England’s opening batsmen are going to trial a revolutionary new “edge-less” bat for the forthcoming Test series against South Africa in July 2017.
Following a recent run of low scores in the top order, the management and coaching staff have made the bold move to try out this experimental new form of batting equipment.
Originally developed by the military in China for the Baseball leagues, the design takes its inspiration from the technology incorporated in their fighter jet wings.
There, the same sleek design helps to increase the plane’s ‘stealth’ and radar avoidance qualities but, for England’s cricketers, it may prove to be the “edge” they’re looking for in what is expected to be a hard-fought series.
A spokesperson for the ECB recently commented “Over the past few years we’ve made great advances in the sort of scores we’d expect our opening pair to lay down in a first innings but we’re always open to new ideas”.
Much of the working details of this new design remains classified, with most players and coaches forced to sign non-disclosure agreements but, sources close to the team, suggest that the shape and form of the new bat help to eliminate both the likelihood of edging the ball and, in the rare cases this occurs, any deflections are harmlessly directed towards the ground near the feet of the player.
Although, apparently in the thoughts of the coaching staff for several months, It was following the recent Test defeats to India and, in particular, the number of wickets lost to catches behind the wicket, that is rumoured to be the catalyst for this extraordinary decision.
Officials will now, no doubt, be looking at any possible infringements to strict the laws of the game regarding bat specifications but the agents for the product state they’re confident no rules have been broken.
Whatever the outcome, if England have found a way of taking out over 70% of their dismissals, this could be an advantage others will want to be quick to follow.