New ICC committee member ready for debate May 17, 2007

Taylor wants boundaries pushed back

Cricinfo staff

Mark Taylor has voiced his opinions as a commentator; now he has the chance to have a genuine impact on the direction of the game © Getty Images

Shrinking playing areas and the discolouration of white balls in one-day matches are some of the issues Mark Taylor hopes to raise with the ICC's new cricket committee. One of four Australians one the committee - the others are Tim May, Tom Moody and Simon Taufel - Taylor believes it is a good move to have input from all sectors of the game.

"The ICC wanted people a bit more involved in the game than just having two delegates from each member country," Taylor told The Australian. "They want people who see it from different points of view."

The 13-member group will meet for the first time at Dubai later this month and Taylor anticipated lively discussion on several issues. "One thing we're all trying to get right is the white ball in one-day cricket," he said. "That is something I'm sure will spark a lot of debate.

"There has already been quite a bit of chat in cricket circles about that. Whether we should use a new ball from each end or change the ball at a given time during the innings just to make it easier for people to see."

Taylor was also keen to address the perception that batsmen now had too much of an advantage because boundaries had been brought in more and more in recent years. "It seems to me we're one of the very few sports I can think of where the venue has got smaller and yet the players are hitting the ball further," he said. "If you look at golf they're hitting the ball further, but they're making the courses longer.

"We seem to have gone the other way with ropes and the standardisation of grounds. We're making the boundaries shorter and yet the players are faster and fitter than during my time in the game and are hitting the ball further. I'm not so sure that's good for the bowlers."

Taufel, who has been named the ICC's Umpire of the Year for the last three years, hopes to use his position on the committee to push for the removal of restrictions on umpires officiating in Tests involving their own country. Taufel said there was so much scrutiny of umpires these days that such a rule was no longer necessary.

"We've now reached a stage where we've gone beyond the possibility of bias," Taufel told the ABC. "We're just as professional as we can be and there is no room for bias. We're all judged on our performances by the video and so maybe that perception of bias can now be overlooked."