In order to bring about a balance between bat and ball, the game s lawmakers Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) has recommended limiting bat size edges and depths.
In addition, the MCC s World Cricket Committee, headed by former England captain Mike Brearley that met here for two days ending on Wednesday, has also come up with the radical suggestion of introducing a football-hockey-like red card as punishment for violent acts on the cricket field.
The committee also deliberated on the ball-tampering laws which it felt will remain unaltered, was split vertically on the possibility of reducing Test cricket from a five-day affair to a four-day one, it was announced by Brearley, former Australian captain Ricky Ponting, former Pakistan opener Rameez Raja and MCC s head of cricket John Stephenson here on Wednesday. Other recommendations included urging the International Cricket Council to continue to work towards introducing a World Test Championship and presenting the case for cricket at the Olympic Games and changing the law on ball striking a fielder s helmet, it was announced by the panel.
All these recommendations will be sent to the main MCC Committee and if approved these changes will be implemented into the new code of the Laws of Cricket, which will be introduced on October 1, 2017. On the suggestion to reduce the bat size, Ponting said that 60 per cent of the world s professional players supported the decision to limit them to 40 mm on edges and 67 mm for depths, including 7 mm for curvature.
"We want to limit the edges to 38-42 mm. Some of the players have edges in excess of 50mm. We are happy with what we have come up which will restore the balance between the bat and the ball. We have seen top-edges and leading edges going for sixes. Even with the limit in bat size big hitters can still clear the ropes," said Ponting. It was announced that the ball tampering law, which was recently in the news when South Africa captain Faf du Plessis was caught on camera using a mouth mint to polish the ball during the series in Australia, will remain the same.
"Don t be caught," was the advice given by both Brearley and Raja. On the question of the player being red carded Brearley said it will act as a deterrent.
"We discussed the yellow card (temporary) suspension too but then decided against it. The red card is for most extreme cases only," the former England opener said.
MCC not in favour of Tendulkar's suggestion of two pitches in ranji
The radical suggestion of cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar to use two pitches in Ranji Trophy matches to enable Indian players get used to differing playing surfaces has not found favour with the MCC's World Cricket Committee, which felt it devalued the game.
"First class cricket is about playing competitive (cricket), challenging yourself. It (playing on two pitches) will be like lessening the importance of first class cricket. That is what the committee felt," said MCC's member and Pakistan former captain Rameez Raja.
Committee chairman Mike Brearley echoed the same view. "We talked about that too. We talked about the conflict between using first-class matches as training and the fact that they are proper games of cricket in a proper competition, feeling that you're in a real match. Those two things can be in conflict," said Brearley.
"I personally think the committee would have probably said the same, that we felt that Tendulkar went too far in turning first class cricket into mere practice matches for international cricket," he added. Tendulkar had suggested that every Ranji game should be played on two different pitches to prepare a better team for overseas assignments.