Should the biggest sixes be worth more?

A host of current and former cricketers propose rule change that would benefit the longest hitters

Cricket Network

15 April 2018, 06:03 PM AEST

It may only be the stuff of fantasy but a left-field suggestion for a change to the rules of the game has gained traction following a host of oddly similar calls from across the cricketing spectrum.

It's taken as gospel that a ball hit over the rope on the full is worth six runs, whether it just plops over a 45-metre boundary or goes sailing out of a 50,000-seat stadium.

But with the rise of Twenty20 cricket and the increasing frequency of sixes hit, what's long been considered a given has been challenged in recent days by prominent male and female international cricketers, both past and present.

Their suggestion? More runs for bigger sixes.

Speaking after the Chennai Super Kings' high-scoring blitz against the Kolkata Knight Riders on Wednesday, legendary Indian wicketkeeper MS Dhoni made the off-hand proposal in a post-match interview.

"There were a lot of sixes, a lot of them went out of the stadium," said Dhoni. "I feel the IPL needs to add two runs more every time you hit it out of the stadium."

Had such a rule been in place, the game may have had a vastly different outcome.

The 31 sixes struck – Chennai hit 14, Kolkata 17 – equaled the Indian Premier League record for the most ‘maximums’ in a single game, as Dhoni's Super Kings reeled in the Knight Riders' 202 with a ball to spare.

Dre Russ goes ballistic with 11 sixes

Four days earlier, former Australia limited-overs star Dean Jones was asked what rules he'd like to see altered.

His response: "If a batsman hits a 6 more than 80 meters... then it’s an 8!"

World Cup-winning England batter Natalie Sciver, who was this week named one of Wisden's five cricketers of the year, had a similar recommendation when asked what changes she'd make to one-day international playing conditions.

"I thought about this the other day. If you hit it five metres past the boundary line, you should get 12," Sciver told ESPN.

"The game is a lot about batters now, so it would be nice to have something for the bowlers too, but I think in the women's game, having five fielders outside the ring again wouldn't be beneficial.

"So I will go with the 12-run rule."

Sciver in action for Perth Scorchers in the WBBL // Getty
Sciver in action for Perth Scorchers in the WBBL // Getty

The idea has also struck a chord with some current Australian domestic players in recent years.

Asked by what rule they'd like to amend ahead of sixth edition of the KFC Big Bash League in late 2016, Perth Scorchers spinner Ashton Agar and Adelaide Strikers batter Kelvin Smith were among those to suggest more runs for big sixes.

Agar said he'd award eight runs to sixes that travelled more than 100 metres, while Smith wanted nine runs for balls that go into the second tier of a stadium and 12 for 'upper-deckers'.

BBL players on the rule they'd change

Is this all a little pie-in-the-sky?

Well, probably. The Marylebone Cricket Club – the organisation entrusted with making and maintaining the Laws of Cricket – only last year announced a raft of modifications to their Code of Laws.

The changes, headlined by new restrictions on bat sizes and powers for umpires to send players off for bad behaviour, were the first time the MCC had altered the Code of Laws in 17 years.

But the game has changed immeasurably over the decades – cricket played in the 18th century saw four-ball overs and underarm bowling, for example.

Twenty-over cricket would have seemed unfathomable back then. Who's to say the game couldn't see another minor transformation?