Gupte aims to end advantage of batsmen over bowlers.
London: A British Indian surgeon’s research into the design of a cricket bat aimed at mitigating its dominance over the ball and maintaining balance between the two has been incorporated into the game’s official laws and will be enforced from October 1 this year.
Chinmay Gupte, an orthopaedic surgeon specialising in sports injuries and senior lecturer at Imperial College London, co-led a team at the college to assess cricket bat performance.
The Marylebone Cricket Club, the sport’s governing body, has incorporated his team’s findings to ensure that both the cricket bat and ball are treated equally in terms of laws.
“The number of sixes scored has increased exponentially over the last 30 years. This has many factors, including higher bat-speeds, smaller boundaries and stronger players. There is also no doubt that bat design has enabled far more mis-hits to go for six rather than be out caught,” Gupte said.
“It was important to mitigate these developments to avoid a very one-sided contest between bat and ball,” he said.
Under the new laws, the maximum thickness of the edge of the bat needs to be less than 40 mm and the overall depth of the bat cannot exceed 67mm.
It follows research conducted by Gupte’s team alongside colleague Professor Anthony Bull, head of the Imperial’s Department of Engineering, to assess cricket bat performance.
They found that the bat had, over the years, evolved to such an extent that it gave batsmen a significant advantage over bowlers. While the mass of the bat had increased considerably, it was the shape that made the most difference to a ball’s trajectory.
Pune-born Gupte is son of Maharashtra cricketer Madhukar Shankar, a professional cricketer who has played for Middlesex and Gloucester County Cricket clubs and captained the team for Oxford University.