ICC news May 9, 2012

ICC ponders lbw change for switch hits

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The ICC is to review the playing condition regarding lbw decisions in international cricket in response to the emergence of the switch hit.

ESPNcricinfo understands that the ICC cricket committee, a group that includes Ian Bishop, Kumar Sangakkara and Mark Taylor, is to consider amending the playing condition whereby a batsman attempting to play the shot cannot be given out lbw if the ball has pitched outside the leg stump.

The news, first mentioned in passing in The Guardian, will mean that any right-handed batsman who switches his stance or grip to effectively play as a left-hander, will be able to be given out even if the ball had pitched outside the leg stump and vice-versa. Bowlers will also be allowed more leeway as regards leg side wides in limited-overs cricket. The cricket committee meets in Dubai later this month.

While any recommendations cannot come into force until they are ratified by the ICC board and the ICC's chief executives' committee, it is unlikely that the cricket committee's proposals would be ignored. The decision will not affect the laws of the game, which are governed by the MCC, leading to the possibility that playing conditions in first-class cricket around the world will differ from playing conditions in the international game. It is up to each national board to determine whether to adopt the ICC's playing conditions in their domestic cricket. While some boards - including those in Sri Lanka and South Africa - tend to default to the ICC stance, others - such as the ECB - are more independent minded. At present the major differences between ICC playing regulations and MCC laws concern the rules regarding the degree of flexion bowlers are allowed, the use of runners and decisions relating to the DRS.

The MCC is also considering the repercussions of the more regular use of the switch hit stroke. Two members of the MCC's laws subcommittee - Dave Richardson and John Stephenson - also sit on the ICC Cricket Committee.

The switch hit first came to prominence in 2008 when Kevin Pietersen played it in an ODI against New Zealand in Durham. The same batsman was involved when matters came to a head in a Test in Sri Lanka recently when Tillakaratne Dilshan pulled out of his delivery stride on several occasions as Pietersen shaped to play the shot and the stand-off threatened to reach stalemate. The umpires, Asad Rauf and Bruce Oxenford, warned Pietersen for time-wasting, but the ICC is now looking for a more permanent solution.

The ICC will be keen not to encourage negative bowling, however. The shot is sometimes played, even at Test level, to counter a leg stump line from right-hand bowlers coming round the wicket and many feel that the switch hit, a shot requiring high skill levels and remarkable reflexes, has been an entertaining addition to the game. It may also be that the ICC asks for some analysis as regards the risk-reward ratio of the shot and whether its usage really does disadvantage bowlers.

Any amendment to the playing conditions is likely to prove torturously difficult to phrase. For a start, it could prove tough to define exactly what constitutes a switch hit - whether it involves a change of stance, a change of grip and when they take place. It is worth noting that the ICC, reacting to David Warner's decision to remain in his normal left-handed stance but with a right-handed grip, issued a directive to umpires in February 2010 that stated such a tactic should be tolerated as long as it did not change once the bowler had begun their run up. As things stand the laws do not define what it means to bat left- or right-handed.

Fraser Stewart, MCC's Laws Manager, recently raised an interesting quandary. "What would happen," Stewart asked, "if a batsman stood chest on to the bowler? If may sound a ludicrous suggestion now, but we have a generation of young cricketers growing up playing the switch hit and prepared to experiment with their stance and their grip. It may well happen."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY Meety on | May 12, 2012, 6:16 GMT

    @witty_cricketer - IMO, its not impossible (bowl either arm), its just not done by elite cricketers. I had an Aboriginal mate, who used to run in, with the ball hidden in both hands, & then only at the last 3 strides make up his mind which hand/arm to bowl with. He did it so easily that others could do it too. It was only in the nets, he'd never dare try it in actual game!

  • POSTED BY jay57870 on | May 11, 2012, 15:59 GMT

    George - Why not ICC look at baseball, cricket's long-lost blood-brother, to see how they do it? Yes, in baseball, a batter can surely switch sides as long as the pitcher is not in the "ready position" (Rule 6.06). Once the pitcher steps on the rubber, whichever side the batter is on is the side he must bat from for that pitch. He is called out if batter attempts to switch sides during pitcher's windup. Using this baseball analogy, the key cricket question is: What's the "ready position"? Is it when a bowler starts his run-up (steps on rubber) or the start of his delivery action (windup)? Therein may lie clues to a solution. That two of the most innovative batsmen - "dil-scoop" Dilshan & "switch-hit" KP - were embroiled in a bowler-batsman standoff shows an urgent need for clarity of rules. Also, ICC's directive in the Warner case (odd stance/grip) gives more clues: a batsman can't change once a bowler begins his run-up. ICC needs to ponder over these clues, not lbw, for a solution.

  • POSTED BY on | May 11, 2012, 6:07 GMT

    LBW rule should stay the same. As for the switch hit, a batsman playing such a shot is an extreme rarity ! KP plays it.

  • POSTED BY on | May 10, 2012, 20:53 GMT

    I like the new rule as it is like a pre meditated shot so it helps the batsman depending on when he switches the field i changed s

  • POSTED BY ansarri on | May 10, 2012, 20:22 GMT

    KP is the only one who can Play this shot so there is no need to change the LBW rules specifically for this shot. The switch hit is a shot of a degree of risk therefore there are high chances that the bowlers would get a wicket whenever a batsman attempts this shot.

  • POSTED BY FreddyForPrimeMinister on | May 10, 2012, 11:46 GMT

    It sounds like the ICC have just about got this one right. The switch hit is an outrageously innovative and exciting shot and should certainly not be banned. As KP has said, it gives the bowler a better chance of getting the batsman out as the shot is totally pre-meditated and batsman is almost certainly unbalanced at the point of hitting the ball; a good bowler meanwhile has the chance to modify the ball he bowls if he sees the batsman jump around. Losing the leg stump protection is the perfect answer as this gives the bowler additional assistance, and being more lenient on wides is equally fair, as umpires are so strict over leg side wides compared to those bowled wide of off. (Personally I think in ODIs the calling of "legside wides" is far too strict: a ball missing the leg stump by a milliimetre or two can still be called wide, if the batsman has moved across his stumps to play the leg side flick, whereas if the batsman stands where he was at delivery, he'd get hit on the pad!)

  • POSTED BY Reagos on | May 10, 2012, 11:19 GMT

    Innovation in cricket shapes the game that we all love. Resulting from that we saw the introduction of ODI and now T20 formats. Pulling off such a shot requires a masterful skill set and should be encouraged. However, the bowler is disadvantaged since he is not forewarned and his field will be out of place. To tip the scales back even the lbw rule needs to be amended in favor of the bowler. Once switch hit is activated, what was formerly your ledside position will now be deemed your offside position, making it possible to be given lbw. Conventional cricket is unconventional in todays cricket dynamics.

  • POSTED BY SportsObserver on | May 10, 2012, 10:59 GMT

    I like reverse sweep, it's a great skill , fair and a beautiful shot. "Switch hit" on the other hand, it's simply unfair and I find it ugly( especially the jump to change your stance). You might require enormous skill to play switch hit, but that does not negate the fact that it is unfair to bowlers.

  • POSTED BY on | May 10, 2012, 10:12 GMT

    johntycodes: take a closer look at the picture of Pietersen playing the shot and you'd realize that it's a "switch-hit" and not the reverse sweep. See the grip more closely.

  • POSTED BY on | May 10, 2012, 9:59 GMT

    The best neutralizing solution is to allow bowlers to change and bowl with either left or right hand or jump from over to round the wicket and vice versa. or If a batsman switches, then the leg stump becomes off stump for that delivery. If a batsman remains in a right or left stance but changes the grip that should be fine. Only a change of stance + grip should need a change of legstump rule and wides down leg side rule.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | May 12, 2012, 6:16 GMT

    @witty_cricketer - IMO, its not impossible (bowl either arm), its just not done by elite cricketers. I had an Aboriginal mate, who used to run in, with the ball hidden in both hands, & then only at the last 3 strides make up his mind which hand/arm to bowl with. He did it so easily that others could do it too. It was only in the nets, he'd never dare try it in actual game!

  • POSTED BY jay57870 on | May 11, 2012, 15:59 GMT

    George - Why not ICC look at baseball, cricket's long-lost blood-brother, to see how they do it? Yes, in baseball, a batter can surely switch sides as long as the pitcher is not in the "ready position" (Rule 6.06). Once the pitcher steps on the rubber, whichever side the batter is on is the side he must bat from for that pitch. He is called out if batter attempts to switch sides during pitcher's windup. Using this baseball analogy, the key cricket question is: What's the "ready position"? Is it when a bowler starts his run-up (steps on rubber) or the start of his delivery action (windup)? Therein may lie clues to a solution. That two of the most innovative batsmen - "dil-scoop" Dilshan & "switch-hit" KP - were embroiled in a bowler-batsman standoff shows an urgent need for clarity of rules. Also, ICC's directive in the Warner case (odd stance/grip) gives more clues: a batsman can't change once a bowler begins his run-up. ICC needs to ponder over these clues, not lbw, for a solution.

  • POSTED BY on | May 11, 2012, 6:07 GMT

    LBW rule should stay the same. As for the switch hit, a batsman playing such a shot is an extreme rarity ! KP plays it.

  • POSTED BY on | May 10, 2012, 20:53 GMT

    I like the new rule as it is like a pre meditated shot so it helps the batsman depending on when he switches the field i changed s

  • POSTED BY ansarri on | May 10, 2012, 20:22 GMT

    KP is the only one who can Play this shot so there is no need to change the LBW rules specifically for this shot. The switch hit is a shot of a degree of risk therefore there are high chances that the bowlers would get a wicket whenever a batsman attempts this shot.

  • POSTED BY FreddyForPrimeMinister on | May 10, 2012, 11:46 GMT

    It sounds like the ICC have just about got this one right. The switch hit is an outrageously innovative and exciting shot and should certainly not be banned. As KP has said, it gives the bowler a better chance of getting the batsman out as the shot is totally pre-meditated and batsman is almost certainly unbalanced at the point of hitting the ball; a good bowler meanwhile has the chance to modify the ball he bowls if he sees the batsman jump around. Losing the leg stump protection is the perfect answer as this gives the bowler additional assistance, and being more lenient on wides is equally fair, as umpires are so strict over leg side wides compared to those bowled wide of off. (Personally I think in ODIs the calling of "legside wides" is far too strict: a ball missing the leg stump by a milliimetre or two can still be called wide, if the batsman has moved across his stumps to play the leg side flick, whereas if the batsman stands where he was at delivery, he'd get hit on the pad!)

  • POSTED BY Reagos on | May 10, 2012, 11:19 GMT

    Innovation in cricket shapes the game that we all love. Resulting from that we saw the introduction of ODI and now T20 formats. Pulling off such a shot requires a masterful skill set and should be encouraged. However, the bowler is disadvantaged since he is not forewarned and his field will be out of place. To tip the scales back even the lbw rule needs to be amended in favor of the bowler. Once switch hit is activated, what was formerly your ledside position will now be deemed your offside position, making it possible to be given lbw. Conventional cricket is unconventional in todays cricket dynamics.

  • POSTED BY SportsObserver on | May 10, 2012, 10:59 GMT

    I like reverse sweep, it's a great skill , fair and a beautiful shot. "Switch hit" on the other hand, it's simply unfair and I find it ugly( especially the jump to change your stance). You might require enormous skill to play switch hit, but that does not negate the fact that it is unfair to bowlers.

  • POSTED BY on | May 10, 2012, 10:12 GMT

    johntycodes: take a closer look at the picture of Pietersen playing the shot and you'd realize that it's a "switch-hit" and not the reverse sweep. See the grip more closely.

  • POSTED BY on | May 10, 2012, 9:59 GMT

    The best neutralizing solution is to allow bowlers to change and bowl with either left or right hand or jump from over to round the wicket and vice versa. or If a batsman switches, then the leg stump becomes off stump for that delivery. If a batsman remains in a right or left stance but changes the grip that should be fine. Only a change of stance + grip should need a change of legstump rule and wides down leg side rule.

  • POSTED BY Witty_Cricketer on | May 10, 2012, 9:52 GMT

    Switch hit, reverse sweep or anything in between are all welcome additiion to cricket but playing conditions should be changed when these shots are evolving. I completely agree that LBW and Wide rules need to changed for these shots, the concept of pitching out side leg should be eliminated and wides should be called only when it is unreachble by the batsman, i.e. way outside the off stump or leg stump (only for these fancy shots). And for people who think bowlers can change their hands midway to the crease, its almost impossible.

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | May 10, 2012, 9:29 GMT

    People talk about the skill and reflexes required to play a switch hit but even with skill, good reflexes and practice, noone will be able to play a switch hit well unless they are basically ambidextrous to begin with. Take a look at the NBA. Those guys are the best basketballers in the world and check out the number of them who still shoot a layup with their right hand on the left side of the basket. Many of them are clearly stronger dribbling on one side than the other too, and that's just bouncing a ball. Try even brushing your teeth with your weak hand. Noone is going to be hitting world-class spinners, let alone fast bowlers, with their weak hand unless they don't really have a weak hand in the beginning.

  • POSTED BY aarif on | May 10, 2012, 9:28 GMT

    LBW law doesn't need to change. The best would be to apply the LH or RH batsman LBW rule, depending on the switch. For example, if a right hand batsman switches to left hand batsman's stance and/or grip then he could be ruled out LBW to his original outside leg pitching ball but not any more to his original outside off pitching ball. Just treat him in that situation as you would treat a normal left hand batsman. Only cushion that should be given to the bowler in such a situation is that in the case of a batsman switching stance or grip from LH to RH, there should be no wide balls. This is because its almost impossible for a bowler to switch mind so spontaneously in response to a switch and if he was bowling a slightly wider delivery outside off (the new leg side), he cannot be penalised. Also, if in response to the switch, if the bowler adjusts quickly and bowls a wider delivery outside batsman's new off side (original leg side) he should be appreciated and not penalised.

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | May 10, 2012, 9:25 GMT

    As is often the case, you have to wonder whether some people have actually read the story in their apparent fervour to post an outraged comment. The ICC is not trying to stop people playing the switch hit. They are merely trying to define exactly what constitutes a switch hit and ensure that the bowler is not disadvantaged when it is played. I have no issue with this rule change and I'm not really sure that batsmen necessarily would either. I do think that they should also make every batsman declare ahead of time whether he is a right-hander or a left-hander and he then has to face up in the appropriate stance every time. That would avoid the sort of situation rnarayan talks about. If you aren't allowed to switch until the bowler enters his delivery stride, no batsman is going to want to tempt fate by switching every ball, especially if there's no leg-stump protection on LBWs.

  • POSTED BY marac on | May 10, 2012, 9:23 GMT

    craig mcmillian batted chest facing the bowler!!!!! Might have been only 1 innings but he gave it ago

  • POSTED BY on | May 10, 2012, 8:54 GMT

    I never got the logic of the leg side rule anyway. It should be removed for all every shot

  • POSTED BY sharidas on | May 10, 2012, 8:48 GMT

    I must say that I do agree with the ICC considering the law change. In a reverse sweep, the grip normally does not change, but in a switch hit, it is practically changing from an RH batsman to LH batsman and vice versa. It would certainly come to a head one of these days, if suddenly the Bowler changes hand and bowls...Obviously he will be no balled as the Bowler needs to inform the Umpire prior to any changes- whether Over or Round the wicket, Right Arm or Left arm or Under arm.....Why should the rule apply only to bowlers ?

  • POSTED BY YorkshirePudding on | May 10, 2012, 8:37 GMT

    Its tinkering when tinkering isnt required......If you look at the image of KP playing the switch hit, hes playing it reversed hands only, but keeping a traditional Right handers stance (leading Left Leg), the LBW law should only be changed IF the batsman switches to an opposite stance, using KP with a leading Right Leg (as warner does). If the ICC does this then it needs to clamp down on negative 6 inches outside the leg stump by issuing 2 no-balls. or only allow a max of 5 players on the Leg side, as KP generally only plays the Switch when there is a stacked leg field and the odds are in his favour.

  • POSTED BY Hammond on | May 10, 2012, 8:27 GMT

    @CricketPissek- Are you joking? Do you want to see every type of bowler coming round the wicket pitching the ball outside leg stump and with an extreme angle trying to get a leg stump LBW? Getting rid of the outside leg rule would destroy cricket as a spectacle.

  • POSTED BY Romenevans on | May 10, 2012, 8:22 GMT

    Cricket is already boring and if they will take these reverse and sqitch hit out of the game, it will die sooner or later. Make it entertaining guys, not boring. Else only Shaun Pollack will be left to watch all the matches, NOT THE FANS!

  • POSTED BY Rohitdas on | May 10, 2012, 7:45 GMT

    If they want to stop batsman using this shot, then there should be no ball if offspineer bowl Dusara or legspinner bowl googly.

  • POSTED BY ruester on | May 10, 2012, 7:23 GMT

    Has any club cricketers ever tried to play a switch hit? The level of skill and coordination required is enormous. ICC let the players who have the ability to play it, there are very few players who actually play it regularly and well. It is rare in cricket that you see something new and when KP did it, it took my breath away. Don't mess with the law ICC, let the players play it. Try sorting out the DRS laws before tampering with the LBW law.

  • POSTED BY CricketPissek on | May 10, 2012, 7:14 GMT

    the leg stump rule belongs in a museum. there is no functional logic behind this. remove it for good i say.

  • POSTED BY mikehunt27 on | May 10, 2012, 7:12 GMT

    @johntycodes Pietersen is a right hander, and his grip is of a left-hander, therefore surely that is a switch hit pictured.

  • POSTED BY rnarayan on | May 10, 2012, 7:07 GMT

    As I understand it, a switch hit is when the batsman reverses his grip on the bat. Personally I feel that it should be banned, notwithstanding the fact that it is difficult to do well without practice. But Consider a situation where Virendar Sehwag takes guard as a left hander. Only 2 fielders are allowed backward of square on the leg side. If he switched every time, the entire area in what is now 3rd man, his strongest area, is open. And he can't be given LBW to a ball now effectively pitching outside off! Crazy!

  • POSTED BY A_HTIMAN on | May 10, 2012, 7:03 GMT

    @ johntycodes It is a switch hit. See the grip has been changed.

  • POSTED BY Marcio on | May 10, 2012, 6:49 GMT

    A reasonable rule. As long as they don't ban the shot. That would be nuts.

    Now, all they have to do is exclude LBWs for spinners who bend their arm and snap it back to impart extra spin. If the ICC don't have the goolies to ban these chuckers, they should at least penalise them.

  • POSTED BY johntycodes on | May 10, 2012, 6:43 GMT

    I think a lot of people are confusing the switch hit with the reverse sweep. The picture of pieterson in this article is a reverse sweep so you don't need to change any law for that.

  • POSTED BY brittop on | May 10, 2012, 6:30 GMT

    I'm not sure why there's so many people against the switch hit. The art of batting is to hit the ball where fielders aren't. As @TropicPleasure mentions, if a bowler is bowling (negatively) wide of off stump with an offside field, then the batsman can walk across his stumps and play it leg side. No-one thinks that should be banned. No-one wants to ban the "Dil-scoop" - that tries to put the ball where no fielder is. It's not as though, with the switch hit, that batsmen have invented a risk free shot. So what is it about the switch hit that people feel is unfair when comparing it with every other shot a batsman plays in order to miss the fielders?

  • POSTED BY conquerer47 on | May 10, 2012, 6:07 GMT

    High time the ICC reconsider the LBW decision and makes it very simple, if the Straight and 3rd Umpire think that the ball is going to hit the stumps, then the batsman is given out, when the ball hits any part of his body. Both 3rd Umpire and Straight Umpire in consultation will declare a batsman OUT or NOTOUT, based on review and from their view point. The Field umpire should have an Handheld device to view the replay. As this would be the CORRECT judgement, as forget the batsman switching his stance or coming down the track etc, if the UMPIRE thinks he is out, that is it. The other important point ICC should consider is bowler's bowling arm has to go over the shoulder and deliver the ball, there is no question of side arm or so, it has to be above 60 degree.

  • POSTED BY dhoni_sachin_fan on | May 10, 2012, 5:19 GMT

    agree with satish chandar here.....for both switch hits and reverse sweeps, change the wide and lbw rules....when a switch hit is attempted, a wide should be given only if the ball is wider than the wide line on either side.....and the batsman should be ruled out lbw if the ball is going to hit the stumps irrespective of where it pitches and where the point of impact is....

  • POSTED BY SamRoy on | May 10, 2012, 5:14 GMT

    If a batsmen is switch-hitting he should be given lbw in case he misses the ball and the umpire thinks that ball is hitting the stumps. It shouldn't matter where it pitches. Even the wide rules should be considered as if the batsmen is both a left hander and a right hander. Similar laws though cannot be brought for reverse sweep as the batsmen don't change their grip and stance.

  • POSTED BY AngryAngy on | May 10, 2012, 3:59 GMT

    Switch hitting denies bowlers the right to bowl at leg stump, which is generally considered pathetic anyway. If a bowler is able to drag the ball wide of off stump, the switch hit has poor success potential, because the batsman has literally turned his back on the cut.

    However, bowlers bowling at leg don't get protection for third man and thus don't think this way; it's actually far less reasonable to switch hit into a conventional 5-4 or 6-3 offside field. The bowler's intention is to force a risk rather than tempt one. Whatever the plan, sensible bowlers bowl to their field. Any surprise value from a bowler bowling with the wrong arm is countered by the fact that he ought to set his field appropriately first. Encouraging bowlers to be bad because some batsmen are quite good is horribly counter-intuitive.

  • POSTED BY TropicPleasure on | May 10, 2012, 3:29 GMT

    Maybe the ICC should move to limit batsmen using their feet, or walking across the stumps, after all, they have taken a certain guard and should remain there. I think there are more important things for the ICC to worry about, like improving the game of cricket globally so matches are more competitive, or fixing the DRS system. If a batsman is skilled enough to switch hit, let him do it, after all, he's taking risks, improving the bowler's odds of getting his wicket. And, if a bowler is skilled enough to switch bowling hands, by all means, let him. It adds excitement to the game. But it seems that everything the ICC does these days results in making the game more boring.

  • POSTED BY satish619chandar on | May 10, 2012, 3:24 GMT

    And, about wide? There should be no wide or LBW restrictions for switch hit.. Lets make it simple.. No wide for switch hit.. LBW if the ball hits the wicket irrespective of where it hits the batsman or where it pitches..

  • POSTED BY on | May 10, 2012, 3:02 GMT

    this is not fair it shud be allow too many restrictions to the players technically very good shot n take the views of cricket-lovers,players,clubs and etc

  • POSTED BY Dev9212 on | May 10, 2012, 2:55 GMT

    A bowler cant bowl from either side of the wicket or switch arms without informing the umpire and the batsmen due to the side screen issue. The LBW decision needs to be changed without a doubt and the current rules for leg side wides are just pathetic.

  • POSTED BY on | May 10, 2012, 2:07 GMT

    yes creativity should be allowed in any game with out disturbing morals of the game.also this should allow balers to allow switching his balling hand without informing.

  • POSTED BY on | May 10, 2012, 1:59 GMT

    1-"allowing a bowler change his side without informing" - cannot be compared on the pretext of equity. the concept of batting of bowling is simple, the bowler asks a question, the batsman responds. 2-"changing the lbw law" - the lbw law as it stands now ALSO say "a batsman cannot be given out lbw if the ball has pitched outside a certain stump (leg)" - now will this also apply? 3-will the wide rule also change?

  • POSTED BY Thesonofg on | May 10, 2012, 1:54 GMT

    This is interesting. This gentleman who opened the innings with me used to bat right-handed for about his first thirty runs or so, and then left-handed the rest of his stay at the wicket. The reason was that he was too flashy left-handed. I, as captain had to inform the umpire and opposing captain whenever the change was about to happen. I had always wondered what would have happened as is now evidenced in the current scenario. Now I know!

  • POSTED BY Mad_Hamish on | May 10, 2012, 1:47 GMT

    Oh, and for people who say that cricket is too far in favour of the batsmen currently could you please explain why there are less test matches drawn than their used to be?

  • POSTED BY Mad_Hamish on | May 10, 2012, 1:45 GMT

    Players from a lot of countries play the switch hit now. Dave Warner has played it, Pietersen has played it (and the warning was incorrect, the current ICC regulations are that you can't change your grip around after the bowler has started his run and before the bowler has entered his delivery stride, Pietersen was making the change after Dilshan had started his delivery stride) I've seen players from a couple of other countries play it (I think NZ, RSA, India and the Windies). The lbw law has not been changed to cover the legside because of the option of bowlers going around the wicket & wide on the crease and aiming at the batsman's legs to make it extremely hard to attack (anybody remember the flack England got for Giles bowling left arm over at Tendulkar's legs?) Playing the switch hit does take a fair degree of skill because your balance and movement has to change from what you'd do on every other shot. I don't see the rule change as necessary.

  • POSTED BY on | May 10, 2012, 1:45 GMT

    If they want to really reward bowlers, why not remove the one-bouncer per over rule? Surely in this day and age, with all the protective gear, the bowlers can bowl as many bouncers as they want.

  • POSTED BY Sinhaya on | May 10, 2012, 1:01 GMT

    This LBW rule is anyway meaningless! ICC must ensure that any ball pitching outside leg is also valid just like a ball pitching outside off! If a ball pitching outside leg is not eligible for an LBW consideration, surely then if a batsmen is bowled off a ball pitching outside leg must be given NOT OUT!

  • POSTED BY Meety on | May 10, 2012, 0:51 GMT

    @sparth - "The only people that think that this shot is "exciting" are the the English cricket commentors and that's only because KP is doing it." - apart from the fact that other players do use the shot, the switch hit has been around for decades, with the best player of it was Andy Flower about 20 yrs ago. == == == In regards the switch hit, I have a foot either side of the fence (ouch!). On the one hand, I admire any batsmen that has the stones to change their grip an execute what is often (these days) a power stroke. On the other hand - how many more advantages is a batsmen supposed to get? Rightly or wrongly, if I was in charge at the ICC - I would have no rule changes in short formats of the game, & remove the legside lbw rule for a player who changes their stance from RH to LH (or vice versa). I don't want to see the shot outlawed, I think it is a high risk shot, but I don't think it is entirely appropriate in a test match. @popcorn - agree re: Dilshan v KP.

  • POSTED BY Grutness on | May 9, 2012, 23:52 GMT

    Switch-hitting gives a new weapon to the batsman, but in doing so it disadvantages the bowler and fielding side. While I can't see any way of taking it out of the game (and it does add excitement to it), I do't see why we should now continue with the rule that a bowler has to tell the batsman which side of the wicket they're bowling from, or which hand they're bowling with. If the batsmen can mix it up without warning, the bowlers should be able to as well.

  • POSTED BY popcorn on | May 9, 2012, 23:52 GMT

    Dilshan was ABSOLUTELY JUSTIFIED in stopping midstride BEFORE he Bowled the ball because Kevin Pietersen CHANGED HIS GRIP from RH to LH - because Dilshan would then be bowling to a LH, and would be entitled to CHANGE HIS FIELD PLACEMENT, as he would have done for a KNOWN LH. If, on the other hand, like David Warner, performs the Switch Hit AFTER THE BALL is delivered,with his LH Grip or a changed grip to a RH,no change in field placement is justified.It requires skill to CHANGE the Grip ONCE THE BALL HAS BEEN DELIVERED, because there is NO TIME TO TAKE GUARD as a CONVERTED LH or CONVERTED RH. That said, the lbw law should be changed.

  • POSTED BY on | May 9, 2012, 23:50 GMT

    Give bowlers a chance too. Let them change over and round the wicket without informing batsmen. Legalize underarm bowling at least one per over without informing the batsmen.

  • POSTED BY on | May 9, 2012, 23:25 GMT

    Mike Getting introduced the swith shot. And I saw several time Javed Miandad played switch shot as well. If the ball is going to click the wickets it should be out whether it pitched out side leg stump.

  • POSTED BY Zahidsaltin on | May 9, 2012, 22:51 GMT

    All those advocating no advantages for bowler should also consider that a batsman can afford no mistake at all, where as a bowler can go on trying and making up for all his bad bowling. its more like a goalkeeper and striker role. I think it would be fair if LBW rules are changed in a way where playing a switch hit, the batsman is just out LBW if the ball would hit the stumps regardless of it pitches outside his leg or off.

  • POSTED BY on | May 9, 2012, 20:25 GMT

    One consideration: The switch hit is good for the test match spectacles when the bowlers want to stifle the game by bowling to negative fields outside the batsman's leg stump...

  • POSTED BY on | May 9, 2012, 20:15 GMT

    @Sparth: David Warner switch hits. Just ask Ashwin!

    Don't change the rules one bit. It's still a pretty rare shot for the most part. There's no sense in bringing in a rule for a shot that's played so little. As a bowler, I'm totally happy for a batsman to get himself inside out trying to hit me. It's a fantastic exciting shot and any bowler worth his salt should love to see a batsman trying it.

  • POSTED BY knan on | May 9, 2012, 19:44 GMT

    Better to ban the switch hit. Otherwise, allow the bowler to switch his bowling arm without informing the batsman

  • POSTED BY Rally_Windies on | May 9, 2012, 19:32 GMT

    I think this is a fair debate ... but they also need to define the "wide" lines and where the bowler is allowed to bowl as well....

  • POSTED BY AlexC on | May 9, 2012, 19:11 GMT

    And they laughed at John Buchanan all those years ago when he talked of ambidextrous cricketers.

  • POSTED BY Afta on | May 9, 2012, 19:10 GMT

    I agree the game of cricket should be entertaining, but not ludicrous. These days the batsmen are dressed like spacemen with all protective gear, but the bowler has had no advantage whatsoever at all. The dice is loaded so much in favour of the batsmen, and now with this switch hit I cannot understand how an LBW decision could be made or for that matter, how to go about setting the field. A right handed batsman completely changes as left handed. May be the bowler should not indicate to the umpire or batsman whether, he is going to bowl right arm over or left arm round. He should be allowed to bowl left or right arm at any stage in the over without indicating to the umpire. How's that for a change..? I wonder what would have happened if a subcontinental player invented the switch hit..! May be there would have been an uproar in the English press..! Remember the reverse swing, when it was invented and used effectively in England. Now, Stewart Broad and Jimmy Anderson are masters at it.

  • POSTED BY on | May 9, 2012, 18:48 GMT

    Craig Mcmillan already batted with chest front pose.

  • POSTED BY RockieC on | May 9, 2012, 18:40 GMT

    "What would happen," Stewart asked, "if a batsman stood chest on to the bowler?" See Shivnarine Chanderpaul.

  • POSTED BY sparth on | May 9, 2012, 18:26 GMT

    The only people that think that this shot is "exciting" are the the English cricket commentors and that's only because KP is doing it. If someone from another country such as Pakistan or Austrailia came up with this shot then we would be reading a completly different article. Also, the rule that the ICC want to put forward is good, gives the bowlers a chance to get move the game on. Wickets win matches more than runs and there are more flat easy pitches to get runs on than pitches that help bowlers

  • POSTED BY Praxis on | May 9, 2012, 18:22 GMT

    Whatever changes ICC may bring to the game, it won't be good new for the bowlers.

  • POSTED BY 200ondebut on | May 9, 2012, 18:11 GMT

    Once again the administrators are getting in the way of the game. If left arm spinners bowl into the rough outside a righthanders leg stump as a way of restricting the normal range of shots, why cant the batsman play different ones. I suggest we just stick with the rules we have and get on with it.

  • POSTED BY crikbuff on | May 9, 2012, 17:26 GMT

    Why dont they just ban the switch hit?

  • POSTED BY AngryAngy on | May 9, 2012, 17:19 GMT

    Has anyone even seen a switch hitter get hit on the pads?

  • POSTED BY on | May 9, 2012, 17:12 GMT

    Happy with it, should be adopted and effective for the game.

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  • POSTED BY on | May 9, 2012, 17:12 GMT

    Happy with it, should be adopted and effective for the game.

  • POSTED BY AngryAngy on | May 9, 2012, 17:19 GMT

    Has anyone even seen a switch hitter get hit on the pads?

  • POSTED BY crikbuff on | May 9, 2012, 17:26 GMT

    Why dont they just ban the switch hit?

  • POSTED BY 200ondebut on | May 9, 2012, 18:11 GMT

    Once again the administrators are getting in the way of the game. If left arm spinners bowl into the rough outside a righthanders leg stump as a way of restricting the normal range of shots, why cant the batsman play different ones. I suggest we just stick with the rules we have and get on with it.

  • POSTED BY Praxis on | May 9, 2012, 18:22 GMT

    Whatever changes ICC may bring to the game, it won't be good new for the bowlers.

  • POSTED BY sparth on | May 9, 2012, 18:26 GMT

    The only people that think that this shot is "exciting" are the the English cricket commentors and that's only because KP is doing it. If someone from another country such as Pakistan or Austrailia came up with this shot then we would be reading a completly different article. Also, the rule that the ICC want to put forward is good, gives the bowlers a chance to get move the game on. Wickets win matches more than runs and there are more flat easy pitches to get runs on than pitches that help bowlers

  • POSTED BY RockieC on | May 9, 2012, 18:40 GMT

    "What would happen," Stewart asked, "if a batsman stood chest on to the bowler?" See Shivnarine Chanderpaul.

  • POSTED BY on | May 9, 2012, 18:48 GMT

    Craig Mcmillan already batted with chest front pose.

  • POSTED BY Afta on | May 9, 2012, 19:10 GMT

    I agree the game of cricket should be entertaining, but not ludicrous. These days the batsmen are dressed like spacemen with all protective gear, but the bowler has had no advantage whatsoever at all. The dice is loaded so much in favour of the batsmen, and now with this switch hit I cannot understand how an LBW decision could be made or for that matter, how to go about setting the field. A right handed batsman completely changes as left handed. May be the bowler should not indicate to the umpire or batsman whether, he is going to bowl right arm over or left arm round. He should be allowed to bowl left or right arm at any stage in the over without indicating to the umpire. How's that for a change..? I wonder what would have happened if a subcontinental player invented the switch hit..! May be there would have been an uproar in the English press..! Remember the reverse swing, when it was invented and used effectively in England. Now, Stewart Broad and Jimmy Anderson are masters at it.

  • POSTED BY AlexC on | May 9, 2012, 19:11 GMT

    And they laughed at John Buchanan all those years ago when he talked of ambidextrous cricketers.