Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), the guardians of the gentleman’s game, has recommended that using fat bats is not quite cricket. Indian bat manufacturers hare happy. They feel that the move, if adopted, will end the madness not just in the game, but also the market as well.
“From the manufacturing point of view, it will make life easier for us,” Paras Anand, director of Sanspareils Greenlands, told HT. “Players want 40mm plus bats (regardless of the level of their game). If there is a restriction, it would be easier to manufacture bats because availability of fat wood logs needed to make such bats is very limited in India.”
After its two-day World Cricket Committee meeting in Mumbai, the MCC recommended that the width of the edge of a bat should be a maximum of 40mm and the depth a maximum of 67mm. If adopted, it becomes effective October 1, 2017.
“Following the IPL, everyone wants to play with fat bats and the demand in the market has become a headache,” Rakesh Mahajan, director of bat-makers BDM, said. “These bats have created an imbalance in the game. Earlier, spinners used to get thrashed; now it’s become easy to even hit the best pace bowler of the world out of the ground.” The IPL 2016 saw 638 sixes hit and over 6,400 runs scored in boundaries.
There has been a long-standing demand to address this issue as many international players are using bats with 50mm edges and 70mm spine.
Bats with thicker edges usually have a larger ‘sweet spot’, the lower centre area of the bat that ensures a player hits the ball perfectly. Ten years ago, players used bats with 32-35mm edges.
Cricketers select bats according to the format. Dhoni has bats weighing between 1,250-1,300gm for T20 cricket. Kohli prefers a 1,180gm bat while Rohit Sharma used 1,170gm bat in the IPL.