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February 28, 2006
The report in London's Sunday Telegraph quoted Kenton Elliot, the firm's UK marketing manager, as saying: "We have been talking to our legal people. We do need some clarity from the MCC over exactly why they think the bat is illegal."
Kookaburra maintains that the strip is to prevent cracks in the back of the bat and has no impact on its performance. While the MCC's decision, which has been endorsed by the ICC, only bans the bat from use in international matches, the company is worried that it will have a major impact on sales.
The company has flown replacements to top players who endorse them, but around 10,000 club cricketers - who have paid as much as £260 for the bat - are unclear where they stand.
The problem centres on Law 6 which states that the bat shall be made solely of wood, but the blade may be covered with material for strengthening as long as it is not thicker than 1.56mm. Two reports commissioned by Kookaburra show that the bats fulfill this requirement; the MCC disagree.
"It is frustrating," said Elliot. "We have a reputation for trying to innovate. The graphite was simply an attempt to strengthen the bat to stop it splitting."
The row has been simmering for almost two years while experts mulled over the bat's legality. In the Guardian, Tim May, the head of the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations, said that as it had been in use for some considerable time, "most people would have thought that the bat was legal."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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