Controversy has hit the current Test Match between Sri Lanka and England. Kevin Pietersen has been warned for shaping to play a ‘switch hit’, and was threatened with a five run penalty if he transgressed again.
An ICC statement in May 2010 said: “The ICC Cricket Committee adopted the updated directive introduced earlier in the year which prevents the batsman from altering his grip or stance before the bowler enters his delivery stride. Should the bowler see a batsman change his grip or stance prior to the delivery stride the bowler can decide not to bowl the ball.”
But there are different opinions about the ‘switch hit’. Here is an MCC judgement.
“MCC believes that the ‘switch-hit’ stroke is exciting for the game of cricket,” was the conclusion. “Indeed, the stroke conforms to the Laws of Cricket and will not be legislated against…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.”
If bowlers are allowed, indeed expected, to deceive the batsman – why can’t batsmen do the same?