Ponting to use banned bat in SA One-day series

Published: Monday, February 20, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Sydney:Australian captain Ricky Ponting said he will be allowed to use his illegal graphite-backed bat in this month's One-day cricket series in South Africa.

The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), the custodian of cricket's rules, said last week that the bat used by Ponting and several other leading international players contravened cricket laws and was illegal.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) said that Kookaburra, the Australian manufacturer of the bat, had agreed to its immediate voluntary withdrawal from international cricket.

Ponting, who left here Monday for Australia's one-day series in South Africa today, said he was frustrated by the MCC's ruling.

"There's a couple of good ones (bats) at the moment I don't really want to part company with," Ponting told reporters.

"I'm going to be right to use those bats until the end of the (South African) one-day series, I think.

"And then it's going to be up to me over there to get the black graphite off the back of the bat so I can use them in the Test series as well."

Ponting said he is getting new Kookaburra bats made of exactly the same dimensions as his current bats.

"The bats that I have been using have been made for me and had the graphite put on the back of them anyway.... (the new ones) will be exactly the same."

Team-mates Mike Hussey and Brett Lee also use the same bats as Ponting.

Ponting scored 1,544 Test runs last year at an average of 67.13 with the graphite-backed bat -- the second-highest calendar year tally in history -- then opened 2006 with twin centuries in Sydney in his 100th Test last month.

The MCC believes the graphite layer gives a power advantage. At issue is whether the graphite cover is a superficial layer or an integral part of the blade.

Kookaburra is adamant that it is a superficial layer, but the MCC has ruled that it breaches Law 6 of the Laws of Cricket, which states that the blade of the bat must be made solely of wood and may be covered with material up to 1.56mm thick "for protection, strengthening or repair".

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