Dickie Bird questions Pietersen’s ’switch-hit’

June 18th, 2008 - 4:34 pm ICT by IANS  

London, June 18 (IANS) Legendary cricket umpire Dickie Bird joined debate over Kevin Pietersen’s ’switch-hit’ and questioned the legality of the stroke, even though the custodian of the game’s law - Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) - cleared the innovative shot that has sparked off a controversy. After a meeting at Lord’s Tuesday, the MCC stated that the switch-hit “incurs a great deal of risk for the batsman” and is therefore “fair to both batsmen and bowlers”.

But Bird argued: “The shot will create a lot of problems. How do you deal with lbws and wides? Do you treat the batsman as a right-hander or a left-hander?”

“One way of doing it would be to get rid of the whole idea of leg-side, if the batsman switches his stance.

“So the bowler has a reasonable amount of latitude on wides on both sides of the wicket. And it doesn’t matter where the ball pitches when you go up for lbw,” Bird was quoted as saying in The Telegraph.

Pietersen, who made a match-winning 110 not out in the first ODI against New Zealand Sunday, launched Scott Styris for two sixes after switching his stance from right-to left-handed at the last moment. The shots took everyone by surprise and came under the scanner of International Cricket Council (ICC) following which MCC discussed the legality of the shot and cleared it Tuesday.

Later, Lancashire’s Mal Loye played such a stroke for six at Old Trafford off Durham spinner Gareth Breese.

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