There has been much discussion of late about whether or not cricket bats are getting too thick, with famous names standing on both sides of the debate. Some suggest that, with bats getting thicker, batsmen will have an unfair advantage, and that it may be harder for bowlers to get those batting out. Of course, this ‘unfair advantage’ will be offered to both sides, making it neither unfair nor an advantage – but it will of course change the game.
Those in favour of thicker bats suggest that it will make the game more exciting, with scoring rates increasing and the ball travelling further and faster.
There is currently no law about the thickness of a bat, only its length and width, but some have suggested rules should be put in place to govern the former too.
Currently, the relevant bodies are looking into whether or not rules need to be changed but, for the moment, individuals will be able to use any thickness they want. Of course, the thicker it is the harder it may be to wield and the heavier it is likely to be when an individual needs to make runs. Therefore, those looking at buying new cricket gear should not always assume that thicker is better, but should instead try out different sizes to see what works best for them.
Today’s cricketers tend to be stronger than they used to be, and it is this that is fuelling the change in bat size as opposed to the desire for unfair advantage. Therefore, it may just be that those who see it as unfair need to get down the gym, or it may be that larger cricket equipment isn’t actually any more beneficial at all.
Either way, games develop, change and evolve. And, sometimes, change is a good thing.