Pratheek Palanethra, TE'16G, Freebowler | Cricket Bowling Machine | Non-Electric Training Equipment (India)

John Persico

Sports Analytics


Cricket is one of the world's Top 5 most popular sports. Estimated 2 billion+ followers makes cricket one of the most popular sport mainly in Commonwealth countries like England, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Australia, New Zealand, Carribeans and South Africa. As Microsoft CEO recently remarked, cricket has immense opportunities to innovate with technology across the entire end-to-end cricket experience.


New Era of Cricket Technology innovators & disruptions, especially India and UK


I was recently fortunate to be in Mumbai, India for the inaugural India Sports Analytics & Sports Technology Conference in October 2017. To my pleasant surprise -- it become abundantly clear that India and the sub-continent generally was home to to some of the world's most advanced innovation in cricket. From intelligent cricket bats, cricket athlete management, cricket visualisation, fan engagement, predictive analytics -- here was a country in love with cricket data and cricket technology. The other country that is leading the world is the United Kingdom -- together I think they're on track to become the pioneers of cricket innovation -- probably 50% of the most exciting new global cricket technology is emerging from both UK and Indian markets alone (my opinion).


India's opportunities as a cricket technology world leader lies in its ecosystem. With the right focus (I think India should bid for the 2040 Olympics -- seriously) and commitment to sports infrastructure, talent identification (to trial the cricket) and helping bring some of their wonderful Indian entrepreneurs to the world. UK's opportunity in cricket technology lies in leveraging a powerful sporting nation and taking diversified, cross-disciplinary opportunities that cricket technologies can also be applied to innovating in new sports (e.g. baseball, golf, hockey) and new contexts. My research has been a little disappointed in Australia & NZ new innovation in cricket tech (e.g. startups) but no doubt these countries has spearheaded modern cricket innovation.


Some great cricket innovators in data, analytics and technology


Here's a list of 15 young companies I think will change the world in the next 5 years:

#8.  Freebowler | Cricket Bowling Machine | Non-electric training equipment (India)


Freebowler introduces the most convenient, accessible and affordable mechanical bowling machine tool to aid everyday cricket practice. After the India Sports Analytics Conference -- this was the crowd favourite and one that's accessible to everyone (website:

Freebowler; Pratheek Palanethra; Lehigh University; Masters; Entrepreneurship; Creativity; Innovation; Cricket