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MCC step closer to bat restrictions

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 13/07/2016 Scott Bailey

Cricket bats could be reduced in size by October 2017 if a recommendation from the MCC world cricket committee is approved.

The independent body has recommended to the the game's traditional law makers that the overall depth of a bat be reduced to between 60mm and 65mm, with edge thickness to also be decreased to a maximum of between 35mm and 40mm.

There are no laws currently governing the depth of a bat, with the game's original laws only restricting the width and height of the willow.

Bat depth has increased from 18mm on average in 1980 to up to 80mm in the modern game, while edges have also ballooned out to 55mm.

However the 14-person committee, which includes former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum, believe the time has come for a rule to be introduced.

"There is incontrovertible evidence that the balance between bat and ball has changed, favouring the former, over recent years," the committee said in a statement.

"The overwhelming (but not unanimous) view of the committee was that it has become too easy for batsmen to clear the boundary in all forms of cricket, even with mis-timed shots."

The committee also cited safety concerns for close fielders, bowlers and umpires due to the size and power of modern bats.

The new restrictions will now need to be ratified by the MCC's main committee before being introduced into the official laws.

The committee also backed the application of Twenty20 cricket for the Olympics and a two-tiered Test system.

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