ICC allows Ponting to use his bat for the time being

Published: Wednesday, May 18, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Dubai:Giving respite to Ricky Ponting, the International Cricket Council (ICC) allowed the Australian captain to use his bat, at least for the time being, pending a final decision from the game's law makers on the bat's legality.

The ICC Cricket Committee, after a two-day meeting in Dubai, produced a series of recommendations in relation to the playing of cricket that will now be considered by the ICC Chief Executives' Committee at its next meeting on June 24-26 at Lord's in England.

The Committee, chaired by former India captain Sunil Gavaskar and comprising 12 other international players, recommended the establishment of an expert panel to work with the game's law makers, the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), and bat manufacturers to review the laws and regulations governing the manufacture of cricket bats.

The committee also recommended a change to the way fielding restrictions apply in One-day cricket.

It said that restrictions should apply for the first 10 overs of every innings with two additional blocks of five overs to be applied through the course of an innings at the discretion of the fielding captain.

It favoured a technology trial to be undertaken at the Johnnie Walker Super Series to allow on-field umpires to consult with the TV umpire on any aspect of any decision. The final decision after these discussions, however, would remain with the on-field umpire.

The committee rejected a proposal that called for two neutral umpires in all international One-day matches.

"The committee upheld the view that cricket should remain a battle between a wooden bat and leather ball with the members strongly of the opinion that innovations that enhance the striking power of a bat should not be permitted," said Speed.

"The ICC recommended that an expert panel should be established to review the matter in conjunction with the MCC, bat manufacturers and selected universities with the necessary research facilities," he added.

As part of its deliberations the Committee also considered the specific case of the Kookaburra bat used by several international players and agreed that the status quo should remain wherein these bats can be used by all players pending a final decision from the MCC on their legality in relation to current regulations.

Gavaskar said the innovations would introduce a new tactical dimension to ODI cricket. "I think change to the way the fielding restrictions work will enliven the game and introduce a new element of unpredictability throughout the course of an innings."

ICC General Manager - Cricket, David Richardson, said this trial would build on a similar trial at the ICC Champions Trophy 2002 in Sri Lanka. "The Johnnie Walker Super Series will be our first opportunity to trial this process in Test match cricket.

"We are of the view that the on-field umpires should retain their position of authority in the decision-making process and the members of the Emirates Elite Panel are already averaging over 94 per cent of correct decisions. This trial will help us understand what impact a referral system may have on this correct decision percentage as well as the flow of the match," he said.

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