Former Australia captain Ian Chappell has said that better bats and smaller boundaries are reducing bowlers to virtual bowling machines. Chappell, who has always been a strong advocate of maintaining the right balance between bat and ball, has asked administrators to look into the matter. Since the advent of T20 cricket, the batters have dominated the game, leaving bowlers grasping for breath.
“The administrators need to find both the ideal balance between bat and ball and educate fans on cricket’s values,” Chappell wrote in a column for ESPNcricinfo.
What is making the batters’ case easier is shorter boundaries. Add to that the huge bats of which even a mis-hit goes over the boundary. Chappell feels bowlers should be extremely disappointed if they are hit for six on a mis-hit.
“It is fine when middled deliveries finish up in the stands but a bowler should be extremely angry if a blatant mis-hit still clears the ropes.” “This problem is not so pronounced on larger Australian grounds.” “…but I’m not sure what genius produced the ludicrous mixture of better bats and smaller boundaries. This combination is reducing bowlers to virtual bowling machines. It is a serious slight on good bowlers and needs to be rectified immediately,” Chappell wrote.
Chappel further opined that cricket needs to provide entertainment but the administrators should plan better for the game’s future. T20 cricket has titled the scales in favour of batters. Chappell feels the game will only be reduced to a six-hitting competition if proper measures are not taken.
“There seem to be two widely diverging views on T20 cricket. There is the long-term cricket fan’s fear that the game will become an all-power event that favors muscle-bound six-hitting batters in matches of the sort that are too often won by the chasing team,” he wrote.