Cricket is a game between a bat and a ball, while the two teams are playing it out against one another, it is a given that the standardisation of the kit is maintained for a fair contest.
With the upgradation and high customisation of cricket bats, several batters started using bats that would suit their playing style or would boost their performance. However, many of these bats have been banned by the authorities to provide an equal playing field
Dennis Lillee – ComBat
Known for his lethal bowling the Australian pacer turned to use a bat which was far from usual. When the leather ball hits the willow, the sound which is produced is extremely unique, however, when Lillee was playing against the West Indies, the sound was replaced by a more metallic sound.
It was later found that aluminium was used in the manufacturing of the bat. Using metal in the bat is against the laws of cricket, as the laws state that only wood should be used in the manufacturing process of a bat.
This matter was brought up during the 1979/80 Ashes series when England captain Mike Brearley complained about the use of the bat. In his complaint, Brearley stated that the aluminium bat would damage the ball, providing the batting team with an unfair advantage.
Andre Russell – The Black Bat
In the 2016 season of the Big Bash League, the West Indian all-rounder took special permission to use a black coloured bat, before the first game of the tournament. It was within the rules to allow the cricketers to use a bat of their choice as long as they sought the permission of the board. The only condition was that the bat must either be colored in the jersey colour of the team or be black.
However, after the first game of the season, Cricket Australia withdrew their permission after discovering that the bat had left visible marks on the ball. “The match officials provided feedback to Cricket Australia that the bat used by Andre left black marks on the match ball. As a result, we have decided to withdraw our approval for Andre to use the bat that was used last night as the colour solution used by the manufacturer was discolouring the ball,” said Anthony Everard, the head of the BBL.
Black bats are now officially banned.
Matthew Hayden – The Mongoose Bat
Former Australian opener Matthew Hayden introduced the Mongoose Bat to world cricket in 2010. While playing for an IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings, the southpaw got the bat customised specifically for the T20 format of the game.
The bat was far different from the usual in its design, as it had a longer handle and a much smaller hitting area. The Mongoose Bat would give a direct advantage to the batters as it was designed to increase the ‘sweet spot’ on the bat by over 120%. Although the bat has not been officially banned, its use is discouraged.
Ricky Ponting – Carbon Graphite Strips
The then-Australian skipper was in the form of his life in 2004/05. While the Australian cricket team had gained the status of ‘world beaters’ after winning multiple series overseas, and two consecutive 50-over World Cups, Ricky Ponting was garnering thousands of runs as well. After hitting his famous double century in Sydney against Pakistan in 2004/05, the cricketer got into a controversy over his bat.
It was found that the batter had a thin carbon graphite strip on his bat. As the MCC and the ICC looked into the matter, there were claims that the strips added extra power to the bat, thus giving an unfair advantage to the batter. After an investigation, the equipment was declared illegal
Thomas White – Wide Blade
Much before the start of international cricket, a bat (a blade) was used to essentially cover the entire stumps. A man named Thomas White came up with this idea in 1771, which would breach the rules of modern-day cricket. In the match between Chertsey and Hambleton, Hambleton protested against the use of this bat and the team members signed an official petition which resulted in changes in the Laws of Cricket. The law stated that the maximum width of the bat’s face should not be more than four-and-a-quarter inches. Chertsey eventually lost the game by one run.