Ponting calls for greater regulation of bat size
Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting believes the size and weight of bats used in Test cricket should be regulated to ensure a greater balance between bat and ball.
At present, cricket’s laws only limit the length and width of bats, not the depth or weight. That has led to the development of bats made from lighter material but with extremely thick edges, such as the Gray-Nicolls Kaboom bats used by David Warner.
Speaking at a recent Australian Cricket Society function, Ponting said he had no problem with such bats being used in the shorter forms of the game but believed they should be banned from Test cricket. The main issue, Ponting argued, was the lightweight materials used, and he said that players should not be prevented from using big bats as long as they were also heavy.
“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 3½ lbs. He’s big enough and strong enough to use it. I only get worried when they are really big and really light.”
Ponting will be at the next meeting of the MCC’s World Cricket Committee at Lord’s early next week, and he said bat size and weight would be one of the topics discussed.
“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.” (ESPNCricinfo)
Photo caption: Barry Richards holds the bat with which he made 325 in a day at the WACA in 1970 in his right hand, and David Warner’s modern-day weapon in his left (Cricket Australia)