Newry sport tech firm STATSports in deal with India's cricketers
India's cricketers are the latest sporting team to use technology supplied by Northern Ireland company STATSports.
The Newry-based company, which is reportedly worth £200m, has signed a deal with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) that will see its GPS performance tracking and analysis technology used to make sure players are in peak physical condition ahead of the Cricket World Cup this month.
The company, with also has an office in Chicago, is a global leader in the industry with a renowned client list including the national football teams of Brazil, England, Germany and Portugal, and clubs such as Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Barcelona, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain.
Players are tracked through a device worn between the shoulder blades, which helps measures hundreds of physical metrics including distance, speed, acceleration, deceleration, high-speed running, and dynamic stress load.
The information gathered allows the fitness coaches to carefully manage players' workloads and injury rehabilitation programmes.
For the Indian national cricket team, the data will help make sure players are prepared for the stresses experienced when sprinting between wickets and in maintaining fitness for fast bowlers during a long day in the field.
STATSports co-founder Sean O'Connor said: "Cricket is the most popular sport in the South Asian subcontinent and termed as a religion in India.
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"We are very happy to associate with one of the biggest brands in world cricket.
"We look forward to supporting India to further on-field success for many years to come."
Jarlath Quinn, chief global strategist for STATSports, said: "Over the years we have served the world's best footballers, rugby and basketball players.
"With this deal we have started our own journey in cricket, and we hope this is the start of other fruitful relationships with international and first-class cricketers around the world to help them manage their workloads."
STATSports India representative Pankaj Wankhede, who worked closely on sealing the deal, said: "International cricket has become a lot more physically demanding over the years due to tight fixtures.
"I am happy to see that the Indian cricket team is ahead of the curve by implementing the world's best wearable device for performance monitoring."
The deal is the latest coup for the local firm.
In September it announced a major recruitment drive for 211 new positions over three years at its headquarters in Drumalane Mill on The Quays in Newry.
At the time company co-founder Alan Clarke said: "We have already established our performance monitoring technology with some of the biggest and best known sporting organisations in the world and this investment will allow us to expand our reach even further in both the elite and everyday field sports sector."
It followed a deal last March with the US Soccer Federation that could be worth £1bn-plus.