ICC calls for clam­p­down on bat size

Pakistan Observer - - SPORTS -

LON­DON—In­dia’s Anil Kum­ble and sev­eral other for­mer Test play­ers on an In­ter­na­tional Cricket Coun­cil com­mit­tee have urged the sport’s law-makers to bring in new re­stric­tions on the size of bats amid con­cerns over a glut of run-scor­ing.

Fol­low­ing a two-day meet­ing at Lord’s, the head­quar­ters of the Maryle­bone Cricket Club (MCC), the ICC cricket com­mit­tee chaired by Kum­ble is­sued a state­ment say­ing it wanted MCC to in­sti­gate a clam­p­down. The MCC still has over­all global re­spon­si­bil­ity for cricket’s Laws or rules.

While there are lim­i­ta­tions on bat length (when the lower por­tion of the han­dle is in­serted it shall not be more than 38in/96.5cm) and width (4.25in/10.8cm at its widest part), none cur­rently ex­ist on depth and weight.

The bal­ance be­tween bat and ball ap­pears to have be­come es­pe­cially loaded against bowlers in limited overs games.

How­ever, whether it is mod­ern bats, the in­no­va­tions brought in by Twenty20 cricket, in­creas­ingly short bound­aries or a com­bi­na­tion of fac­tors that have led to an orgy of run-scor­ing is open to de­bate.

Last year’s 50-over World Cup in Aus­tralia and New Zealand wit­nessed 38 hun­dreds, nearly one ev­ery game, and 463 sixes, an av­er­age of one ev­ery nine overs.

West Indies’ Chris Gayle struck 16 sixes in rac­ing to the fastest one-day in­ter­na­tional dou­ble hun­dred dur­ing a World Cup match against Zim­babwe at Can­berra’s Manuka Oval, while New Zealand’s Martin Gup­till hit a six mea­sured at 110 me­tres in the course of his 237 against the West Indies at Welling­ton. - ‘Bet­ter bal­ance’ Thurs­day’s state­ment from the ICC cricket com­mit­tee, whose mem­bers in­clude sev­eral for­mer Test bats­men in Eng­land’s An­drew Strauss, In­dia’s Rahul Dravid, Sri Lanka’s Ma­hela Jayawar­dene, and cur­rent Aus­tralia coach Dar­ren Lehmann said: “MCC sought the com­mit­tee’s guid­ance on the de­sir­abil­ity of mak­ing changes in or­der to re­dress the bal­ance be­tween bat and ball.

“The com­mit­tee re­ceived a re­search pa­per from MCC cit­ing a wealth of sci­en­tific and sta­tis­ti­cal ev­i­dence show­ing bats have be­come more pow­er­ful in re­cent years, pri­mar­ily due to hav­ing larger ‘sweet-spots’.”

It added: “The com­mit­tee’s view was that MCC should strongly con­sider lim­it­ing the di­men­sions of cricket bats to help achieve a bet­ter bal­ance be­tween bat and ball.”

Mod­ern man­u­fac­tur­ers have be­come in­creas­ingly skilled at mak­ing bats with larger ‘sweet spots’ that do not feel as heavy to pick up as the blades that were once only the pre­serve of 1980s pow­er­hit­ters

photo such as West Indies great Clive Lloyd and Eng­land hero Ian Botham.

De­vel­op­ments in ball tech­nol­ogy, save for a white ball in one-day matches and the pink ball used in last year’s in­au­gu­ral flood­lit Test be­tween Aus­tralia and New Zealand, have been far less dras­tic.—AFP

For­mer South African bats­man Barry Richards with his and David Warner’s bats.—File

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