ICC looking at the balance between bats and balls

CRICKET bat makers may have pushed the boundaries in the past decade or so, but now the sport's governing body wants to restore some balance between bat and ball.

Whether that happens at this World Cup, which commentators have suggested will be a batsman's paradise, remains to be seen.

Just days after South Africa's AB de Villiers smashed the record for the fastest ODI century, his milestone coming off just 31 balls against the West Indies last month, ICC boss Dave Richardson admitted the obvious by noting the modern-day bats "may have shifted the balance a bit too much".

Richardson said it was clear players such as de Villiers, Kiwi captain Brendon McCullum and Sri Lanka veteran Kumar Sangakkara were outstanding batsmen who rendered boundary ropes irrelevant at most grounds.

He also said while the ICC would look at the issue of bat size, for this World Cup it wanted boundary ropes pushed back to at least 90m "where possible".

"No one begrudges an AB de Villiers, who plays some superb shots," Richardson told Cricinfo.

"Him, Brendon McCullum, Kumar Sangakkara, they are exceptionally talented and no one minds if they hit some great shots which go for six.

"But where some batsmen are mishitting balls and it is just carrying over the rope and going for a six instead of being caught at

the boundary, that is what some cricket people believe has become unfair."

Such is the talent of the world's best batsmen at present; however, the record books could easily be re-written in this tournament, even with the boundary ropes pushed back.

India holds the record for the highest score at a World Cup, smashing Bermuda's bowlers to all parts to post 5-413 at Port of Spain in 2007.

The record for the most runs in a World Cup belongs to Indian great Sachin Tendulkar who accumulated 673 in the 2003 event won by Australia.

Retired Australian opener Matthew Hayden gave that mark a shake in 2007, compiling 659 runs as Australia won its third series in succession.

The record for the fastest hundred in a World Cup is held by Kevin O'Brien, the Irishman needing just 50 balls to reach his ton on the way to a stunning win against England in the 2011 tournament in Bangalore.

The highest score in a final belongs to Australia's Adam Gilchrist who smashed 149 (his century coming off 72 balls) against Sri Lanka in the 2007 decider at Bridgetown.

Topics:  cricket editors picks international cricket council

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