Tommy was fortunate enough to have some batting coaching today with Leicestershire at their Grace Road indoor net facility. It was the first time that either Tommy or I had seen the amazing Bola “virtual” bowling machine (Trueman) in action.
The TrueMan displays a high-contrast LED animation of a bowler on the front of the Bowling Machine which synchronises exactly with release of the ball.
The TrueMan is electromechanically active and programmable by any Wi-Fi enabled device (tablet, phone or laptop) by downloading the BOLA app. All the machines functions (line, length, speed and swing) can then be manipulated and saved as individual balls, overs or spells. They can then be used as selected or ‘shuffled’ to produce random sequences. The bowler animations can be changed at any time and can be matched with any number of deliveries.
The bowler animations are produced by artwork made from real life video footage and so an extensive library of actions and styles of bowling can be built up with any player’s action being able to be reproduced. Hence, Tommy faced pace bowling from Brett Lee, off spin from Gareth Batty and several other international cricketers. A fantastic experience !
The England and Wales Cricket Board have bought twenty TrueMan by BOLA Bowling Machines which have been installed at all the First Class County Clubs and the ECB Academy at Loughborough.