In the summer, Toyota challenged innovators and cricket fans alike with one question: How would you make cricket better?There was an incredible response and many fabulous ideas, including a boundary rope that flashes on impact and satellite tracking on fielders. But the idea that gained the most votes on the Toyota website came from student Matthew Eastgate, called Net Tech.
Originally from Cambridgeshire and currently studying at Loughborough University, Matt’s idea stemmed from wanting to maximise the benefits of practising in the cricket nets, sharpening technique and targeting where specific improvements need to be made at a personalised level.
Matt’s idea was to light the floor, displaying target areas to pitch the ball and showing the best line to bowl on, working in a similar way to lights on a runway. Sensors in the net itself would also display the bowling speed and calculate how far the ball would travel, and at what speed.
Speaking about his win, Matt said: ‘I’m really happy that my idea has been chosen – it’s one that I know will definitely help my bowling and hopefully others as a virtual field for the batsman. I look forward to being involved with Toyota in exploring how my idea might be developed further within the game.’
Matt’s winnings include a cricket bat signed by members of the England team, along with a pair of tickets to England’s Royal London One Day International against Pakistan. He also has the chance to meet one of England’s international cricket squad members.
A Toyota spokesman, Stuart Sanders, said: ‘The reaction to our Future of Cricket campaign was fantastic – it was a simple brief that produced a wonderful range of inventive, original, thought-provoking ideas for players and fans alike. Congratulations to Matt for coming up with a clever and innovative idea that would make cricket better and help with cricket training.’