Ian Chappell wants bat sizes reduced before serious injuries occur
Former Australian captain Ian Chappell has come out in support of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) proposal of cracking down on the size of bats used after the 2015 Cricket World Cup, He also spoke about ICC’s realisation that boundary sizes too have made the game extremely in favour of the batsman and stated that it was an indication of how far behind the officials have been.
“At long last the ICC has decided there’s a problem with the bats. They are being hailed as too good and disturbing the balance between bat and ball. This, combined with the fact that the ICC also recently decreed that shorter boundaries are contributing to the problem, is a classic case of being way behind the game,” Chappell wrote in his column for ESPN Cricinfo.
Chappell fears for bowlers
The 71-year-old added that the depth of wood in the willow needs to be reduced and further said that bowlers and umpires have to run for cover when batsmen drill the ball off the heavy bats.
“While it’s hard to stop progress in bat manufacture, it’s time to restrict the depth of wood in the bats. Not surprisingly, the bat manufacturers have come out strongly on why bats aren’t the sole reason the ball is flying further. They are probably right, but the sole reason the bowlers and umpires are in danger is the speed of the ball coming off the bat. That is all down to the improvement in bats,” he said.
“The likelihood of serious injury and the tilting of the balance between bat and ball are far greater issues. The ball is now rushing back at bowlers and umpires at such a rate off thunder sticks that they do not have the time to react properly. This issue needs to be addressed before there is a serious injury, not after a mishap.”
Chappell’s comments come after the chief executive of ICC Dave Richardson had raised concerns about the ball going over the ropes on a regular basis despite batsmen not timing the ball.