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Ponting trials new bat in first S.Africa test

Written by: Staff
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LONDON, Mar 15 (Reuters) Australia captain Ricky Ponting will use a new bat in the first test against South Africa after manufacturer Kookaburra withdrew its controversial graphite bat.

The new ''Ricky Ponting Kahuna'' was developed for the start of the test series tomorrow after officials said Kookaburra's graphite-covered bat contravened the laws of the game.

''I've had a few net sessions with it over the last couple of days and as I expected it feels great, so I hope it will bring me as many runs as my previous bat,'' Ponting said in a statement.

The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), the so-called guardian of the laws of the game, said the graphite-reinforced bat contravened Law 6 which states a bat's blade must be entirely made of wood and any protective covering should not damage the ball.

Kookaburra rejects the MCC's opinion but agreed voluntarily to withdraw the bat ''until such time as this issue is resolved''.

Ponting had been using the graphite-reinforced bat since December 2004 and scored 3,645 runs with it in international cricket, including 164 in the final one-dayer on Sunday.

The bats, also used by South Africa's AB de Villiers, are still permitted in domestic cricket.

REUTERS PDS KN2048

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