Friday, May 11, 2012

Hitting the switch

The ICC has declared that it is considering modifications in the LBW rule to address the switch hit. While this is a good move, there are some cricket journalists who are clamoring for the switch hit to be outlawed altogether.

The question is, "why should the switch hit be outlawed?" And, can anyone say which cricketing law or rule the switch hit transgresses?

In my opinion, the switch hit is simply another creative and ingenuous, but definitely not illegal, stroke by a batsman to score runs. It is as legitimate as the leg glance or the late cut or the dil-scoop or the pull / hook shot from outside off. For those saying that the switch hit is "unfair", how about the batsman standing outside the crease to confuse the length for the bowler? Should standing outside the crease be outlawed?

And, here is the kicker! If the batsman steps out of the crease to cart the bowler overhead, and if the bowler delivers the ball wide and gets the batsman stumped, by cricketing law he is out! This is the bowler's ingenuity. Can you now say that the bowler bowling wide in this instance is unfair and that it should be made illegal?

Can the fielding laws be changed to say, "sorry you cannot run (or fly) out of the boundary line to save the six"?

Legality comes in when you actually use unfair practices - shining the ball with an external substance other than saliva, rubbing the ball on the ground to roughen it (throwing the ball along the ground to do the same is legal), using a bat that is wider than the permitted 4 1/4 inches, etc.

Not a creative stroke such as the switch hit.

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