Ex-Australian captain Ricky Pointing among those calling for size limits on cricket bats
Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting has backed a call for size limits on bats ahead of an upcoming meeting of world cricket figures, as concerns about a glut in run-scoring grows.
Manufacturers have been producing thicker bats with larger “sweet spots” that do not feel as heavy as those wielded by power-hitters from past decades, but there are fears they give batsmen an advantage.
“I don’t mind it (big bats) for the shorter versions of the game,” Ponting told the Australian Cricket Society’s annual dinner on Tuesday night, cricket.com.au reported.
“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.”
Ponting said the issue would be on the agenda at an upcoming Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) World Cricket Committee meeting. The MCC has overall global responsibility for cricket’s Laws or rules.
“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,” Ponting, who is a member of the MCC World Cricket Committee, added.
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.
Ponting said he did not blame players for using the bigger bats.
“If you are strong enough to use them that’s fine, but you should not get a bat that’s bigger in size than (India captain Mahendra Singh) Dhoni’s but a whole lot lighter,” he said.
“(West Indies batsman) Chris Gayle’s the same. Everyone talks about Chris Gayle’s bat size, but it’s 3-1/2 pounds. He’s big enough and strong enough to use it. I only get worried when they are really big and really light.”
Ponting’s view was supported by Australian fast bowler Josh Hazlewood, who said he was “all for it” when asked about restrictions on the super-sized bats for Test matches.
“Some of those cricket bats going round the dressing sheds at the moment are unbelievably big,” he told reporters in Sydney on Wednesday ahead of his departure for a tour of Sri Lanka, noting teammates David Warner and Usman Khawaja had both used large bats.
“One-day cricket is a little bit different. I think the crowds come to see the fours and sixes and the big hits.”
The Australians’ comments echo those expressed by several former Test players on an International Cricket Council committee last month, including India’s head coach Anil Kumble, who said the sport’s lawmakers should bring in new restrictions on the size of bats.
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Updated: July 6, 2016 04:00 AM