The Vice President of the Sri Lanka Cricket Board, Ravin Wickramaratne visited LUMS on Friday, October 4, for a tour of the LUMS Biomechanics Lab, an International Cricket Council (ICC) accredited centre to test bowling actions. He was accompanied by Ali Zia, Senior General Manager Academies at National Cricket Academy, and Hissan Ur Rehman from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
The idea of hosting the lab at LUMS was conceived in December 2015, which led to an MoU signing in April 2016 between LUMS and the PCB. The project was spearheaded by Prof. Mian Muhammad Awais at the Department of Computer Science at Syed Babar Ali School of Science and Engineering (SBASSE), and Mr. Hissan Ur Rehman from PCB who is also a LUMS graduate from BSc batch of 2007.
Set up in 2016, the Biomechanics Lab was accredited by the ICC in July 2019, making it the fifth in the world to earn this accolade. With this prestigious accreditation, the Lab joins the ranks of those based in Brisbane, Chennai, Loughborough and Pretoria and will be used to carry out official bowling tests of international and domestic bowlers.
Mr. Wickeremaratne praised the facility, which is the second in Asia that has state-of-the-art equipment to perform tests on behalf of ICC. The Lab boasts a full set of testing equipment and software similar to other accredited centres and will be used to rectify the bowling actions of players from a very early stage. He also expressed the desire of opening up a similar lab in Sri Lanka as Sri Lankan players have to visit the lab in Chennai to be analysed.
Mr. Wickeremaratne said, “A thorough performance analysis is required for the young players as they tend to be too enthusiastic about reaching the same level as their senior players.”
Dr. Shahid Masud, Dean SBASSE, was also present at the meeting and appreciated the LUMS team’s achievement. He said that the lab can be utilised for various other sports, not just cricket. “The use of the facility won't be restricted for bowling actions; players at all levels can sort out their technical deficiencies through biomechanical analysis under the supervision of coaches and experts,” he added.
The delegation also discussed other techniques that can be incorporated to better analyse the performance of the players. Mr. Wickeremaratne shared his thoughts on a microchip that is installed in the clothes of the players to better monitor their moves and get accurate statistical measurements. Nadeem Ahmad Khan, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering at SBASSE, shared his current research in which he is using various scientific techniques to understand muscle injury recognition and prevention.
Mr. Wickeremaratne took a tour around the lab and was also presented with souvenirs by Dr. Shahid Masud.