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Virtual reality for Aus cricketers

Australia is experimenting with the technology for its batsmen in order to remain number one in the cricket world.

cricket Updated: Aug 03, 2007 15:31 IST

Australia is experimenting with the virtual reality technology for its batsmen to maintain the team's number one position in the world.

The technology with the players, padded up and waiting to bat, to rehearse their innings using images gathered from the middle, and projected, life-size, back into the pavilion.

If the system works, it will mean that a player like Mike Hussey can go out to face Muttiah Muralitharan having already got his eye in against him in real time, with the ability to replay deliveries he found difficult.

"A batsman could pick up the cues in Murali's bowling action on that particular day so they know when it's coming," said Marc Portus, manager of the sports science unit at Cricket Australia's Centre of Excellence, which marks its 20th anniversary this weekend.

"We're not quite at that stage yet, but it's where we're aiming to go - possibly as early as next summer," he was quoted as saying by the 'Australian Associated Press'.

"We've done it with footage in a training environment and simulated game scenarios, but we'd really love to start doing it in matches. You can't beat the real thing."

However, the virtual batting studio is unlikely to be functional in time for Australia's two Tests with Sri Lanka this summer, in which Murali requires nine wickets to beat Shane Warne's world record of 708 Test victims.