West Indies’ dashing opening batsman Chris Gayle on Thursday strongly opposed the idea of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) to crackdown the bat sizes before the impending World Cup. “A big boy needs a big bat,” the West Indies opener, mighty Gayle was quoted as saying by Sydney Morning Herald. He further added “People keep saying it has become a batsman’s game, but bowlers are becoming more skilful too.”
Former Australian pacer Brett Lee also agreed with the observations of Gayle and Warner. He spoke against the decision of the ICC. It is necessary to highlight that Gayle and Australian opener David Warner use bats having a 45 mm-thick edge. However at present, there is no limitation on the thickness of the edge of a bat. There is also apprehension that using this lacuna to their advantage, some batsmen play with bats having increasingly thick edges. Brett Lee said “I think that if players like Gayle and Warner are strong enough to lift a bat that heavy, at that speed, then good for them, it makes the game a hell of a lot more exciting.”
Although another former Australian One-Day International batsman, Michael Bevan, supported the opinion of ICC chief executive David Richardson, who said on Wednesday that the balance between batsman and bowler “may have shifted a bit too much”. Bevan said “Bats have improved at a far greater rate than balls … there has to be an even balance if it becomes too lopsided and becomes a six-fest then no one wants to watch that either.”
The introduction and growth of Twenty20 cricket along with the impact of the closer boundary ropes has resulted in large number of batting records being set in recent years, though the impact of closer boundary ropes has been duly noticed by the ICC.
ICC’s chief executive, David Richardson said “Where some batsmen are mishitting balls and it is just carrying over the rope and going for a six instead of being caught at the boundary. That is what some cricket people believe has become unfair.”
Richardson also added that the boundary would be pushed back to at least 90 metres “where possible” at the World Cup.