Bronte EcKermann, the inventor of LED stumps, has said that if India manage to win the ICC World Cup T20 trophy, he will consider giving the Indian captain MS Dhoni, who is also the wicket-keeper of the team, an LED stump as a souvenir.
Eckermann has already made it clear the value of those bails, which he has got patented, when he said that each bail costs as much as an iPhone; however, it appears that he is ready to make an exception for MS Dhoni under one condition: India need to win the ongoing ICC World Cup T20 at Bangladesh. Given the way the team is playing, Eckermann, who has got 32 stumps and 40 bails in use for this tournament, may have taken a huge risk.
EcKermann said on Wednesday: “Well, this is a very costly system. The entire set-up during a match costs $40,000 (Rs 25 Lakh approx), so I don’t allow the players to uproot it during any celebrations. But I know Dhoni loves keeping a souvenir stump. If India can win the final, I might get into some arrangement with Dhoni.”
“The idea was to make it touch friendly. The light might not glow if someone tries to hit with a hammer but if the wicketkeeper touches the bail with ball in his gloves and even a feather touches, it would. It would make the decisions easier for the third umpire as to what exactly was impact when bail was dislodged from the stumps.”
When asked about how long it took to turn his dreams into reality, Eckermann said, “It took around three years to turn my dream into a reality. I conceived the idea when I saw my little daughter play with a ball that would light up whenever she bounced the ball. Then it struck about how if I could create a system which would make cricket a bit more colourful.”
“I started working on the set-up. I still believe that Test cricket is the most pristine form but my idea was to make T20 a bit more colourful.”
“He said that for these LED stumps, he will add a new delivery to his armoury. It will be known as ‘Disco Ball’. Shane said that his only aim would be to hit the stumps so that it lights up just like a discotheque.”
He also revealed that the BCCI has not yet given him the green light despite approaching them to implement this technology in IPL 7.
“Yes, I would be glad if the technology is used in the IPL. We are in negotiations with the IPL authorities but nothing concrete has happened. I don’t know whether it’s got late (since IPL starts April 16), but I am certainly interested in having a tie-up.”
Eckermann also added that he fears every time Sri Lankan fast bowler Lasith Malinga tests those stumps with his toe-crushing yorkers. It doesn’t help that Malinga, who had been off-colour for a while, found his touch back only days ahead of the tournament.
“Well, when Malinga bowls those toe-crushing Yorkers, my blood runs cold. I am only scared of one bowler and that is Lasith Malinga.
“But on a serious note, I get delighted when Malinga is able to rattle the stumps as it lights up the surrounding. I wish he could do more like that,” he concluded.