The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) has rejected the idea of bats made from bamboo being used in professional cricket for now but said that it will discuss the topic at the next Laws sub-committee meeting.
The MCC, who are the guardians of the laws of cricket, said that alternatives to the use of English willow for bats should be considered to make the game more sustainable but use of bamboo for making bats would require an alteration in the current laws of cricket.
"Currently, Law 5.3.2 states that the blade of the bat must consist solely of wood, so for bamboo (which is a grass) to be considered as a realistic alternative to willow would require a Law change," said the MCC in a statement on Monday.
"Importantly, the Law would need to be altered to allow bamboo specifically, as even if it were to be recognised as a wood, this would still be illegal under the current Law, which bans lamination of the blade, except in junior bats," it said.
It further said that the fact that using bamboo bats is an ethical and cheaper alternative provides a pertinent angle.
"Sustainability is a relevant topic for MCC and indeed cricket, and this angle of willow alternatives should also be considered. With the researchers stating that the most suitable types of bamboo grow abundantly across China and that low-cost production could make bamboo bats a viable and ethical alternative to willow, this could provide a pertinent angle for further research and the possibility of reducing the cost of producing bats in different areas of the world. The Club will discuss the topic at the next Laws sub-committee meeting," it said.
British scientists have come up with a research saying that cricket bats made of bamboo are a viable option given that they don't compromise on the 'sweet spot' of traditional willow.
"Willow has been the principal material for cricket bats for centuries," said Darshil Shah from the University of Cambridge, who is the co-author of the study.
"Despite a good innings, there are problems with the supply of English willow. It takes about 15 years before a tree can be harvested, after which new trees must be planted. Between 15 and 30 per cent of the wood is also wasted during bat production," Shah told The Guardian newspaper in London.