(AFP) – Jun 17, 2008
BIRMINGHAM, England (AFP) — Kevin Pietersen will be allowed to carry on playing his extraordinary 'reverse slog-sweep' after MCC (Marylebone Cricket Club), cricket's rule-makers, announced they would not be outlawing the 'switch-hit'.
"MCC believes that the 'switch-hit' stroke is exciting for the game of cricket," said a statement issued by MCC following a meeting at it's Lord's headquarters in London on Tuesday.
"Indeed, the stroke conforms to the Laws of Cricket and will not be legislated against."
Pietersen, who effectively became a left rather than right-handed batsman when using the shot to twice hit New Zealand medium-pacer Scott Styris for six during an unbeaten century in England's opening one-day international win at the Riverside on Sunday, welcomed the ruling.
"I am very pleased by the MCC's decision and I think it's the right one not just for me or England but the game as a whole.
"It's important that we as players are innovative and if this shot helps make cricket more exciting and entertaining for spectators then that has to be good for the sport."
Some critics branded Pietersen's shot 'unfair' because bowlers, unlike batsmen, have to inform the umpire with which hand they will be delivering the ball and from which side of the wicket or risk being penalised.
"I don't agree with the argument that it is unfair on the bowlers," Pietersen, training at Edgbaston where the second one-day international of a five-match series takes place on Wednesday, said in an England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) statement.
"It's an extremely high risk shot and there will be plenty of bowlers out there who will think that it gives them a great opportunity to get me out," added Pietersen whose reverse sixes were the highlights of an innings of 110 not out, which propelled England to a 114-run victory.
His view was backed up by MCC which said: "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."
However, MCC accepted that consequences remained for both the interpretation of the lbw and wide rules by a batsman attempting a 'switch-hit', saying that they would "continue to research and discuss these implications".
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