ICC Cricket Committee, chaired by former India captain Anil Kumble, has suggested that Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) should “strongly consider” limiting the dimensions of bats to restore balance in the game.
Tall scores in T20s and ODIs and even mishits from batsmen landing in the galleries have been a cause of concern for the experts who feel that cricket is increasingly becoming a batsman’s game. “MCC sought the committee’s guidance on the desirability of making changes in order to redress the balance between bat and ball. The Committee received a research paper from MCC citing a wealth of scientific and statistical evidence showing bats have become more powerful in recent years, primarily due to having larger ‘sweet-spots’,” an ICC release stated detailing the deliberations by the Cricket Committee at the Lord’s.
“The committee’s view was that MCC should strongly consider limiting the dimensions of cricket bats to help achieve a better balance between bat and ball.”
The committee consisting of former international captains like Rahul Dravid, Mahela Jayawardene, Andrew Strauss also expressed concerns that a lot of batsmen are not using helmets which conform to British Safety Standard (BSS).
“The committee considered the matter of helmet safety following a presentation on injury surveillance trends by ICC medical consultant Dr Craig Ranson. The committee expressed concerns that there were still too many instances of international cricketers wearing helmets which did not meet the latest British Safety Standard (BSS). It recommended that the ICC should enforce the wearing of the latest BSS compliant helmets in all international cricket,” the release stated.
The committee considered a proposal from Cricket Australia for a “concussion substitute” to be trialled for two years in domestic first-class cricket. “The committee acknowledged the seriousness of the issue of concussion in cricket, and stressed the need for consistent concussion policy to be implemented in all countries, but its view was that the current Laws and playing conditions allow players to receive the best possible medical treatment, and further change to the regulations in this area is not required at present,” it was stated.
The member countries were praised for their work on suspected illegal bowling actions. “The committee noted considerable progress in policing suspect actions in international cricket and encouraged all countries to continue their efforts to screen bowlers in domestic competitions before they reached international level.”