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Kevin Pietersen and the “reverse sweep”

During Sunday’s 1st ODI between England and New Zealand KP twice unleashed a “new” variant of the reverse sweep – both times for 6 runs – where he swapped over his grip on the bat. This shot seems to be causing a lot of concern at the moment (although not from either Pietersen or from the New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori) amongst those with authority in the game.

The MCC are meeting today to discuss the matter. The central point to the argument for disallowing shots such as this is that if the bowler has to tell the batsmen if he is switching hands, then shouldn’t the batsman have to do the same? And also, if the batsman is switching hands, how will this affect interpretation of LBW and wide laws?

The main crux of the matter seems to be this – surely a batsman is entitled to play a shot in any way possible – if he is quick enough to interchange his hands, and to bring his back leg through in front of him, that is surely his prerogative. The bowler may not be allowed to change his delivery hand without informing umpires and batsman, but he is allowed to do anything he likes to the grip, the direction of the spin etc. Similarly, the batsman shouldn’t be allowed to alter his actual direction of stance (although it’s pretty obvious), but surely changing his grip. and twisting in a shot must be allowed…

We will wait and see what the law-makers decide.