The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) World Cricket Committee recommended ICC to bring “balance between bat and ball” as big size bat favours the batsman.
The committee said that laws should be amended to introduce limitations to bat edges, depth, and weights.
“One proposal would be for the maximum thickness of the edge to be between 35mm and 40mm, and the overall depth of the bat to be between 60mm and 65mm. (Some bats in current use have edges of 55mm and can be up to 80mm deep)” the Committee said.
The debate on bat size regulation got some fresh momentum in recent weeks with Ricky Ponting, Ian Chappell and current Australian bowler Josh Hazlewood called for limited on the size of the bat.
Australian batsman David Warner uses one of the widest bats in the game. He said his innovative was a creation of a maker.
Ricky Ponting, who is also a member of the MCC Cricket Committee, said bigger bats can be a safety concern.
“The overwhelming (but not unanimous) view of the committee was that it has become too easy for batsmen to clear the boundary in all forms of cricket, even with mistimed shots,” it said.
“Furthermore, it was felt that there is a clear safety concern for close fielders, bowlers, and umpires, whilst the recreational game is also suffering, as balls are flying into nearby residential properties with increasing frequency, thus threatening the existence of some smaller cricket clubs.
“The time has come to restrict the size of bat edges and the overall width of bats,” Mike Brearley, the former England captain who heads the committee, told Wisden India after the meeting was over.
“It was pointed out to us that, in 1905, the width of bats was 16mm and that, by 1980, it had increased to 18mm. It is now an average, in professional cricket, of 35-40mm and sometimes up to 60mm. That shows how fast the change has been.”
Former Australian cricketer Rodney Marsh, who is also a member of the committee and the head of Australia’s selection committee panel, said, “The one thing we don’t want to see is batsmen unable to hit fours and sixes. That’s so far from what will happen. But when you see a guy try to hit the ball through midwicket and it flies for six over cover, you know something is wrong.”
The Cricket Committee suggested that the new law should be part of the revamped laws scheduled for introduction in October 2017, pending further discussion with other stakeholders.
The committee is an independent body chaired by Mike Brearley, the former England captain, and includes the likes of Ponting, Sourav Ganguly, Rameez Raja and Charlotte Edwards.
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