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I would have loved to play with the modern bats: Sanath Jayasuriya

There has been a lot of talk about restricting the dimensions of the bats to maintain the balance between the bat and ball.

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Sri Lankan cricketer Sanath Jayasuriya.
(Photo by RAVEENDRAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Sanath Jayasuriya, the Sri Lanka chief selector, has expressed that he would have loved to play with the modern bats if he had the opportunity. The dashing left-hander along with his opening partner Romesh Kaluwitharana redefined the art opening the innings during the 1996 Cricket World Cup.

Sri Lanka cricket is currently going through a lean patch and the selection policy has been criticised a lot. Sanath, in his interview to Indian Express, expressed his views on the kind of bats and also opened up on the different aspects of the game. He was also excited when he recalled the scenes of 1996 World Cup.

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“Time to time, bats have changed. Bat manufacturers come up with different ideas to give their products an advantage, to show the world that they’re better than the others. So they have been trying lots of things. Recently, they have been having thick edges with a lot of wood, but still they managed to keep a nice weight. We need to strike the right balance. The changes are for everyone, which is good. Umpires will come to the dressing room and check, which is a good thing,” he said when asked if modern bats have made the game lopsided.

I was never worried about the dimensions of my bat

The veteran also explained the details of his bat and said that he was never worried about dimensions but the weight. “When I was playing, the only thing that mattered to me was a lighter bat and making sure I get the proper wood. We never thought anything about bat dimensions. Whatever the manufacturers did, we used to play. It all depended on the manufacturers. In countries where pitches had higher bounce, I used to have more meat at the top half of the bat. In the subcontinent, the bottom half used to be heavier. It was like that only, when we were playing. We never got worried about the thickness and edges. In fact, I always preferred thinner edges (to keep the bat to 2.6-2.7 pounds),” Sanath said of his bat.

The 48-year-old always played the cut and pull shot easily and it was due to his bat. He said, “I gripped very hard, both hands very tight. I kept my hands pretty close and I gripped it right under the handle. The cut and pull are easier. It helped me play the short ball better. But I could also hit through mid-on and mid-off.”

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