Shane Watson not in favour of limiting bat sizes

Shane Watson

Melbourne: Former Australia all-rounder Shane Watson is opposed to the idea of limiting the size of bats in international cricket.

The Marylebone Cricket Club’s (MCC) World Cricket Committee, after a two-day conference in Mumbai last week, has recommended putting a restriction on the size of the edges and depth of bats.

The committee concluded that the game has tilted too heavily towards batsmen, as even the mis-hits from the ever-bulging bats reach the boundary or clear it. They also advocated introduction of red cards, like football, to curb on-field misconduct.

Watson though differs from this point of view and said it is the bowlers who need to evolve along with bat technology and the willowers shouldn’t be punished for using bigger bats.

“I don’t think there should be bat restrictions because in the end the game’s always moving forward,” Watson told cricket.com.au on Wednesday.

“Bat companies are always trying to find a competitive advantage. As long as they’re legal, as in there’s not cork or anything (illegal) in them, then you can’t restrict the size of a bat.

“Someone like Chris Gayle uses a three-pound bat, so his bats are naturally going to be bigger but he’s strong enough to be able to lift a bat like that,” he added.

MCC’s proposed restrictions would see bat edges limited to 40 milimetre and bat depths to 67mm. The proposal, if approved, would be added to the Laws of Cricket and introduced from October, next year.

Watson believes the bowlers need to develop their skills in order to overcome the challenge of bulkier bats, trying to find different ways to out-think the batsmen.

“You’ve got to be better as a bowler. There’s always ways you can try and (avoid) the middle of the bat of a batsman when you’re bowling,” the 35-year-old said.

“Some days are better than others, but there’s always ways and that’s the skill of a bowler to try and evolve and get better,” he told Cricket Australia.

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