MCC world committee propose standard balls for Test championship

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DHAKA, March 13, 2019 (BSS)- The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) World
Cricket Committee has proposed the use of a standard ball by all teams for
the World Test Championship as part of the recommendations made after its
latest meeting, source ICC.

The committee, chaired by Mike Gatting and comprising of current and former
international cricketers and umpires, also suggested that the red Dukes ball
be trialed in Asian conditions. This takes into account feedback from the
likes of India captain Virat Kohli and off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who
were critical of the quality of SG balls last year.

The Test championship will begin after the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019
and the committee, which met in Bengaluru on March 8 and 9, said it provided
the “perfect opportunity” to introduce the standardization in the interest of
the game.

Currently, the Dukes ball is used for Tests in England and the West Indies,
the SG ball in India and the Kookaburra everywhere else, including for
day/night Tests. “It would be for the ICC to choose which ball is most
suitable, with the committee stressing that the balance between bat and ball
is crucial,” a statement after the meeting said.

There were significant recommendations about speeding up over-rates,
including through the introduction of free hits on no-balls in Test cricket,
in line with the existent rules in limited-overs cricket.

“England recently had a spell of 45 ODIs without bowling a no-ball, yet
they bowled 11 in the three Test series against the West Indies. The system
would not only be exciting for crowds when there was a free hit, but also it
would help to speed up over rates, if fewer no-balls are bowled,” the
committee reasoned.

There was also strong backing for women’s T20 cricket to feature in the
Commonwealth Games, to be held in Birmingham, England in 2022, with New
Zealand’s Suzie Bates, who is a member of the committee, describing it as
potential “game-changer”.

The ICC, in partnership with the England and Wales Cricket Board, has
submitted a bid in this regard.

The MCC World Cricket committee, which meets twice a year to discuss the
common issues in the game, will next gather August 11 and 12 at Lord’s.

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