Is It A Bird? Is It A Laser? No It Is An Error

It is not every day when a bowler just out of the blue bowls a delivery that gets clocked at 160 kmph on the speed gun. Interestingly, this happened some days ago when New Zealand’s Neil Wagner in the test against Sri Lanka while bowling to Dinesh Chandimal. As soon as the bowl was delivered, the graphics on Sky Sports starting displaying that the bowl was bowled at a speed of 160 kmph.


One has to remember that the speed on 160 kmph has been touched by only a couple of bowlers till date in international cricket, they are Shoaib Akhtar and second is Australian Mitchel Starc who had bowled a 160 kmph ball for the first time in test cricket just a couple of weeks ago. So it was pretty much a huge things to have happened and but obvious there was needed to be a proper investigation into the legitimacy of the speed of the delivery as well.

Now the reason for all this is also pretty different. This would not have had been the case had the bowler been someone who was a flat out fast bowler like Mitchel Starc or Shoaib Akhtar, but this is a bowler who barely even touched the 140 kmph mark in his 17 test cricketing career and also who bowls constantly in the 130s kmph.

Now according to the statement given out by Sky Sports team, a low flying bird interfered with the one of the two speed guns which was present at the stadium. But then again there are very few birds who can graze the 160 kmph mark and that too when flying really low. And then there were some coming up with crazy ideas that maybe a laser could have had been the cause of the goof up.


Now this should be interesting to check where the laser had come from in all this. And if that was so easy then why does this not happen so often and how can we trust the technology just like that. The better idea is to simply go and ask the batsman if he felt the ball to be that fast to classify it into the 160 kmph category or was it just another 130+ kmph ball which Wagner regularly was bowling.

The ball previously clocked above 160 kmph was from Mitchel Starc to Ross Taylor during a test match at WACA, Perth between Australia and New Zealand. This ball had clocked 160.4 kmph on the speedo and is the fastest ever recorded ball in test match cricket. But not all is rosy about it as New Zealand batting coach Craig McMillan has been since then questioning the validity of the information. He said, “That delivery came out of nowhere and looked pretty similar to a lot of deliveries through the day that were closer to 150 than 160. I’m not sure if maybe the wrong button was pushed. But you’d have to ask Ross whether it felt 10km/h quicker than any other delivery he faced.”