Dennis Lillee was not a particularly good batter, but that didn't stop him from making headlines with his bat, albeit not with his willow. Arunabha Sengupta recalls the famed fast bowler making his approach to the crease with an aluminum bat on December 15, 1979. The company was appropriately named ComBat. This must have been one heavy bat to be able to withstand the force of Lillee's swing! Perhaps they should have called it an Alumilate? Anyway, Lillee says he liked the weight and feel of the bat, which is not something you would expect from such a renowned batsman.
After his retirement, Sengupta continued to make news with his batting technique using ComBat equipment. In 2001, he recorded the world's fastest century using only two cans of Coke and one bottle of water in addition to his com-batting equipment. He finished off the game with a feast of chicken tikka masala!
That's not all... He has also been accused of using illegal bowling actions during his career. So if you are a fan of the great Dennis Lillee, don't wear out your com-bats by swinging them at bad balls!
The contentious aluminium bat, 'Dennis Lillee-Combats' cricket bat. Very fine condition, with elegant display box, 28 x 104 cm overall. In December 1979, one of Lillee's most infamous episodes occurred at the WACA cricket field.
Thomas Nixon, a Notts player, pioneered the use of cane in the manufacture of cricket bat handles in 1853. 1864: When the regulations were changed to enable over-arm bowling, the blade was further lightened and polished in shape.
The ComBat was an aluminum cricket bat that was involved in an incident at Perth's WACA cricket field in December 1979. Australia was facing England in the first Test, and they were in difficulty by the conclusion of the first day, with a score of 232/8 and Dennis Lillee not out. The decision was made to bring in a new player for the second day's play - Jeff Thomson.
During his introduction speech, it was revealed that he was going to be using the ComBat. As he took guard, several batsmen including John Edrich and Ray Illingworth attacked him with balls they didn't like, one of which struck him on the head. He went on to make 105 runs and help Australia win the match by an innings and 63 runs.
Thomson had been given a ComBat as a gift by Wes Hall, the owner of the ComBat company. It was not a standard model; instead, it was hand-crafted from an old American baseball bat. The fact that it was an exclusive model may have contributed to its popularity with fast bowler's who could get it to swing back quickly after being hit by a bouncer.
After the incident with Lillee, the ComBat became popular again. It continued to be used by Jeff Thompson until he was banned for life by the Australian Cricket Board for hitting Michael Clarke with a ball he hadn't declared.