The game of cricket has witnessed several instances where batsmen have come up with bats of different shapes and sizes.
As a result, the MCC stipulated laws regulating the sizes, weights, length and width of the willows used by cricketers these days.
Here we look at the five glaring instances when bats sparked controversies in cricket history:
5. Black Sparton Bat
During the season of 2005, the Australian captain raised a few eyebrows by bringing in a black willowed Kookaburra Kahuna. Also, other batsmen like Kumar Sangakkara, contracted with the batmakers, played with the willow with a graphite strip on it.
After much scrutiny, the MCC declared the bat as illegal, claiming that bats violated enhancement protocols.
Later, in the 2016 Big Bash League, West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell walked out with a black coloured Spartan bat. It caused a lot of hue and cry on social media regarding the legality of using such bats.
4.) Golden Bat
The ‘Universal Boss’ Chris Gayle ordered a golden Spartan Bat, which was made in India. The explosive Jamaican used the bat during the Big Bash season of 2015. There were claims made about the usage of metal in the bat.
However, Spartan Head Kunal Sharma dismissed all such rumours by stating, “There is no metal in the gold colouring we are using in the bat. There are restrictions on what you can and can’t use in cricket bats,” according to IANS.
3.) Aluminium Bat
After using an aluminium bat in a Test match in Brisbane against West Indies without any complaints, Dennis Lillee did the same against England in the first Ashes Test in 1979.
However, this time around, England captain Mike Brearly repeatedly complained about the state of the ball after being hit by Lillee’s metal blade.
Despite the repeated request from captain Ian Chappell, Lillee paid no heed and continued batting with the aluminium bat. Chappell, finally, had to intervene and replace Lillee’s bat with a wooden willow. An enraged Lillee threw his bat in anger.
2.) Monster Bat
The law of bat widths was regulated after the game between Chertsey and Hambleton in 1771. One of the Chertsey batsmen played with an enormous sized bat in terms of its width.
As a result, Hambleton players were obliged to file a petition against the use of such bats, led by fast bowler Thomas Brett. Later, laws stipulated that the maximum permissible width of the bat to only four and a quarter inches.
1.) Mongoose Bat
The likes of Suresh Raina and Matthew Hayden experimented with the Mongoose bat during the 2010 edition of IPL. The entire blade face was slated to be the meat of the bat in this type of bat.
Hayden’s onslaught against Delhi Daredevils in the third season of IPL was evidence enough of the carnage the oddly shaped bat possessed. He smacked 93 off 43 balls. However, Raina switched back to the traditional willow after facing difficulty in defending deliveries.