Hamro Foundation Essex League News story

Illegal Bats and How To Check

02 May 2024

Illegal Bats and How To Check 


Hello all,


I spent some time at the pre-season meeting talking about the new laws that have come into place for this season around the size of cricket bats.


At last week’s round 1 of the league cup, some umpires checked the sizes of bats before the start of matches - there were several cases of where the bats did not fit through the gauge and are therefore classed as not being able to be used.


Because the bats were tested before a match there is no need for any action to be taken by the league or discipline.


The Process of testing


The following is the ECBs protocol for the professional game and is the guidelines that our umpires will be using.


In respect of use of the bat gauge, we have consulted MCC who have confirmed that:

"When testing the legality of a bat and its ability to pass through a bat gauge, the umpire may only apply a minimal amount of force to get it through.
The suggested testing method is for the bat to be held in one hand, away from the body and in mid-air (i.e. not pressed against the ground or the body), while the other hand is used to pass the gauge along the blade's length,
ensuring that the gauge is held square to the face of the bat. The gauge's measurements are such that a bat with legitimate tape / anti-scuff covering on the blade should still be able to pass through it.


Any player that uses a bat that is then found to be illegal will be reported to the league, and a picture of the bat and a video of the bat failing will attempt to be recorded and shared with the league.


What can clubs do


I would highly recommend that your club purchases a bat gauge for your members to use


They are widely available and cost under a tenner 




This will allow all members to check their bats before the league games start.


What Should Be Done To Illegal Bats  


Any bat that is found to be of an illegal size should not be used - if a player is told that their bat is not legal, and then uses it then there will be severe penalties.


Bats will not be confiscated, some of the illegal bats cost large sums of money, and because they are made from wood may be able to be altered to become regulation size.


But again, any bat that is found to be illegal should no longer be used in matches.


Testing of Bats In Lower XI Cricket


Where there is no formally appointed neutral umpire standing in a league game, the league demands that The Spirit Of Cricket is remembered at all times. We certainly don’t want accusations being made, or being in a situation where every bat needs to be tested at every match. 


Please continue to respect official, the laws of the game, captains, opposition and teammates.  

We all hope that this is the last time I need to talk about this, and in a few season’s time all bats will be back within the conforming size.

Any questions or comments please let me know.

Tom Clarke

Essex League Chair