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New standard for bats set by MCC

Calcutta: The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) has decided to re-write a key law related to the bat to safeguard “the equilibrium between bat and ball”.

The MCC members overwhelmingly voted in favour of re-writing law 6 (the bat) at a special general meeting at Lord’s Wednesday. A two-thirds majority was needed to pass the law, and the final result saw 98.6 per cent votes in its favour, according to a media release.

The new law, which will come into effect from October 1, stipulates that 90 per cent of the volume of bat handles should consist of cane, wood and/or twine, with the other 10 per cent for the purpose of reducing vibration, for example rubber.

It states bat handles (including the splice) must not exceed 52 per cent of the overall length of the bat, and restricts the thickness of materials that can be used to protect and repair bats.

MCC’s head of cricket John Stephenson said: “In cricket, the battle between bat and ball is key. If one comes to dominate the other, the game will become predictable and less enjoyable to play and watch.

“While cricket pitches, balls and boundaries have changed little in centuries, modern bats have developed to the extent that mis-hits are now sometimes clearing the boundary rope for six. By ensuring that bats are made in the traditional manner, MCC hopes to safeguard the traditional balance of the game.

“Modern training methods have allowed many batsmen to become stronger and fitter than their predecessors, thus hitting the ball harder and further. MCC is not trying to legislate against those players, but rather the new materials that could give them an unfair advantage,” Stephenson said.

The new law also introduces a grading system for bats — from grade A to C — which allows for more leeway on the materials used, enabling the equipment to still be produced cheaply for use in lower levels of the game.

MCC will also carry out random tests on bats all over the world to ensure they comply with the new law.

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