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Law 5 - The bat


5.1 The bat

5.1.1 The bat consists of two parts, a handle and a blade.

5.1.2 The basic requirements and measurements of the bat are set out in this Law with detailed specifications in Appendix B.

5.2 The handle

5.2.1 The handle is to be made principally of cane and/or wood.

5.2.2 The part of the handle that is wholly outside the blade is defined to be the upper portion of the handle.  It is a straight shaft for holding the bat.

5.2.3 The upper portion of the handle may be covered with a grip as defined in Appendix B.2.2.


5.3 The blade

5.3.1 The blade comprises the whole of the bat apart from the handle as defined 5.2 and in Appendix B.3.

5.3.2 The blade shall consist solely of wood.

5.3.3 All bats may have commercial identifications on the blade, the size of which must comply with the relevant specification in Appendix B.6.

5.4 Protection and repair

Subject to the specifications in Appendix B.4 and providing 5.5 is not contravened,

5.4.1 solely for the purposes of

either    protection from surface damage to the face, sides and shoulders of the blade

or          repair to the blade after surface damage,

material that is not rigid, either at the time of its application to the blade or subsequently, may be placed on these surfaces.

5.4.2 for repair of the blade after damage other than surface damage solid material may be inserted into the blade. The only material permitted for any insertion is wood with minimal essential adhesives.

5.4.3 to prevent damage to the toe, material may be placed on that part of the blade but shall not extend over any part of the face, back or sides of the blade.

5.5 Damage to the ball

5.5.1 For any part of the bat, covered or uncovered, the hardness of the constituent materials and the surface texture thereof shall not be such that either or both could cause unacceptable damage to the ball.

5.5.2 Any material placed on any part of the bat, for whatever purpose, shall similarly not be such that it could cause unacceptable damage to the ball.

5.5.3 For the purpose of this Law, unacceptable damage is any change that is greater than normal wear and tear caused by the ball striking the uncovered wooden surface of the blade.

5.6 Contact with the ball

In these Laws,

5.6.1 reference to the bat shall imply that the bat is held in the batsman’s hand or a glove worn on his/her hand, unless stated otherwise.

5.6.2 contact between the ball and any of to the bat itself the batsman’s hand holding the bat any part of a glove worn on the batsman’s hand holding the bat any additional materials permitted under 5.4 

shall be regarded as the ball striking or touching the bat or being struck by the bat.

5.7 Bat size limits

5.7.1 The overall length of the bat, when the lower portion of the handle is inserted, shall not be more than 38 in/96.52 cm.

5.7.2 The blade of the bat shall not exceed the following dimensions:

Width: 4.25in / 10.8 cm

Depth: 2.64in / 6.7 cm 

Edges: 1.56in / 4.0cm.

Furthermore, it should also be able to pass through a bat gauge as described in Appendix B.8

5.7.3 Except for bats of size 6 and less, the handle shall not exceed 52% of the overall length of the bat.

5.7.4 The material permitted for covering the blade in 5.4.1 shall not exceed 0.04 in/0.1 cm in thickness.

5.7.5 The maximum permitted thickness of protective material placed on the toe of the blade is 0.12 in/0.3 cm.

5.8 Categories of bat

5.8.1 Types A, B and C are bats conforming to 5.1 to 5.7 inclusive. 

5.8.2 Type A bats may be used at any level of cricket. 

5.8.3 The specifications for Type D bats are described in Appendix B.7 and are for use by junior players in junior cricket only.

5.8.4 Bats of Type B, Type C, Type D and any other bats may be used only at or below levels determined by the Governing Body for cricket in the country concerned.

5.8.5 Bats that do not qualify for any of the four categories A to D are not recognised in the Laws. 

© Marylebone Cricket Club 2017

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