Recently, there has been an outburst on the size of bat with some of the most respectable cricket connoisseurs betting for a reduced bat size in Test Cricket. This includes Ricky Ponting and Josh Hazlewood, who lately, expressed that bat size should change for Test Cricket. However, a long time cricket expert, Ian Chapell has sharpened the viewpoint to develop the idea to reduce bat size across all formats and to put an end to the increasing hegemony of improvement of bats and its features over other aspects of cricket.
According to Chapell, the contest between batsmen and bowlers is far from being fair as "bats keep improving and boundary dimensions are reduced." The issue is real and now it is time to view cricket from another angle. Perhaps from the viewpoint of bowlers. As the former player emphasized, it is an utmost necessity in cricket that a "fair contest" between bat and ball is brought up in every format of the game. Especially, in the shorter T20 formats, which have become more of an entertainment rather than cricket.
The balance of the game, according to Chapell, is disrupted with the unbalanced equation of bat and ball. He has rightly pointed out that this balance is tilted towards the batsmen. For example, the edges on the previous structure of bats were a trifling point as they were the reasons for most of the catches at slips. However, modern bats have meticulously changed it in favor of batsmen as edges are reduced along with the reduction of catches at the slips. Furthermore, it made ways for more boundaries instead.
Chapell is actually trying to bring the point to light under the purview of lawmakers in cricket. He also invoked the issue of injury of other players on the field. While the batsmen are with all the protective gears, other players are simply open to on-field injuries. Even the umpires are seen with protective gears to save them from sudden and speedy strikes of batsmen. The same is just not possible for bowlers and fielders and the game is turning quite violent.
Another important aspect of the game highlighted by Chapell is the on-feild mentality of players. The rules seem to be favoring the batsmen while bowlers are put on the backfoot. This makes bowlers resort to ill-willed tactics like chucking and bodyline. Thus, the rule makers of the game must keep strong vigilance on the balance between batsmen and bowlers so that the game is fair.
Ian Chapell was the former Captain of Australia and an outstanding all-rounder of his times. He is considered as the driving force behind professionalism of Australian cricket. Chapell has a number of accolades as a cricketer. Presently he is a cricket commentator.
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