BATFAST: Forget The Hundred, this simulator is what will really get people playing cricket

Trying to bring through a new generation of cricketing stars has proven tricky in recent decades as other more accessible sports have taken over.

After all, football requires a ball and some jumpers, tennis needs just a racket and a wall while basketball can be played with a ball and a hoop.

Meanwhile, cricket needs pads, gloves, a helmet, a bat, a ball, fielders and lots and lots of time.

Or does it? Forget The 100, the guys over at BATFAST are the ones who are going to get kids loving cricket once more.

BATFAST is an innovative video cricket simulator which can bowl up to 100 deliveries an hour, with speeds of up to 100mph – all controlled by an easy-to-use tablet.

Let's be honest, bowling machines are nothing new. You can find them at almost any nets in the world.

But, BATFAST is in a different league altogether – and not just because the video background allows you to watch the bowler in his run-up.

Using softer balls, there's no need for protection – while using a tablet or phone to set the machine's speed and spin means there's no need for someone at the other end to feed the balls in.

When I say anyone can enjoy BATFAST, I mean it…

After all, I haven't played cricket properly for years now, but I got my eye in at 50mph before cranking up the speeds – and turning on the spin!

Think baseball batting cages… you stick some money in and balls are spat out while you do your best to connect with them. It's a truly fantastic concept.

BATFAST is a more intelligent system, with algorithms used to set the ball's speed and spin out of the machine, but the notion is the same.

On top of that, there are a variety of different game modes to enjoy.

For one, the system names the shot you should play for that specific delivery and you try it out, from the traditional cover drive to more eccentric helicopter shots and switch-hits.

There's final over blitz mode where you need to chase down a set score as well as a hatful more.

The geniuses behind the gadget are even trying to replicate Shane Warne's leg-spinning Ball of the Century from 1993 and hope to unveil it in time for this summer's Ashes.

And let me tell you… I faced a few attempts and couldn't get near it!

For now, the Nottingham-based BATFAST travel around the country with their machine in a trailer, enjoyed at events and festivals across the country.

There, for a few of your English pounds, you can simply grab a bat, have a whack and try to reach the top of their leader-board.

No pads. No helmet. No rotation of bowlers needed. Just a bat, a ball and hours of seriously addictive fun.

If that doesn't get the next generation interested in cricket, I don't know what will… kudos to the lovely folk at BATFAST, they're on to a real winner.

*For more information on BATFAST, visit the website now…

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