Royal Challengers Bangalore’s director of cricket Mike Hesson said that the franchise is using artificial intelligence to unearth new players, with the focus largely being on pacers who can touch the 130-kmph mark. The players around the globe will be asked to send in clips of themselves in action and the AI scouting system will go through each of those videos.
“We think our scouting needs to go a little bit deeper than sending regular scouts to tournaments. There’s a lot of untapped talent and potential throughout the whole country. So, we have an artificial intelligence system, where we look at at some key metrics,” said Hesson ahead of the inaugural edition of the Women’s Premier League.
“From a bowling perspective, it will be around pace. From a batting perspective, it will be around different positions that they get into. Once we identify talent there, we can bring them into camps or we can go and watch them at specific tournaments.”
When asked about targeting seamers who can bowl quick, Hesson said: “We’re certainly trying to unearth that talent, not just for this year, but for beyond as well. We’re trying to look far beyond just the mainstream tournaments or first-class cricket or state cricket. We’re trying to look at underage talent, talent from the extremities of the country, people that potentially aren’t in teams already.
“The players we’re looking at might be a year away from actually being part of the RCB. But we can identify them, we can watch them over a period of time and just see how they, how they develop. That’s certainly how we also operate and both the men’s and women’s program.”
Meanwhile, head coach Ben Sawyer feels the WPL will take “Indian cricket to an extremely high level”.
“In terms of the attention and the publicity around it, it’s a lot bigger than I’ve experienced. RCB themselves and the setup and everything that they’ve given the players is absolutely next level. Like they’ve left no stone unturned. And I know that as a coach, and as players, they’re extremely appreciative of that. It (WPL) will take Indian cricket to an extremely high level.”
The vice-captain of the Indian side, Smriti Mandhana, is at the helm of affairs for RCB. Apart from her, the franchise also has Ellyse Perry, Sophie Devine, Richa Ghosh, Renuka Singh, Heather Knight, Megan Schutt and Dane van Niekerk in their set-up.
The Bangalore-based franchise will start their campaign against Delhi Capitals on March 5.