Robert Gould, in Herald Sun, 8 Decmeber 2016, anticipating a new MCC/ICC rule that willcome into force soon
DAVID Warner’s giant Kaboom bat could be turned in to a mere “Kaboo” when cricket laws are changed to reduce their size next year. Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting, as part of the MCC World Cricket Committee, has formally proposed limits to bat thicknesses after watching willow-wielders whack attacks too easily
Ponting’s group want the MCC main committee, which governs the Laws of the Game, to approve a limit to bat edges of 40mm and depths of 67mm, which would come in to force from next October.
“We are just trying to make the game fairer. The balance between bat and ball a little bit better,” Ponting said. “We feel that in the last few years that it has actually gone a little bit too far in the favour of batsmen, and it is more about miss-hits going for a six.
“One thing we know is we can’t make the grounds bigger, so certainly one of the concerns was the middle of the bat, because of the shape of the bat is increasingly getting bigger and bigger every year.”
Ponting conceded he had received messages from players worried about limiting their weaponry. But Warner is unlikely to feel the pinch too much according to his bat makers.
While the Aussie vice-captain’s massive piece of willow can be as much as 80mm at its widest point, meaning he’d need quite a shave, Gray-Nicolls chief bat maker Stuart Kranzbuhler said Warner had already started to scale back.
Warner, who was visiting the Gray-Nicolls factory in Cheltenham on Thursday asking about alterations to his bats for the upcoming tour of India, could even be better off.
“His edges did at times go well over 50mm. They were getting pretty big. But they have been reducing over time. He’ll happily pull back,” Kranzbuhler told The Herald Sun.
“The bonus for us is it gives us a new range of willow we can use, so they can get better quality willow. Because they want the bats as big as they can you are trying to find the lightest possible, lowest density willow.
“Now we can use heavier, higher density willow and they may even last longer. But it won’t make any difference at all to Davey. He’ll still hit them in the same spot and they will go just as far.”
Ponting also didn’t think a smaller club would limit the likes of Warner or Chris Gayle, players fans flock to see clear the pickets time and again.
He was more after the little-hitters who can do the same thing with just a thick-edge off a fast bowler. Ponting, who hit 246 sixes in his 560 game international career, doesn’t think that’s right.
“Naturally born, strong big-hitters, they have got nothing to worry about,” he said.
“It is going to affect guys that are not naturally that strong, that have got away with excessively sized bats, if you like. Those players will notice the difference more than anybody else.”