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Cricket bails set for big change after recent dramas leave fans in disbelief

The move is set to be music to the ears of most bowlers.

Pictured here, cricket players and officials check out the iconic Zing stumps and bails.
Manufacturers of the iconic Zing stumps and bails have promised cricket fans a big change in their product. Pic: Getty

Bowlers of the world rejoice. The Zing stumps and bails set-up used in major cricket competitions and internationals around the world is undergoing a full revamp, with innovative upgrades on all fronts. This includes extra measures to ensure the wicket is more susceptible to a ball brushing them, potentially leading to an increase in dismissals.

It comes off the back of a summer in which players, fans and commentators were astonished to see the occasional delivery make contact with the wicket without the bails coming off. South Australia-based company Zing – the inventors and manufacturers of the electronic wicket system – hopes to have its new version in operation later this year.

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"There has been some commentary on a couple of non-dislodgements when the top of the bail has been snicked by the ball, but I'm pretty confident saying wooden bails wouldn't have come off either in those situations," Zing director, David Ligertwood, told Yahoo Sport Australia. "The Zings are used in so much cricket around the world it is going to happen occasionally, just like it does with wooden stumps/bails.

Stump manufacturers Zing promise big change

"We have another version of our product coming out soon, in which the bails dislodge easier than wooden bails on wooden stumps. We found in our testing that weight is only one of a number of factors that affects the dislodgement characteristics, with other things, such as the flex of the stump, being more significant.

"We have tried to optimise all factors and that is what we have done in our next generation. It will have LEDs in 360 degrees over the totality of the wicket, with over a 1000 LEDs in each stump, and be controllable from off-field to enable maximum entertainment and communication.

"The key for us is this new system will have flashing bails which, along with the stumps, still flash within 1/1000 of a second of the second spigot of one bail lifting to determine with precision stumpings and run outs." Zing stumps and bails are made from specialist engineering plastics and composites optimised for transparency, weight and impact strength.

Adam Gilchrist reveals massive cost of flashy stumps

Former Australia star and Fox Cricket commentator Adam Gilchrist put the cost of each stump at $30,000, which has led to match officials blocking players from keeping them as souvenirs at the end of a match. While questioning the $30k price tag, Ligertwood revealed moves are underway to provide an alternative for celebrating players.

Seen here, Aussie cricket great Adam Gilchrist.
Adam Gilchrist revealed recently that every Zing stump was worth around $30,000. Pic: Getty

He said: "There are so many parts and factors in the cost of our system that it is virtually impossible to give a simple cost. But it is right to say to get a bunch of clever electronics into a bails and stumps that can withstand a cricket ball hitting it at 150kmph isn't cheap.

"As for souvenirs, we often have spare wooden stumps with the right logos as back-ups and I think Cricket Australia and others have produced a number of these for players to keep in an official allocation after the match. That is an easy solution if it is felt necessary."

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