• ICC’s plan to balance game

    Boundary ropes at the World Cup could be pushed back as far as 90 yards as the ICC tries to make limited-overs cricket a more balanced game between bowlers and batsmen.

    David Richardson, ICC chief executive, told ESPNcricinfo that the issue was a growing concern and confirmed that the ICC had begun to consider steps on how to remedy the situation.

    ‘The balance may have shifted a little bit too much because sometimes poor shots or mis-hits are going for six,’ Richardson said.

    ‘Let us try and rectify that. What we have done up until now is try and maximise the size of the boundary. You will see for the World Cup, most of the grounds in Australia in particular, which allow for big playing surfaces, boundary ropes will be pushed back to at least 90 yards where possible.’

    Bats these days have more bulge at the back, while the edges are chunky and the whole bat is a sweet spot. This enables them to send the ball much higher, faster and further than before.

    The MCC failed to adjust the law governing bat dimensions at their last meeting in July last year. The panel failed to reach a consensus so the current ruling on the size of bats will continue. The law only limits the length of the bat to 38 inches and the width to 4¼ inches.

    This has led to long-standing batting records being shattered. South Africa’s ODI captain AB de Villiers scored the fastest ODI century in 31 balls and 40 minutes, beating the record set by New Zealand batsman Corey Anderson less than a year ago, which had been scored off 36 balls.

    Although Richardson says De Villiers deserves praise for his performance, he did say that mis-hits sailing effortlessly over the boundary ropes should be inspected.

    ‘No one begrudges an AB de Villiers, who plays some superb shots,” he said.

    Him, Brendon McCullum, Kumar Sangakkara, they are exceptionally talented and no one minds if they hit some great shots which go for six. But where some batsmen are mis-hitting balls and it is just carrying over the rope and going for a six instead of being caught at the boundary, that is what some cricket people believe has become unfair.’

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