Every year at least 40 bats are breaking in a bid to intimidate the bowlers who may now ask for a modification of balls.
Cricket lawmakers Marylebone Cricket Club has found that drier willow is being used in modern day cricket that is the reason behind so many breaking bats.
The broken bats create a concern among the close in fielders, bowlers and umpires. MCC in his statement said, “there are increasing concerns for the safety of close fielders, bowlers, and umpires”
“The bats nowadays tend to be drier, so they can contain a higher volume of wood than the older bats. The disadvantage of this is that the bats will break more easily,” the report said.
“Top players tend to look for a narrower grain in the willow. In general, they are much more selective than they used to be and will get through a huge number of bats – up to 40 per year for some players.”
The report said cricket bat manufacturers, including Kookaburra and Gunn and Moore, had acknowledged a bat gauge would be a “sensible way of controlling the shape and size of bats”.
“They generally felt that restricting the maximum edge depth to 30-35mm, and maximum overall depth to 60-65mm would be acceptable. They felt that there would still be room for skillful bat development within these limits,” the MCC said.
But, when the debate is focused on the size of the bat, Sachin Tendulkar has argued that the flat pitches are to be blamed as the pitches are supporting the batsmen and bowlers are finding difficult to cope with the situations.
However, MCC said the commercial considerations of the game should have to take into account because the change in the bat means cash rich like Indian Premier League of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and many modern batsmen chance to earn hefty money will be affected.
“There are credible reasons for not making any changes that would alter the balance of the game,” the report says.
“There are obvious commercial benefits of the game being more attractive to as diverse an audience as possible. In certain tournaments, such as the Indian Premier League, the sizes are sponsored, making it financially beneficial to the sponsor, and therefore to the Board in receipt of the funds, that the sixes are hit more often.
“Any limit on the bat’s power could have an effect on revenues.”
MCC’s Cricket Committee thinks when the focus is on the bat’s size, the focus should be also on the ball with a little bit of change in the ball will give bowlers good chance to combat with the big bats holder.
MCC’s recommendations to make the bowler competitive: “More spin: crease mass of core (needs to bounce after plenty of use), use heavier thread to make seam more prominent and to grip more.
More seam: alter stitching using thicker thread and polishing it, making the seam more prominent and longer lasting.
More swing: small alteration to shape and size of the core, or use the two-piece ball.”
While talking about the women cricket the MCC Cricket Committee acknowledged that reducing the size of the bat will affect women’s cricket.
“There are some who are suggesting that the women’s game could be made more exciting by allowing them to have more powerful bats than currently exist. Limiting the power of bats would be another obstacle for women’s cricket,” the report said.
However, the recommendations will not be materialized until a consultation with the manufacturer and scientists.