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Former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting calls for ban on big bats

Roy Suvra
7.40K   //    05 Jul 2016, 11:31 IST
Ricky Ponting test.jpg
Ricky Ponting  had earlier himself used the controversial graphite-backed bat during his career

 Ricky Ponting has added his voice to the already existing concern that the variations in size and weight of bats are making the game of cricket a more one-sided contest favouring the batsmen and disrupting the balance of what should ideally be an equal contest between bat and ball. 

Appendix E of the Laws of Cricket set out certain precise specifications which state that the length of the bat may be no more than 38 in (965 mm) and the width no more than 4.25 in (108 mm) but fails to account for the depth or weight of bats though most standard ones weigh between  2 lb 7 oz to 3 lb (1.2 to 1.4 kg).

Ponting is open to the option of large bats being used as long as they are also of adequate weight – what concerns him is the use of lightweight materials used to provide an undue advantage to the batsman. However he believes such bats may be used for the shorter formats but stricter regulations should be introduced for Tests to improve the quality of the longer format. 

Gray-Nicolls Kaboom bats with dangerously large profile and massive edges, advertised as “one of the most powerful bats” which is used by David Warner is a perfect example of the type of bats that hugely favour the batsmen and might concern Ricky Ponting

"I don't know how they are doing it to make the size of bats they are making now," Ponting said. "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.

"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."

Also Read : How the balance in cricket can be restored

MCC's World Cricket Committee is to be held at  Lord's early next week, and Ponting has said that he will attend it where bat size and weight would be one of the agendas of the meeting.

"I think it will happen," he said. "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. 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."

It is to be seen if ICC introduces new regulations and how they might be perceived by those players who might find themselves using bats not in accord with new standards.

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