Switch hit

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This article is about the cricket term. For the baseball term, see Switch hitter.
Kevin Pietersen about to play a switch hit during a Test against South Africa in 1990. Note how despite being a right-handed batsmen, he has assumed the grip and stance of a left-handed batsman.

A switch hit is a modern cricket shot believed to have been first used by Kevin Pietersen [1] on 15 June 2008 in a one-day international against New Zealand. Pietersen actually played the shot for the first time off Muttiah Muralitharan in a test match against Sri Lanka in 2006. The test occurred May 25-28, 2006. Despite the shot becoming a fad due to Pietersen's successful execution of it (there is certainly no argument about that), it is believed that Jonty Rhodes actually executed this shot first for a six. He hit a switch-hit six off Darren Lehmann in a one day international between Australia and South Africa on March 27, 2002. A switch hit involved effectively changed from a right-hander to a left-hander just before the ball was delivered by the bowler for the purpose of executing the shot. It is a variation of the reverse sweep, in which the stance is changed during the bowler's delivery action, has been compared to switch-hitting in baseball. Australia's David Warner is a notable user of this shot and was endorsed to use a double-faced bat in Twenty20 cricket.

The shot was innovated by Pietersen using which he hit 2 sixes in the cover region. The shot is executed by changing stance from a right-handed to a left-handed batsman or vice versa during the bowler's run-up and hitting it in the cover (midwicket to a left-hander) region.

The shot has generated debate in the cricket world, some heralding it as an outstanding display of skill and others arguing that if the batsman changes stance he gains an unfair advantage over the bowler, because the field is set based on the batsman's initial stance at the crease.[2] The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), guardians of the laws of cricket, has confirmed it will not legislate against the switch shot and cited that the shot was perfectly legal in accordance with cricketing laws.[3] The MCC believes that the stroke is exciting for the game of cricket, and highlighted Law 36.3 which defines the off side of the striker's wicket as being determined by his stance at the moment the bowler starts his run-up.[4] The MCC has also acknowledged that the switch hit has implications on the interpretation of the 'on side' and 'off side' for the purposes of adjudicating on wides or leg before wicket decisions.[citation needed]

In June 2012, the International Cricket Council (ICC) committee declared it to be a legitimate shot. They issued a statement saying they have decided to make no change to the current regulations.[1]

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