 99,999 strokes in one go, but so many hits are never used on a bat as that would break the willow.

PRASHANT Doshi, who developed the first machine at a cost of about Rs 8 lakh, is now in the process of getting it patented so that the exclusivity remains with him and his company, Techno Vision.

It’s a sister concern of the well-known sports goods shop, Player’s Choice in Gandhi Nagar, Bangalore, where the machine has been installed.

A former first-division league batsman, Prashant, 35, says excited people are visiting his shop these days just to see how the machine works.

“We installed the machine a few days ago and some people come just to see how it works, they find it so fascinating. Now those who buy bats from us can also get it ‘seasoned’ within minutes,” Prashant, who has a degree in management, told MAIL TODAY.

The machine works in a fascinating manner. A leather ball of any quality is fixed on top of the machine, with only a part of its lower portion visible. The bat is tightly fixed exactly below the ball, and when the sensor-driven machine starts, the bat moves slowly with the ball constantly hitting the blade.

The process continues until the pre-set number of strokes is completed on the bat.

The 17 red and green buttons and knobs on the front of the machine help regulate the ball and bat vertically and horizontally, as per the requirement of the batsman.

“I’ve made only one piece. But there would be 10 pieces of the second, improved version, which would have several new features. It’ll have less sound, a new colour combination, and it’ll be almost fully covered. Eight of the 10 pieces have already been booked by dealers from across the country, and they haven’t even seen it,” he disclosed.

“The second version of the machines will be ready for despatch by the end of the next month. Each one will be tested for 20-30 hours to ensure smooth working, and it would cost between Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 1.75 lakh.” It took Prashant about 10 months to develop the first machine and kept the project so close to his chest that he didn’t even tell his father about it, until it was completed late last month.

His father, sitting at the shop, simply smiles as Prashant spells out the reasons for keeping it under wraps.

“It involved a huge amount of money. Also, I was sceptical that it might not be a success. I started in an upbeat mood, and halfway through it we thought we are going nowhere. But we continued to work on it,” he revealed.

Prashant initially started a garment factory as he wanted to “something different”. But it didn’t work out.

"I was thinking about this machine for five- six years and when I started work on it, it was more for the joy of doing something different than for commercial reasons,” he outlined.

“After the success of this machine, I am confident I can do... well, effectively anything. Without doubt it’s the best thing that I’ve done in my life. I’m now applying for a patent.”

The machine is fully indigenous, except for a few imported parts. “I imported only two parts from Germany because I didn’t want to compromise on quality,” says Prashant, who along with his father also owns and manages Johnson Cricket Club.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

The bowlers restricted Hyderabad to 133 for 6 before Rahane and Binny took Rajasthan over the line. More »

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

The Kings XI batsman blasted a 43-ball 95 to help his team pull off a massive chase against Chennai Super Kings. More »

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

As two of the most glamorous sides in the Indian T20 league, the focus of the match between Mumbai and Bangalore will invariably be on the middle-order… More »

BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srinivasan, says Manohar

BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srinivasan, says Manohar

Two former BCCI presidents, Shashank Manohar and Jagmohan Dalmiya, have reacted strongly to the news of the BCCI calling an emergent meeting on Sunday… More »

Pietersen ridicules idea of day-night Tests

Pietersen ridicules idea of day-night Tests

Kevin Pietersen has ridiculed the idea of day-night Test cricket, saying the game would be so different to proper Test cricket that we will need a whole… More »

Beleaguered Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Beleaguered Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj Singh was hardly convincing to begin with against Delhi, but a big dose of crowd support and a helping of poor bowling meant he had the opportunity… More »

Stressed Trott stands down again

Stressed Trott stands down again

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday confirmed that batsman Jonathan Trott is to take another break from all cricket with immediate eff… More »

PCB starts another coach hunt

PCB starts another coach hunt

The PCB has decided to not extend the contracts of head coach Moin Khan, fielding coach Shoaib Mohammad and batting consultant Zaheer Abbas, and has invited… More »

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistani cricket authorities have launched an investigation after a number of current international stars played in exhibition matches in the United States… More »

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

England all-rounder Ben Stokes admits he must keep his anger under control if he is to end his international exile. More »

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Yuvraj Singh was back to his best in his first match for Royal Challengers Bangalore. More »

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

The BCCI will hold an emergent working committee meeting on April 20 to discuss the future course of action with regard to the Supreme Court hearing concerning… More »

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

"Integrity is non-negotiable..." says the BCCI's interim chief ahead of Season 7 of the tainted league. More »

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Chennai have an emphatic 8-3 lead in the head-to-head with Punjab, with one game tied More »

Kallis, Narine star in KKR win

Kallis, Narine star in KKR win

An all-round display saw Knight Riders thump Mumbai Indians by 41 runs in the IPL-7 opener. More »

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

The 38-year-old South African veteran turned it on for Kolkata Knight RIders in the opening match of IPL-7. More »

Rajasthan and Hyderabad face-off

Rajasthan and Hyderabad face-off

A quality that defines Rajasthan and Hyderabad is consistency. Rajasthan was one among two teams to enjoy complete dominance at home last season. Hyderabad… More »

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

The court emphasised that the tainted administrator can no longer work for the BCCI. More »

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

New-look RCB will play their first game of IPL-7 on Thursday. More »

IPL: News Line

IPL: News Line

A round-up of all the news from this season of the IPL. More »

Shane Watson issues moral warning

Shane Watson issues moral warning

'Everyone knows what is right and what is wrong and if you do the wrong thing it will be found out' More »

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Welcome to another season of a league that many watch but few trust. More »

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Australia's Mitchell Johnson may quit limited-overs cricket to prolong his test career with an eye on the 2015 Ashes series in England, the fast bowler… More »

Nepal players call off boycott

Nepal players call off boycott

Thaw in relations after formation of an advisory committee that would work in tandem with the Cricket Association of Nepal. More »