ICC ponders making cricket bat size smaller, will it help?

The International Cricket Council (ICC) is considering making the cricket bat size smaller in view of the smaller ball size, which may help reduce the burden of a batsman to carry less weight while making quick runs on the grease.

Different bat sizes. (Photo courtesy: au.khelmart.com)

Different bat sizes. (Photo courtesy: au.khelmart.com)

However, ICC chief executive David Richardson said the size of modern bats has “shifted the balance” in favour of batsmen and said the game’s lawmakers would consider making it smaller to give advantage to the bowlers.

Currently, rule on bat sizes limit the width of the bat to 4.25 inches and the length to 38 inches. The handle changes according to height as given in the table above.

“The balance may have shifted a little bit too much because sometimes poor shots or mis-hits are going for six,” Richardson told ESPN Cricinfo.

“Let us try and rectify that. The bats are so good these days that the sweet spot is much larger than it would have been 10-15 years ago.

“The MCC, the guardians of the laws of cricket, and the ICC will be looking at giving perhaps some consideration to placing limitations on the depth of a bat in particular.”

A report released last year found that while the length and width of bats has remained steady over the years, both the thickness of the blade and the size of the ‘sweet spot’ have increased dramatically.

The report, commissioned by the MCC found that bat thickness has increased up to 22 mm over the past century and the size of the ‘sweet spot’ on the face of the bat is almost two-and-a-half times larger.

The thickness of edges in modern bats has also increased by almost 300 percent which, combined with greater stiffness to limit vibrations, means mis-hits can travel much further.

Despite the findings of the report, the MCC’s World Cricket Committee – a 14-person panel featuring the likes of Steve Waugh, Rahul Dravid and Charlotte Edwards – decided against placing any restrictions on bat sizes.

In the short term, Richardson said the disparity between bat and ball would be addressed by pushing boundary ropes back as far as possible.

“What we have done up until now is try and maximize the size of the boundary,” Richardson said.

“You will see for the World Cup, most of the grounds in Australia in particular, which allow for big playing surfaces, boundary ropes will be pushed back to at least 90 yards where possible.”

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