Image courtesy of: Zimbio
West Indies opener Chris Gayle has lashed out at the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) crackdown on bat sizes ahead of the World Cup.
Gayle’s comments come after ICC chief executive David Richardson recently admitted that bigger bats are starting to swing the game in favour of the the batsmen.
However, Gayle dismissed the idea, and said: “A big boy needs a big bat, people keep saying it has become a batsman’s game, but bowlers are becoming more skilful too.”
Gayle’s views were supported by legendary Australia pace bowler Brett Lee, who said: “I think that if players like Gayle and (David) Warner are strong enough to lift a bat that heavy, at that speed, then good for them, it makes the game a hell of a lot more exciting. They have got to stop bringing in the boundary rope. People want a tight, fast contest, but that’s a hard ask with only 60 metres.”
However, former Australia all-rounder Michael Bevan feels that Richardson has a valid point.
“Bats have improved at a far greater rate than balls, there has to be an even balance,” he said. “If it becomes too lopsided and becomes a six-fest then no one wants to watch that either.”
Ex-Australia batsman Dean Jones did not agree with Bevan’s views, and said: “The bowlers’ defensive game has fallen away, they get smashed because they can’t bowl yorkers properly anymore. Twenty20 cricket has also brought in a whole new form of training. ‘Rage-hitting’ involves a batsman dropping their defensive game completely and thrashing at balls inside the net repetitively and at high speeds. I remember when my coach would tear my ear off for hitting a single ball over the net.”