T20 World Cup: Ben Stokes says boundary sponges should be smaller after Reece Topley injury


The T20 World Cup is being played in Australia
Place: Perth Stadium Date: October 22, Saturday Hour: 12pm BST
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The size of cricket’s boundary sponges is “stupid” and “should be looked at” in the wake of England bowler Reece Topley’s serious ankle injury, says Ben Stokes.

“It’s stupid,” Stokes said. “It took one of our players to stay out of the World Cup [to make people notice].”

“I’m sure it’s something everyone can see [advertisers] they want to get their names somewhere.”

The sponges mark the boundary edge and carry sponsor logos, those used in the T20 World Cup are about 20 cm high and wide, a similar size to those used around the world.

The handsome and Test captain Stokes added: “The safety of the players and what he’s been standing on and he’s torn ligaments and now he’s out of the World Cup – that needs to be looked at.”

Traditionally the boundary was marked by a rope and before that the perimeter fence of the pitch.

England captain Jos Buttler downplayed the issue.

“It’s an accident,” he said. “I don’t think it’s a big problem.

“In the past people played without a boundary rope and ran with a fence.”

Former England batsman Jonathan Trott, the coach of Afghanistan, who play England in their T20 World Cup opener on Saturday, said: “There have been many times where someone has stepped on the ropes and sprained their ankle, so it’s not just the foam, the ropes. They’ve been there.

“A lot of times guys have dived on the rope and gotten hurt, but if they’re foam diving I think that’s a little bit safer. I think it’s 50-50.”

In order for any changes to be made, the England and Wales Cricket Board would have to raise the issue with the international Cricket Council, but it is believed that they are unlikely to do so.