MCC news July 16, 2014

MCC decide against bat Law change

37

It has become a batsman's game they say but the MCC have no plans yet to change the Law on the size of bats.

The MCC World Cricket Committee debated the impact of modern bats and, despite mixed views, concluded that a Law change was not yet necessary because the balance between bat and ball has yet to tip sufficiently far enough in favour of the batsman.

It is often commented upon how the thickness of modern bats and the sizes of edges have transformed the game, with batsmen now able to hit the ball further, more consistently and often without remotely finding the middle.

This was investigated by Imperial College London, who were commissioned by the MCC to conduct a study into the size of cricket bats through the ages.

The report compared by a 1905 Gray Nicholls Ranjit bat the 1980 Powerspot and three more modern versions. It demonstrated that modern bats have bigger sweet spots, with much larger edges, and that the ball goes further when hit closer to the edge.

In the five bats tested, the size of the sweet spot varied from only 80mm to 215mm in the middle and 60mm to 165mm for a thick edge. Not only was the 1905 bat was the least effective and the most modern bats possess the largest 'middle', there had been a measurable improvement since 2009.

A scrutiny of ODIs since 1979 by Imperial also revealed the boundary count, and especially sixes, has increased dramatically.

The cricket committee assessed the findings of the report and debated the consequences, such as the benefit of a greater number of boundaries for television viewers against the fairness for bowlers of more apparent mis-hits finding the rope.

Consensus could not be found and it was decided to retain the current Law on the size of bats, contained in Appendix E of the Laws of Cricket, which only limit the length of the bat to 38 inches and the width to 4 ¼ inches.

But it was noted that boundaries should be pushed out as far as is possible under heath and safety regulations to prevent batsmen gaining further advantage.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ygkd on July 19, 2014, 8:01 GMT

    Players today stronger, fitter etc? Consider Olympic records. For much of the modern Olympic Games' era, sport was not professional. "Elite" types from many backgrounds were unseen at such events and thus had no influence at all. The pool of Olympic athletes was tiny. From that low base, records would of course be broken. Then along came professionalism too. Coaching, nutrition, medicine, equipment and even venues improved and so the record breaking continues. During the Inca empire messengers ran along stone-lined tracks at ultra-high altitude every day. Was the fastest Inca of any generation not capable of an Olympic medal now? We'll never know, but my guess is yes. Cricketers of the late 19th century could hit the ball - people like Bonner, Albert Trott, & Trumper cleared the fence easily with tooth-pick bats despite not playing on the roads we see today. A mis-hit and they could be caught in the deep. Now mis-hits go for six. Today's hitters aren't super-human. They're super-lucky.

  • eggyroe on July 18, 2014, 18:07 GMT

    i@ py0alb,real cricket is about a fair contest between Bat & Ball not a Mickey Mouse contest between 2 under achieving sides who do not care about the outcome as long as the money keeps rolling in.I have not played the game seriously for the past 30 years,but I still have my toothpick Grey Nicholls bat in the attic,alas my Grandson thinks that it is only taking up house space,unfortunately he has never played the game with a toothpick bat,and in my humble opinion he is the loser and it would serve him a lot a better to get the hang of it than with the monstrosities that find their way to being sold.I would like to think that he would agree in later life that the old bat technology was far ahead of what these days purport to Cricket Bat advancement,just check the Batting Averages of the top 12 Test Match Batsmen and their playing era.

  • on July 18, 2014, 13:53 GMT

    Bats have made a huge difference. I am a bowler, but with the modern day bats, I do fancy myself an allrounder. I play amateur cricket, and often there is bat sharing. When a team mate gets a new, expensive bat, with the edge almost the size of the face, my batting skill - measured in lucky boundaries - skyrockets. Added to smaller boundaries, I know that, regardless of bowler or ball, I can hit a slog sweep six. Does this seem right. Not to me. It just aint cricket.

  • py0alb on July 18, 2014, 11:51 GMT

    It has absolutely NOTHING to do with the bats. That is what the report showed. if anyone here actually bothered to read it.

    Its the advent of professional T20, isn't it? How is this not obvious to people.

    Even at the club level I play at, there are far more 6s than there were 10 years ago, and we don't have massive thick bats and the boundaries are no shorter. Its because we play and watch more T20 games, so the batsmen have practiced hitting big shots for 20 over games and have got good enough at it to use them in longer games as well.

  • Udendra on July 18, 2014, 5:38 GMT

    So do they intend to do anything about boundary sizes?

  • ygkd on July 18, 2014, 4:39 GMT

    "Consensus could not be found" - I would presume from this that there was some support for limiting the volume of bats, albeit in the minority. Maybe an earlier comment was right and more bowlers are needed on this committee to get some balance back.

  • Chris_P on July 17, 2014, 20:25 GMT

    @Jonathan Jono Lane. Same down here as well. Our home ground faces the Pacific Ocean inside a road available for parking as it is a tourist destination spot. More cars are getting hit now than ever! And of course, our insurances have gone up. Have batsmen become stronger or the bats get the ball travelling further? Personally, I have never hit so many sixes in my life as I have the past 4 years & I haven't got stronger! Cheers.

  • JoshFromJamRock on July 17, 2014, 20:07 GMT

    Bowlers are being scrutinized so much these days its unbelievable. Only radical changes will achieve the "balance" genuine fans want. Maybe they should allow pace and spin bowlers to flex their arms 30 degrees and adopt a baseball pitcher's wind-up. Maybe bowlers should be able to "switch-bowl". Maybe the wide markings should be wider. Maybe the bouncer limit should be changed to 3 per over for all formats. Maybe the ball should be camouflaged. Maybe bats should be no wider than 2 stumps and no thicker than 3 inches. Maybe the minimum boundary limit should be 75 meters for all grounds. Maybe the grass in the outfield should be cut no lower than 4 inches. Maybe they should do away with fielding restrictions completely - let captains be innovative rather than dictated, and make batsmen have to try harder. Its just too easy.

    It is because of this imbalance why many "good" batsmen post 2000 will struggle to be amongst the best ever to play the game in the mind of an experienced fan.

  • James1995 on July 17, 2014, 19:30 GMT

    I think the size of the boundaries - particularly for Test matches could be looked and the reduced playing area has had as much of a negative impact for bowlers as thicker bats has. This would be easier to regulate as well.

  • on July 17, 2014, 14:16 GMT

    Dreadful decision.

    "The cricket committee assessed the findings of the report and debated the consequences, such as the benefit of a greater number of boundaries for television viewers against the fairness for bowlers of more apparent mis-hits finding the rope."

    Hey, MCC! I'm a television viewer as well, one who hates to see bowlers punished by mediocre batsmen. But there you have it. The needs of television viewers of T20 cricket overtakes the bowlers who actually participate in the game. Is it any wonder that the quality of international bowling is so low at the minute?

  • ygkd on July 19, 2014, 8:01 GMT

    Players today stronger, fitter etc? Consider Olympic records. For much of the modern Olympic Games' era, sport was not professional. "Elite" types from many backgrounds were unseen at such events and thus had no influence at all. The pool of Olympic athletes was tiny. From that low base, records would of course be broken. Then along came professionalism too. Coaching, nutrition, medicine, equipment and even venues improved and so the record breaking continues. During the Inca empire messengers ran along stone-lined tracks at ultra-high altitude every day. Was the fastest Inca of any generation not capable of an Olympic medal now? We'll never know, but my guess is yes. Cricketers of the late 19th century could hit the ball - people like Bonner, Albert Trott, & Trumper cleared the fence easily with tooth-pick bats despite not playing on the roads we see today. A mis-hit and they could be caught in the deep. Now mis-hits go for six. Today's hitters aren't super-human. They're super-lucky.

  • eggyroe on July 18, 2014, 18:07 GMT

    i@ py0alb,real cricket is about a fair contest between Bat & Ball not a Mickey Mouse contest between 2 under achieving sides who do not care about the outcome as long as the money keeps rolling in.I have not played the game seriously for the past 30 years,but I still have my toothpick Grey Nicholls bat in the attic,alas my Grandson thinks that it is only taking up house space,unfortunately he has never played the game with a toothpick bat,and in my humble opinion he is the loser and it would serve him a lot a better to get the hang of it than with the monstrosities that find their way to being sold.I would like to think that he would agree in later life that the old bat technology was far ahead of what these days purport to Cricket Bat advancement,just check the Batting Averages of the top 12 Test Match Batsmen and their playing era.

  • on July 18, 2014, 13:53 GMT

    Bats have made a huge difference. I am a bowler, but with the modern day bats, I do fancy myself an allrounder. I play amateur cricket, and often there is bat sharing. When a team mate gets a new, expensive bat, with the edge almost the size of the face, my batting skill - measured in lucky boundaries - skyrockets. Added to smaller boundaries, I know that, regardless of bowler or ball, I can hit a slog sweep six. Does this seem right. Not to me. It just aint cricket.

  • py0alb on July 18, 2014, 11:51 GMT

    It has absolutely NOTHING to do with the bats. That is what the report showed. if anyone here actually bothered to read it.

    Its the advent of professional T20, isn't it? How is this not obvious to people.

    Even at the club level I play at, there are far more 6s than there were 10 years ago, and we don't have massive thick bats and the boundaries are no shorter. Its because we play and watch more T20 games, so the batsmen have practiced hitting big shots for 20 over games and have got good enough at it to use them in longer games as well.

  • Udendra on July 18, 2014, 5:38 GMT

    So do they intend to do anything about boundary sizes?

  • ygkd on July 18, 2014, 4:39 GMT

    "Consensus could not be found" - I would presume from this that there was some support for limiting the volume of bats, albeit in the minority. Maybe an earlier comment was right and more bowlers are needed on this committee to get some balance back.

  • Chris_P on July 17, 2014, 20:25 GMT

    @Jonathan Jono Lane. Same down here as well. Our home ground faces the Pacific Ocean inside a road available for parking as it is a tourist destination spot. More cars are getting hit now than ever! And of course, our insurances have gone up. Have batsmen become stronger or the bats get the ball travelling further? Personally, I have never hit so many sixes in my life as I have the past 4 years & I haven't got stronger! Cheers.

  • JoshFromJamRock on July 17, 2014, 20:07 GMT

    Bowlers are being scrutinized so much these days its unbelievable. Only radical changes will achieve the "balance" genuine fans want. Maybe they should allow pace and spin bowlers to flex their arms 30 degrees and adopt a baseball pitcher's wind-up. Maybe bowlers should be able to "switch-bowl". Maybe the wide markings should be wider. Maybe the bouncer limit should be changed to 3 per over for all formats. Maybe the ball should be camouflaged. Maybe bats should be no wider than 2 stumps and no thicker than 3 inches. Maybe the minimum boundary limit should be 75 meters for all grounds. Maybe the grass in the outfield should be cut no lower than 4 inches. Maybe they should do away with fielding restrictions completely - let captains be innovative rather than dictated, and make batsmen have to try harder. Its just too easy.

    It is because of this imbalance why many "good" batsmen post 2000 will struggle to be amongst the best ever to play the game in the mind of an experienced fan.

  • James1995 on July 17, 2014, 19:30 GMT

    I think the size of the boundaries - particularly for Test matches could be looked and the reduced playing area has had as much of a negative impact for bowlers as thicker bats has. This would be easier to regulate as well.

  • on July 17, 2014, 14:16 GMT

    Dreadful decision.

    "The cricket committee assessed the findings of the report and debated the consequences, such as the benefit of a greater number of boundaries for television viewers against the fairness for bowlers of more apparent mis-hits finding the rope."

    Hey, MCC! I'm a television viewer as well, one who hates to see bowlers punished by mediocre batsmen. But there you have it. The needs of television viewers of T20 cricket overtakes the bowlers who actually participate in the game. Is it any wonder that the quality of international bowling is so low at the minute?

  • py0alb on July 17, 2014, 13:54 GMT

    The study is fascinating, it showed how little bats have actually changed over time, and how these big fat bats actually confer very little advantage to the batsman. There are more fours and sixes now because we play a different format where batsmen need to be more aggressive. Comparing test matches from 1905 to T20s today is like comparing apples and oranges. Talking about a "powerful" bat is ridiculous. A bat is a lump of wood, it generates no power, that is up to the batsman.

  • SaifS on July 17, 2014, 12:46 GMT

    @Jonathan Jono Lane - what a fantastic point you've brought forward, very practical! In countries like India where the neighborhood is denser than most areas of UK, the neighborhood problem has lead to a complete extinction of leather ball cricket from local area cricket, instead we have shifted to tennis ball cricket which don't break as many window panes as the hard balls do. There are even tournaments being organized using the soft ball. There are virtually no places left to play real cricket in most Indian cities unless you book a ground spending fortunes or are a member of a club or something, and this is a very real problem you've addressed. Thanks!

  • on July 17, 2014, 12:40 GMT

    Today Batting ave are a joke, how many players av around 50 these days? everyone who can get bat on ball somehow as it will just fly for 4 runs, pathetic really, if they want T20 to be a spectacle then let them have thick edges but limit the weight thinner bat? But bring back proper technic for Test Cricket Bring the Bats back in line with what they where before this 10in edge craze

  • Cicero on July 17, 2014, 10:06 GMT

    I wonder if the same conclusion would have been reached if there were more than two bowlers (Tim May and Shaun Pollock - and even Pollock could be regarded as a bowling all rounder) on the MCC world cricket committee.

  • BRUTALANALYST on July 17, 2014, 9:31 GMT

    Anyone who has played the game knows Helmets changed the balance of bat and ball far more than big bats. The removal of fear is the biggest reason the game has changed entirely in favour of batsman, yes techniques have improved greatly and batsman reaction speed increased but takeaway helmets and overnight you'd even the balance again. I really don't know why people go on so much about "flat pitches and big bats" the removal of fear and excitement created from fast bowlers scaring batsman is the biggest factor that contributed to the sanitizing of the game. This is also what made Test cricket so appealing for fans the adrenaline flowing knowing a batsman could potentially get hurt and was mentally tested everyone knows scary fast bowling was what made the Test game so exciting in the past and that's why everyone was so excited about Johnson because it takes a freak like Johnson bowling 93-95 mph today to create that same fear in the modern game that used to be commonplace.

  • muzika_tchaikovskogo on July 17, 2014, 9:04 GMT

    @wapuser: you missed the point completely mate. The bowler may have several ways of getting the batsman out, but of what use are they when dead pitches, heavy bats and short boundaries neuter them completely?

  • ygkd on July 17, 2014, 7:36 GMT

    Sat down and listened to a Australian state board staffer recently. His eyes lit up when he talked about cricket. Just one form of cricket, though, the shortest form. It is apparently the answer to all of the game's ailments. However, it is causing this one. I am sick of mis-hit boundaries. I am not anti-batting. I am anti-slogging. I saw a few minutes of the American Independence Day baseball celebrations on the telly whereby an oldish bloke lobs a ball to a young slugger who tries to hit it out of the ground. This is sold as entertainment. Is that what we want for our game?

  • on July 17, 2014, 6:24 GMT

    Improved bats might not yet be excessively tipping the balance in favour of top level batsmen, but they are creating problems on small fields where the majority of amateur cricket is played in the UK. Presumably this is a problem in other countries too. The increased number of sixes has resulted in more complaints from neighbours living around village greens. Sounds trivial, but grass roots cricket in the UK depends upon a peaceful co-existence with neighbours. The ICC would do well to remember their responsibilities to the grass root levels of the game, which nurtures spectator interest and which is the primary source of new young players. Decisions made for the top echelons affect all levels.

  • on July 17, 2014, 4:16 GMT

    what i want to know is was a similar test done on the ball. Has the ball lasted longer and is now changed regularly. Also has the pitch changed over the years? Batting with larger bats makes no difference so long as the area presented to the bowler is the same. batting requires skill not a bigger bat.

  • EdwinD on July 17, 2014, 4:02 GMT

    I wonder if the study noted that let aside the bats, a major reason more boundaries/sizes are scored these days are simply because the boundaries have been brought in. Simply return them to their original size and hey presto, less reliance on the bat size.

  • on July 17, 2014, 3:59 GMT

    Talking of the size of bats, with the dimensions of the bats remaining unchanged, with length of the bat 38 inches and the width 4 ¼ inches with thickness only being free for change, I think all other equipment and pitch specifications has remained static without change. My quandary is in the boundary, why the distance to the boundary was never specified, with this changing from ground to ground (of course there may be a minimum distance) and now "boundaries should be pushed out as far as is possible". How come, with such disparity in the distances to the boundary we "record" batting records? Why wasn't a circular ground not thought of, whereupon at least we would have minimized the disparity? If I sound a fool, excuse.

  • eggyroe on July 17, 2014, 3:43 GMT

    @ Chris_P,on re-reading my comments perhaps I should have have used the words large density bats as opposed to heavy bats.I do realise that the weights of these bats are comparable with bats of the past.But surely the lack of technique in the batsman should not be evened out by miss hits flying into the crowd for six because of the dimensions of the bat used.The point I was trying to put across is not the weights of the bats should be restricted but the actual dimensions,after all why should the edges of the bat be approaching a third of the width.A fair contest between bat and ball is all that is required in my opinion,not a one sided slogfest with high density bats and batsmen with inferior batting technique's ruling the roost.

  • ygkd on July 17, 2014, 2:16 GMT

    Are today's players always so fitter and stronger? The idea seems feasible but is surely over-influenced by the modern cult-of-the-new. I remember well a tv documentary about some fossilised footprints dating back thousands of years into the Australian Dreamtime. It was calculated that the runner had to be doing near modern Olympic sprint speed to leave such widespread deep footprints. Clearly, the man behind the footprints did a lot of running in his normal daily hunting. Today's players train a lot. However, once-upon-a-time players routinely had a physically-demanding job. There have been old-time coal-miner cricketers and black-smith cricketers etc. I'd wager they were probably tougher in body than the modern gym-fit ones we see today. Then there were the likes of Fred Trueman. How many overs could he bowl without breaking down? Improvements in technology are fine as long as they don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. The game must limit bat size by wood volume.

  • cricpanther on July 17, 2014, 2:16 GMT

    obviously bat and bowl game, there is no equality, in fact bow is remain same and eventually become weaker as bat gets more metal in weight and size. This is unfair to the game. Batsman has lot of privileges so far and bowlers are angry, upset and caught on sledging all the time because of their frustrations..wicket of modern day cricket is more flat belter for batsman suitable. Let's not allow any short of heavy bat make bat more slimmer and let batsman earn their each runs.

  • on July 17, 2014, 1:03 GMT

    I do not knw what's all the fuss about the bats, so what if a batsman gets a extra help? How much help does a bowler gets to take a wicket ? He has 10 fielder's to help him get a wicket in addition to several other ways to get out. On the other hand batsman have to score every single run on his own merit.

    So plz stop the bickering and ask urself who really have the upper hand!

  • briancummins on July 16, 2014, 22:53 GMT

    Batsmen visit bat makers to have their bats tailor-made. Can bowlers get balls tailor-made? Of course not. Is that fair? Cricket's administrators know that T20 fans want to see sixes, not subtle cricket where a good ball beats the bat and the "fans" who know nothing about the game don't realise what has happened. So the game has to be biased towards the big-hitting batsman (the flat-track bully), and our game becomes more like baseball every day.

  • ygkd on July 16, 2014, 22:32 GMT

    I doubt it is now a batsman's game. It is a slogger's game. Modern bats require less skill. That 1905 bat is the sort of thing the great Victor Trumper averaged 39 with, on mud-pitches without proper protective wear. As for the people-are- fitter-and-stronger-today argument, the best modern batsmen are often still a similar size to what the best were years ago. Extra size often merely confers an enhanced ability to slog, because as a junior that will alone make you sufficiently successful to rise through the ranks. We are sending a bad message to the next generation with our obsession about uber-bats and T20.

  • on July 16, 2014, 22:08 GMT

    I have to say, I agree with neo-galactico. There's no point in trying to stop innovation.

  • JaranNirsi on July 16, 2014, 21:24 GMT

    Modern cricket has changed completely, if not quite irretrievably, in favour of batsmen, assisted largely by the terrific advancement in technology (powerful bats, lighter and more effective protective gear) while bowlers have not benefited at all, in comparative terms. The thickness, and weight of bats should have been addressed now, and it is already too late. With the artificial field restrictions in the shorter versions of the game, bowlers are rapidly becoming cannon fodder. A century after the English amateur paid the best professionals of his time to bowl at him in the nets, the imbalance between bowler and batsman remains the same, if not actually even more tilted in the batsman's favour. The last bowler got have been knighted may no longer be Sir Francis Drake, but their lot remains far worse than than of the batsman, and than before. The authorities better do something about it,

  • on July 16, 2014, 21:04 GMT

    As with most things cricket bats have evolved, why should the maximum dimensions of cricket bats be change from the current maximums of 38" in length and 4.25" in width? The skill of making heavier bats which have a 'Pick up Weight' of 3 or 4 ounces less than the dead weight is due to sheer skill of the bat maker cutting and shaping the Pods. I was using bats that weighed in at over 3lbs as long ago as 1976, as a spin bowler I am still taking the wickets of batsmen being caught tying to hit me out of the ground despite using bats with edges half the width of the bat.

    I would suggest that those who wish to change the rules are bowlers who do not have the skill to contain batsmen with or without a modern shaped bat.

  • Chris_P on July 16, 2014, 20:52 GMT

    @eggyroe. Actually, the modern bats are not heavy at all due to the new technique in reducing the moisture from what was once about 35% to less than 10%. Remember the logs Lloyd & Richards used to wield that weighed well over 3 lbs? They are certainly larger, & I have a couple of 2 lb 8oz bats that feel like feathers compared to an old 2lb 6oz bat I used in the 90's. But, agree when I read others asking how the administrators feel there hasn't been a difference to the batting vs. bowling contests when so many more boundaries are being scored, even off mishits?

  • on July 16, 2014, 20:44 GMT

    I don't favour restrictions on bats or much easing of the fielding restrictions. No one wants to go back to nine fielders on the boundary - that this used to happen in the last few overs of a match has to be born in mind when reading ODI (and other list A) scores from the 1970s. Perhaps, however, the batting powerplay should be abolished - although it often seems to favour the bowling side in fact. But my feeling is that the advantage batsmen have now actually means we are more appreciative of genuine bowling skills, especially spin, than we used to be in the days when a gentle seamer could expect to bowl ten overs for 31 without the help of reverse swing, back of the hand deliveries, slow bouncers, or any of the other techniques modern bowlers have developed. But by all means make boundaries as long as possible.

  • eggyroe on July 16, 2014, 18:36 GMT

    So there we go,MCC have decided in their infinite wisdom that there is no requirement to change the Laws of Cricket to accommodate the heavy bats now used as normal for batsmen.In my honest opinion,the game needs to be an equal test between the bat and the ball.I would be interested to find out what input if any the modern day bowlers have in the development of the modern cricket balls used in Test Match Cricket.When I attend a Test Match,I wish to watch an even contest between bat and ball,not 500 plays 450 and the game peters out into a meaningless draw.I wish to watch a game that is a true contest between the bat and the ball where the batsman gets on top of the bowler through technique and not the oversized bats used by below average batsman.Albert Trott must be having a quite laugh to himself,when he managed to clear the Lord's Pavilion in 1899 with a toothpick of a bat but nobody including the users of modern day bats have come anywhere near to achieving the feat since.

  • Shams on July 16, 2014, 18:31 GMT

    "has yet to tip sufficiently far enough in favour of the batsman" That must be a joke. We routinely see leading edges comfortably clear the in-field, even go for sixes!!!

  • 200ondebut on July 16, 2014, 18:10 GMT

    Players are also much fitter and stronger. The constant in most sports is that over time people run faster, jump higher, throw further and hit longer. Trying to stop this is futile.

  • Masking_Tape on July 16, 2014, 17:56 GMT

    Why do I get the feeling that there would've been restrictions on more powerful balls? Bats have improved so much over the years. Why not the ball?

  • neo-galactico on July 16, 2014, 17:34 GMT

    Have no problem with heavy bats. Instead, the rules that need changing are rules involving bowlers. Remove bouncer restrictions, the batsmen have a lot of protection nowadays. Allow fielders to field more than 3 fielders behind square. And if bowlers want to be ambidextrous let them. Allow the game to be a contest between bat and ball.

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  • neo-galactico on July 16, 2014, 17:34 GMT

    Have no problem with heavy bats. Instead, the rules that need changing are rules involving bowlers. Remove bouncer restrictions, the batsmen have a lot of protection nowadays. Allow fielders to field more than 3 fielders behind square. And if bowlers want to be ambidextrous let them. Allow the game to be a contest between bat and ball.

  • Masking_Tape on July 16, 2014, 17:56 GMT

    Why do I get the feeling that there would've been restrictions on more powerful balls? Bats have improved so much over the years. Why not the ball?

  • 200ondebut on July 16, 2014, 18:10 GMT

    Players are also much fitter and stronger. The constant in most sports is that over time people run faster, jump higher, throw further and hit longer. Trying to stop this is futile.

  • Shams on July 16, 2014, 18:31 GMT

    "has yet to tip sufficiently far enough in favour of the batsman" That must be a joke. We routinely see leading edges comfortably clear the in-field, even go for sixes!!!

  • eggyroe on July 16, 2014, 18:36 GMT

    So there we go,MCC have decided in their infinite wisdom that there is no requirement to change the Laws of Cricket to accommodate the heavy bats now used as normal for batsmen.In my honest opinion,the game needs to be an equal test between the bat and the ball.I would be interested to find out what input if any the modern day bowlers have in the development of the modern cricket balls used in Test Match Cricket.When I attend a Test Match,I wish to watch an even contest between bat and ball,not 500 plays 450 and the game peters out into a meaningless draw.I wish to watch a game that is a true contest between the bat and the ball where the batsman gets on top of the bowler through technique and not the oversized bats used by below average batsman.Albert Trott must be having a quite laugh to himself,when he managed to clear the Lord's Pavilion in 1899 with a toothpick of a bat but nobody including the users of modern day bats have come anywhere near to achieving the feat since.

  • on July 16, 2014, 20:44 GMT

    I don't favour restrictions on bats or much easing of the fielding restrictions. No one wants to go back to nine fielders on the boundary - that this used to happen in the last few overs of a match has to be born in mind when reading ODI (and other list A) scores from the 1970s. Perhaps, however, the batting powerplay should be abolished - although it often seems to favour the bowling side in fact. But my feeling is that the advantage batsmen have now actually means we are more appreciative of genuine bowling skills, especially spin, than we used to be in the days when a gentle seamer could expect to bowl ten overs for 31 without the help of reverse swing, back of the hand deliveries, slow bouncers, or any of the other techniques modern bowlers have developed. But by all means make boundaries as long as possible.

  • Chris_P on July 16, 2014, 20:52 GMT

    @eggyroe. Actually, the modern bats are not heavy at all due to the new technique in reducing the moisture from what was once about 35% to less than 10%. Remember the logs Lloyd & Richards used to wield that weighed well over 3 lbs? They are certainly larger, & I have a couple of 2 lb 8oz bats that feel like feathers compared to an old 2lb 6oz bat I used in the 90's. But, agree when I read others asking how the administrators feel there hasn't been a difference to the batting vs. bowling contests when so many more boundaries are being scored, even off mishits?

  • on July 16, 2014, 21:04 GMT

    As with most things cricket bats have evolved, why should the maximum dimensions of cricket bats be change from the current maximums of 38" in length and 4.25" in width? The skill of making heavier bats which have a 'Pick up Weight' of 3 or 4 ounces less than the dead weight is due to sheer skill of the bat maker cutting and shaping the Pods. I was using bats that weighed in at over 3lbs as long ago as 1976, as a spin bowler I am still taking the wickets of batsmen being caught tying to hit me out of the ground despite using bats with edges half the width of the bat.

    I would suggest that those who wish to change the rules are bowlers who do not have the skill to contain batsmen with or without a modern shaped bat.

  • JaranNirsi on July 16, 2014, 21:24 GMT

    Modern cricket has changed completely, if not quite irretrievably, in favour of batsmen, assisted largely by the terrific advancement in technology (powerful bats, lighter and more effective protective gear) while bowlers have not benefited at all, in comparative terms. The thickness, and weight of bats should have been addressed now, and it is already too late. With the artificial field restrictions in the shorter versions of the game, bowlers are rapidly becoming cannon fodder. A century after the English amateur paid the best professionals of his time to bowl at him in the nets, the imbalance between bowler and batsman remains the same, if not actually even more tilted in the batsman's favour. The last bowler got have been knighted may no longer be Sir Francis Drake, but their lot remains far worse than than of the batsman, and than before. The authorities better do something about it,

  • on July 16, 2014, 22:08 GMT

    I have to say, I agree with neo-galactico. There's no point in trying to stop innovation.