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MCC backing KP switch

MCC back Pietersen's controversial switch-hitting

By Paul Higham.   Last Updated: 17/06/08 4:17pm

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Pietersen: Switch-hitter

Pietersen: Switch-hitter

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The MCC have given the all clear to Kevin Pietersen's 'switch-hit' variation of the reverse sweep shot by saying it conforms to all the game's laws.

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"MCC believes that the 'switch-hit' stroke is a difficult shot to execute and that it incurs a great deal of risk for the batsman. It also offers bowlers a good chance of taking a wicket."
MCC statement Quotes of the week

Pietersen launched two memorable switch hits into the stands for six during his amazing century against New Zealand on Sunday.

The ICC had asked the MCC, who are known as the guardian of the laws of cricket, to look into Pietersen's shot - when transforms into a left-hander for the cross-batted hit, changing his grip and his stance.

The Black Caps themselves have backed Pietersen's shot and many believe it is just another exciting factor to help cricket's popularity amongst the public.

Although the switching of the batsman's stance does affect other laws, the MCC meeting at Lord's has concluded that the switch-hit is totally lawful.

Positive

A statement released by the MCC went even further and welcomed the shot as a positive addition to the game.

"MCC believes that the 'switch-hit' stroke is innovative and exciting for the game of cricket," read the MCC statement.

"Indeed, the stroke conforms to the Laws of Cricket and will not be legislated against.

"While noting the superb execution of the stroke by Kevin Pietersen for England during the recent One-Day International against New Zealand, MCC had already acknowledged its existence in the 2000 Laws of Cricket - Law 36.3 - relating to the stance of a batsman.

"Law 36.3 defines the off side of the striker's wicket as being determined by the striker's stance at the moment the bowler starts his run-up."

The statement added that officials at Lord's believe that the degree of difficulty in the shot means that the 'switch-hit' also offers an opportunity for bowlers.

"MCC believes that the 'switch-hit' stroke is a difficult shot to execute and that it incurs a great deal of risk for the batsman.

"It also offers bowlers a good chance of taking a wicket and therefore MCC believes that the shot is fair to both batsman and bowler.

Stance

"Furthermore, MCC acknowledges that while bowlers must inform umpires and batsmen of their mode of delivery (Law 24), they do not provide a warning of the type of delivery that they will send down (for example, an off-cutter or a slower ball).

"It therefore concludes that the batsman should have the opportunity - should they wish - of executing the 'switch-hit' stroke."

Certain laws such as lbw and wides, increasingly important in one-dayers, are affected by a batsman changing his stance, and these will both be further investigated.

"MCC accepts that the use of a 'switch-hit' may have implications for other Laws of the game, principally Law 25 (Wide ball) and Law 36 (LBW), and will continue to research and discuss these implications.

"These areas have been referred to and will be researched and discussed by MCC's Laws Sub-Committee, which will next meet, at Lord's, on Tuesday 12 August."

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