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Last Updated: Friday, 22 April, 2005, 10:56 GMT 11:56 UK
Ponting rejects queries over bat
Australia captain Ricky Ponting
Ponting in action with the bat in question against New Zealand

Australia captain Ricky Ponting has ridiculed suggestions that his bat contains an illegal section.

The Marylebone Cricket Club, the sport's traditional rule-making body, is investigating the bat, which has a thin strip of carbon graphite.

"I've been using that bat for five or six years, it's just the sticker that's changed this year," Ponting explained.

"I've just had a real laugh at it so far, I've not really thought too much about it or where it started from."

The MCC will see if the graphite-coated bat complies with laws regarding the composition of the blade and the thickness of any covering material.

The ICC is growing increasingly concerned with issues surrounding the way bats are manufactured and 'enhanced'
ICC chief executive
Malcolm Speed

It is also checking the bat does not damage cricket balls.

"MCC has produced a report at the request of the International Cricket Council," the MCC said in a statement.

"The MCC simply wants to satisfy itself that the design complies with the laws of cricket, and advise the ICC accordingly."

The MCC said it made no assessment of the power of the bat.

The ICC, which is responsible for playing regulations and for the implementation of the laws of cricket, will rule on the report next month, but confirmed that Ponting would be allowed to continue using the bat whilst the investigation was in process.

Chief executive Malcolm Speed said the ICC is closely examining a number of issues relating to the manufacture of bats beyond this individual case.

"The ICC is growing increasingly concerned with issues surrounding the way in which bats are manufactured and 'enhanced'," Speed said.

"During the ICC Cricket World Cup 2003 there were a number of oversized bats detected and manufacturers were put on notice that it was expected that they would produce bats that comply with the laws at all times."

The issue with Ponting only came to light after manufacturers Kookaburra contacted the ICC to query the amount of branding allowed on a bat.

Ponting, a powerful hitter, has scored 6,950 runs at an average of 56.5 in 88 Test matches.

He struck a double-century with the bat against Pakistan in Sydney last January and a century in the Asian tsunami charity match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

In addition, he averaged 97.66 in the three recent Tests in New Zealand.

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