ICC to examine Ricky Ponting~~s controversial bat

Published: Tuesday, October 4, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Melbourne:Ricky Ponting could find himself in another controversy as his carbon graphite-reinforced bat comes under renewed scrutiny.

Having just weathered calls for his sacking as Australia captain after losing the Ashes, there are claims Ponting's Kookaburra bat will be banned by the International Cricket Council and the Marylebone Cricket Club.

A rival major cricket bat manufacturer claims it has been told the bat will be banned and warned not to reinforce any of its new range with the thin film of carbon graphite.

But Kookaburra said it was still awaiting an answer.

Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar, who is the chairman of a sub-committee set up to look into the issue, has inspected the bat and said he would make a final ruling at a December meeting.

Gavaskar said he was awaiting a full report from the MCC, the game's lawmakers.

"We just have to tread the line very carefully and make sure we get it right," he said.

As revealed in April, the bat, dubbed the Kahuna, was under review because of fears it was giving batsmen an unfair advantage in power.

Kookaburra continues to deny the claim.

The company's managing director Rob Elliot maintained yesterday there was no basis upon which to impose a ban.

"All the evidence we have sought from independent experts, such as industrial chemists, people who are experts in bonding, suggest it is nothing more than a coating on the bat," he said.

"It's there for the purpose we discussed originally which was designed to strengthen the back of the cricket bat. That's exactly our position.

"If, for one reason or another they choose to take a different view, we will look at that position."

A meeting of the ICC's cricket committee in May gave Ponting permission to keep using the bat while the sub-committee began its investigation.

The committee is looking into various issues including the use of carbon graphite, the width and depth of bats and "corking" - a practice also linked to baseball where the inside of a bat is replaced by cork to make it lighter and easier to swing.

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