Colombo: England batsman Kevin Pietersen has defended the switch-hit shot, which he utilized on more than one occasion, during his sublime century against Sri Lanka in the Colombo Test.
There was a controversial moment during the third day of the second Test match when Pietersen was given an official warning by umpire Asad Rauf, after his intention to utilize the shot twice in two balls had caused Lankan bowler, Tillakaratne Dilshan, to stop during his delivery stride.
Pietersen, who scored a brilliant 151 that contained 16 boundaries and six sixes, has put England in a commanding position in the second Test. He said it is the batsman who is taking a risk while playing the switch-hit, and therefore, he batsman shouldn’t be penalized for it.
“I don’t find the shot difficult. But, like I said, when I first played it against New Zealand all those years back, I don’t think the batter should get penalized, because I’m taking the biggest risk,” The Telegraph quoted Pietersen, as saying.
“But there’s no issue, I just got my timing wrong. The umpire said it was a warning because I moved my hands too quick and I was OK with that. But they are such minor issues. They don’t affect the state of the game at all,” he added.
The International Cricket Council’s cricket committee introduced a directive in 2010, which allowed umpires to first warn batsmen, and then apply a five-run penalty for a second offence, with the runs added to their opponents score.
The ICC’s view is that a batsman must not set himself to play the switch-hit or reverse-sweep either by changing his grip or stance before the bowler enters his delivery stride.
However, the ICC’s stance disagrees with that of MCC, the guardians of the Laws of Cricket.
MCC’s view is that such an innovation is good for the game and that any extra risk-taking on the part of the batsmen should always be encouraged.