David Warner forced to use smaller bat under new cricket laws

Australian opening batsman David Warner celebrates his century against Black Caps. Photo/Photosport
Australian opening batsman David Warner celebrates his century against Black Caps. Photo/Photosport

Umpires will have the power to send off dissenting players and dock a team five runs under new code of cricket laws, which will come in to effect in October.

Bat sizes will also be officially reduced, after a series of recommendations from a panel that included former Australian captain Ricky Ponting.

The new laws, announced by the MCC, will mean players, including Australian opener David Warner, will have to trade in his Kaboom for a smaller model.

After October 2017, the maximum dimensions of a cricket bat will be 108mm in width, 67mm in depth with 40mm edges.

Warner's bat easily exceeds that, with edges that reach 50mm, but he had been reducing them knowing a rule change was coming.

A bat gauge will be used to test bats being used.

The other major change includes new powers given to umpires to deal with poor player behaviour, with the seriousness of the offence to determine in-game penalties.

Offences can range from showing dissent at an umpire's decision to committing any act of violence, with sanctions including warnings, the award of five penalty runs to the opposition and, for more serious offences, temporary or permanent removal from the field.

"We felt the time had come to introduce sanctions for poor player behaviour and research told us that a growing number of umpires at grassroots level were leaving the game because of it." said MCC head of cricket John Stephenson.

"Hopefully, these sanctions will give them more confidence to handle disciplinary issues efficiently, whilst providing a deterrent to the players.

"The bat-size issue has been heavily scrutinised and discussed in recent years. We believe the maximum dimensions we have set will help redress the balance between bat and ball, while still allowing the explosive, big hitting we all enjoy."

The new code of laws will be released following a meeting of the MCC Committee on March 20.

- news.com.au

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