Ricky Ponting, Australia

Over the years, a lot of things have changed in the sport of cricket.

A decade ago, a score of 300 was considered to be an achievement and chasing it down was hardly something done on a regular basis in a 50 over the game.

But in the current game, a score of 300 is not even decent in most games for the side batting first as it is almost a walk in the park for the chasing side.

Though the change in rules has had its own effect on the game, one of the biggest advantages the batsmen are alleged to have is the very piece of wood in their hand.

Australian legend Ricky Ponting spoke about the size of bats and the need for their regulation in international cricket in a recent interview.

The World Cup winning skipper felt that the size of a bat has to be regulated to lend balance to the bat and the ball in the game and had a unique view on the matter.

He said, “I don’t know how they are doing it to make the size of bats they are making now. The modern day bats and weight in particular — it’s just a completely different game.

“Full credit to them. If they are there use them, if there’s a better golf club or tennis racquet everyone will use it. It’s nothing against the players,” he added.

He went on to explain that the size of the bat, if is in proportion to its weight, is not a mistake. He revealed that the real problem arises when the size is enormous but the weight is not proportionate.

“If you are strong enough to use them that’s fine, but you should not get a bat that’s bigger in size than [MS] Dhoni’s but a whole lot lighter.“

“Chris Gayle’s the same. Everyone talks about Chris Gayle’s bat size, but it’s 3½lbs. He’s big enough and strong enough to use it. I only get worried when they are really big and really light,” Ponting added.

The MCC’s World Cricket Committee is scheduled to meet at Lords in England next week and the 41-year old is a part of the committee.

He revealed that the matter of regulation of bat sizes is a topic that will be discussed during the meet.

“I think it will happen,” he revealed.

“I am going in a couple of weeks for a World Cricket Committee meeting and that will be one of the topics talked about. I don’t mind it for the shorter versions of the game,” he added.

He went on to propose that the regulations should be in place only for the longest format of the game and that the ODI and T20 formats may lose their entertainment factor if the bats are regulated.

Ponting said, “I would actually say you’ve got a bat you can use in Test cricket and a certain type of bat you can use in one-day cricket and T20 cricket.”

The short forms of the game survive on boundaries — fours and sixes — whereas the Test game is being dominated too much now by batters because the game is a bit easier for them than it was,” he added.


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