An EU directive may it seems, be sounding the death knell for cricket on a worldwide basis.

The directive bans the use of the insecticide methyl bromide (MBr) as it is claimed that it damages the ozone layer. The Europe-wide order banning its use came into force last month. This chemical has traditionally been used by the cricket bat manufacturers to treat the wood ensuring no unwanted bugs are present.

The EU proposed that a form of heat treatment be used instead but the bat manufacturers say that it does not meet requirements.

This puts the availability of a sufficient number of test and twent20 cricket bats in question, with supplies running out within 2 years.

There is also the question of exporting the bats to India, whose government cannot now allow import of the prepared clefts (raw blades).as there will be no proper treatment certificate.

According to the Express many companies and jobs involved in the £10 million a year industry are at risk due to this directive. Some are giving as little as twelve weeks before the UK industry collapses.

This directive though will not have come as a surprise. Like most laws it will have been bandied about, debated, discussed and then come into force well after dissemination. For example MBr was mentioned in the Regulation (EC) No 2037/2000 talking about phasing out certain chemicals over time.

That we hear about these difficulties now maybe more of an indication of a ‘head in the sand’ approach to legislation, rather than a meddling super-state. Maybe cricket will die out in the EU, but not in India, Pakistan and the Antipodes as I am sure they can get bats elsewhere.

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