When it comes to buying baby products, it might seem rather premature to get them their first cricket bat before they can stand up. But the sport may have provided a little reminder why bamboo-based items are a great idea.
A study by Cambridge University has suggested that bamboo could make a great alternative to the traditional willow as the material to make bats from, suggesting that as a material that costs less to produce, has a larger sweet spot than a normal bat and is more sustainable.
The last of these is a key consideration when buying any baby products and is certainly worth considering when buying bamboo plates, or any other product made from the material.
In fact, there is only one significant problem stopping sustainable bamboo from becoming a material used in making bats - the laws of the game itself.
The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), which is the guardian of the sport’s rules, issued a statement noting that, as things stand, bamboo would be disqualified because law 5.3.2 says the blade must be “made entirely from wood” and, of course, bamboo is actually a form of grass.
As lamination of bats is not allowed except at junior level, any law change would need to specifically mention bamboo as a permitted material.
However, the MCC added, the issue is one it may consider, stating that it was interested in sustainability and if bamboo can be shown to be a “viable and ethical alternative to willow”, it will need to be looked at. The matter will be discussed at the club’s next laws sub-committee meeting.
Past infringements of the law included Australian player Dennis Lillee, far better known for his bowling, briefly using an aluminium bat in a Test match in 1979 before the umpires told him to swap it for a wooden one.
Whatever cricket’s lawmakers decide about bamboo bats, parents can certainly make the most of the sustainability and durability of the material when buying items for their babies.