ICL: Indian Cricket League

MCC to come down hard on composite bats


The MCC is keen to restore the balance between bat and ball by altering Law 6, one that pertains to bat manufacture.

John Stephenson, the head of the MCC Laws Committee, will present a paper to modify the law on Wednesday. “We are concerned at the moment about the balance of the game between bat and ball,” Stephenson told mid-day.com, the website of a Mumbai-based tabloid.

“Kookaburra produced a bat with graphite binding on it [the one used by Ponting in 2006], which we said did not conform to the laws of the game. That caused a little bit of a difficulty for us. It meant that we had to redefine or rewrite the law. We thought we had got there last year, but Gray Nicolls came up with a bat handle with composite materials like graphite and titanium. So we decided to redefine the handle in terms of rubber, cane and glue. It’s the first time that the bat handle will be defined in the laws of cricket.”

No comprehensive research has proved the effect of graphite or titanium bats on the power imparted to shots but Stephenson said the move was being undertaken to preempt the huge influence superior technology could have on bats. “We have engaged scientists to look at the impact,” he said. “The use of composite materials could already have had an impact and it could have an impact in future too. It’s a thin end of the wedge. If we allow technology to develop, it might shift the balance down the line. We want to shore it up now so that we do not have to retrace our steps. It will also give something back to the bowlers.

Stephenson, who played a solitary Test for England in 1989, said all bat manufacturers had been apprised of the situation at regular intervals. “The MCC and bat manufacturers have agreed to an amicable phasing out of bats,” he said. “There are different time-frames fixed for phasing out, so that manufacturers do not lose financially. From a certain period, the bats cannot be used, from a certain period of time, the bats cannot be sold. Amateur cricketers can use the bats till the natural life period. However, after September, it cannot be used in international cricket.

“While we do not want to discourage innovation, we want to ensure bat manufacturers make bats made of willow and bat handles of cane, rubber and glue. That’s the rationale behind it, so that in 10 to 15 years, we still look at a game that resembles what we watch now. That’s our job - to safeguard the health of the game.”

Source:Cricket News

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