Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Wood is in again

John Stephenson, the head of the MCC Laws Committee, is due to present a recommendation prohibiting the use of composite material in cricket bats, says a report on Cricinfo. If the recommendation goes through, bats will be made of willow and bat handles with cane, rubber and glue. Did I hear a bowler sigh in expectant relief?

Many an opinion can be expressed on many an aspect of it. Do we have enough scientific evidence to prove that material like graphite and titanium have made an impact on the game? Are we impeding progress? Can we not look at making changes to the ball to help bowlers rather than denying batsmen? Is it the material that is the problem or is it the rules?)

One statement from Stephenson is curious in its intent.

The MCC and bat manufacturers have agreed to an amicable phasing out of bats. There are different time-frames fixed for phasing out, so that manufacturers do not lose financially. From a certain period, the bats cannot be used, from a certain period of time, the bats cannot be sold. Amateur cricketers can use the bats till the natural life period. However, after September, it cannot be used in international cricket.

I don’t understand this phasing out strategy. If a titanium-enhanced bat is not within the laws, it needs to go out with immediate effect, and in all forms of the game. Why does the financial aspect have to come into it? It’s like banning drugs and then giving junkies a month to smoke up their stock. Or two months, in the villages.


dcsiva said...

I think the problem was with the way they handled the Kookaburra graphite binding problem from 2006. From the article: "Kookaburra produced a bat with graphite binding on it [the one used by Ponting in 2006], which we said did not conform to the laws of the game. That caused a little bit of a difficulty for us. It meant that we had to redefine or rewrite the law."

Well, if it didn't conform, why rewrite the law? The ICC is simultaneously both the legislator and the judge of the game. Perhaps they should have an International Cricket Court? Now that would be fun!

Great posts, btw!

Geetha Krishnan said...

Great pick, dcsiva. Changing the law because of an infringement is perhaps a touch uncalled for. And thanks for the compliment.

RamG R said...

Incidentally, Stephenson says, "We are concerned at the moment about the balance of the game between bat and ball." One doesn't need to be an Einstein to infer that he like some of us believes that Test cricket is under threat! Are we to assume that his team will look into issues such as stipulating bat weights, ensuring that the boundaries are not brought in, standardizing the amount of grass to be left on the pitch? Anything to save Test cricket!