Chris Gayle opposes proposed ICC crackdown on bat sizes
Kingston (Jamaica), Feb 5 - West Indies' destructive opening batsman Chris Gayle on Thursday expressed disagreement with the International Cricket Council's (ICC) proposed crackdown on bat sizes before the impending World Cup.
"A big boy needs a big bat," the West Indies opener was quoted as saying by Sydney Morning Herald.
"People keep saying it has become a batsman's game, but bowlers are becoming more skilful too," he added.
Former Australian pacer Brett Lee also spoke against the decision of the ICC, supporting the likes of Gayle and Australian opener David Warner who use bats having a 45 mm-thick edge.
At present, there is no limitation on the thickness of the edge of a bat. And using this lacuna to their advantage, some batsmen play with bats having increasingly thick edges.
"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."
However, former Australian One-Day International batsman Michael Bevan had the same opinion as ICC chief executive David Richardson, who said on Wednesday that the balance between batsman and bowler "may have shifted a bit too much".
"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," said Bevan.
The emergence of Twenty20 cricket coupled with the impact of the closer boundary ropes has resulted in numerous batting records being set in recent years. And the impact of closer boundary ropes has not gone unnoticed by the ICC.
"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," said Richardson.
"That is what some cricket people believe has become unfair," Richardson said, adding that the boundary would be pushed back to at least 90 metres "where possible" at the World Cup.