India cricketer Ravichandran Ashwin Friday live demonstrated a non-electric cricket ball thrower Freebowler at Centre for Sports Science (CSS) in Chennai. The one-of-its-kind machine that was launched a few months ago doesn’t require any batteries, cords or electricity ports and is portable.
“Throwdowns are a crucial aspect of a batsman’s training, but more often than not, it becomes difficult to find another person to give throwdowns as it’s a taxing activity,” Ashwin said.
The non-electric ball thrower can be packed in a bag, easily assembled and can be operated even by a young cricketer, he said adding moreover, this will help reduce the stress on the arms of the coaches, who usually end up giving 400-500 throwdowns in one practice session.
Ashwin, who has scored four Test centuries, said, “It took me quite a few years to improve my batting and had this product been available in my formative years, I would have reached my batting pinnacle faster.”
He also said that portability was an important factor as far as Freebowler was concerned.
Unlike other electric bowling machines that use plastic-coated synthetic dimple balls, the Freebowler machine enables the batsman to play with proper cricket balls.
An electric bowling machine has rotating wheels that squeeze the ball before it is thrown out, which can damage the threading of the ball.
The Freebowler, on the other hand, simulates realistic bowling action with “a throwing arm.” This feature of the machine can assist a batsman to prepare for challenging batting conditions as it can swing the ball in the air and also land the ball on the seam.
Freebowler co-founder Pratheek Palanthera said he expected club teams, sports facilities and individuals to opt for the product.
Freebowler has also been tested by India’s legendary batsman Rahul Dravid and current India players Cheteshwar Pujara and K L Rahul, a release here said.