Top Australian batsman Steve Smith and David Warner are set to undergo massive changes ahead of the Ashes. ICC’s latest regulations that were announced yesterday will come into effect on September 28. According to the change in regulations, bat edges cannot be thicker than 40mm or deeper than 67mm from blade to face. Also, the match officials will now be provided with devices that can gauge the dimensions of the bat. One good news for David Warner and Steve Smith will be the fact that these change of rules won’t affect the ongoing series. But it is believed the two players will play with new bats in the Ashes. It may be a matter of concern for the Aussies as both the players are stroke makers and rely a lot on the thickness of the bat.
ICC General Manager Geoff Allardice said,
Most of the changes to the ICC playing conditions are being made as a result of changes to the Laws of Cricket that have been announced by the MCC. We have just completed a workshop with the umpires to ensure they understand all of the changes and we are now ready to introduce the new playing conditions to international matches.
Former New Zealand national player Brendon McCullum, however, had favoured the big bats. Early last year, he had said,
You’ve still got to be able to hook it off your nose when someone sniffs you at 140, 150 kph. You’ve got to get to the gym and get bigger and stronger. That’s the evolution of the game. I don’t think they need to regulate bat sizes, personally. You shouldn’t be penalised for being able to lift a heavy bat or play with a heavier bat.
— BCCI (@BCCI) September 26, 2017
Meanwhile, the Australian team, which is touring India for a limited overs series, has already lost the series 3-0 to India and now the men in green and gold will play to restore some pride.