'Bat ban won't halt Ponting's charge'

Australian skipper's manager said the batsman will perform exactly the same, graphite bat or not.

india Updated: Feb 17, 2006 19:16 IST

Banning Ricky Ponting's bat won't stop the Australian skipper's prolific run spree, his manager said on Friday.

The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), the body responsible for cricket's rules, yesterday said the bat used by Ponting and several other leading international players contravened Law Six and was illegal.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) confirmed that Kookaburra, the Australian manufacturer of the bat, had agreed to its immediate voluntary withdrawal from international cricket.

Ponting's manager Sam Halvorsen said changing his bat would not make a difference to Ponting, who scored 1,544 Test runs at an average of 67.13 in 2005 -- the second highest calendar year tally in history -- then opened 2006 with twin centuries in Sydney in his 100th Test.

"If Kookaburra no longer can provide the bat that he's been using they'll have to provide him another one," Halvorsen said.

"It won't have the graphite strip on the back -- it'll have something else -- but it will be the exact same bat and it will perform exactly the same as the bat he's been using.

"The notion that the graphite enhances performance is just a complete furphy (untrue)."

With several players using the Kookaburra bat, including Ponting's Australia team-mate Justin Langer, Sri Lanka's Sanath Jayasuriya and New Zealand's Nathan Astle, the firm said it had undertaken to re-supply all international cricketers with alternative bats as soon as possible.

First Published: Feb 17, 2006 17:33 IST