Pietersen's Switch-Hit Confirmed As Legal By MCC
The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) has announced that it will take no action against the 'switch-hitting' displayed by England batsman Kevin Pietersen, confirming that the action of changing grip and guard is entirely within the rules.
Pietersen twice hit Scott Styris for six using a left-handed grip and the MCC, custodians of the laws of cricket, issued the following statement following a meeting at Lord's.
"MCC believes that the ‘switch-hit’ stroke is exciting for the game of cricket. 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.
"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.
"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 bowlers.
"Furthermore, MCC acknowledges that while bowlers must inform umpires and batsmen of their mode of delivery, they do not provide a warning of the type of delivery that they will bowl (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."
Pietersen went on to hit a century as England beat New Zealand by 114 runs while the second match takes place at Edgbaston tomorrow.