Ahead of his side's first Super Series game against a World XI tomorrow, Ricky Ponting's graphite-reinforced bat, made by Kookaburra, has come under renewed scrutiny and could be banned as soon as December. In April, MCC suggested Ponting's bat, with its thin carbon strip running down its spine, gave the batsman an unfair advantage, but they nevertheless permitted its usage pending a decision.

A rival manufacturer to Kookaburra yesterday claimed it had been told the bat will be banned. Kookaburra denied this, stating that they are still awaiting an official decision. Sunil Gavaskar, the chairman of the committee established to review the issue, told the Herald Sun: "We just have to tread the line very carefully and make sure we get it right."

Kookaburra's managing director, Rob Elliot, continued to deny the claims being made against the bat, known as the 'Kahuna.' He said: "All the evidence we have sought from independent experts, such as industrial chemists, people who are experts in bonding, suggest it is nothing more than a coating on the bat.

"It's there for the purpose we discussed originally, which was designed to strengthen the back of the cricket bat. That's exactly our position. If, for one reason or another, they choose to take a different view, we will look at that position."