ISLAMABAD: Former Australia captain Ian Chappell supported the ICC’s proposed crackdown on the size of bats after the upcoming cricket World Cup, saying that the increase in the thickness of the willow put the bowlers and umpires under the risk of suffering injuries.
“At long last the ICC has decided there’s a problem with bats. They are being hailed as too good and disturbing the balance between bat and ball. This, combined with the fact that
the ICC also recently decreed that shorter boundaries are contributing to the problem, is a classic case of being way behind the game,” Chappell said.
He said “the likelihood of serious injury and the tilting of the balance between bat and ball are far greater issues. The ball is now rushing back at bowlers and umpires at such a rate
off thunder sticks that they do not have the time to react properly. This issue needs to be addressed before there is a serious injury, not after a mishap,” ESPNcricinfo reported.
“The balance between bat and ball has seen a major shift in favour of the willow-wielders. Not only are mis-hits clearing the ropes far too often, edged drives are flying over the heads
of the slip fielders more regularly. Once the contest is diminished, cricket becomes little more than a statistical exercise,” the former captain said.
Chappell said that the decision of the ICC to increase the distance of the boundaries was also an “admirable one but one that should have been taken ages ago and for all cricket”.
“The ICC has decreed that the boundaries, where possible, will be at a distance of 90 metres during the World Cup. The general rule should be: if a bowler is good enough to entice a
mis-hit, the ball should stay within the field of play.
This hasn’t been the case for quite some time and mis-hits have been clearing boundaries as easily as a world-class high jumper sails over a two-metre-high bar,” he added.