Switch-hit is okay, says Manjrekar, Aravinda

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Mumbai, Jun 23 (UNI) Former cricketers Aravinda de Silva of Sri Lanka and Sanjay Manjrekar of India agreed with the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) to allow the ''switch shot'' played by Kevin Pietersen recently, as it involved a fair amount of risk.

Pietersen in a one-day international against New Zealand recently had changed his stance from a right hander to a left hander and hit the ball for a six.

The two former Test batsmen spoke on the issue at a function to announce the ''Idea Cup'' between India and Sri Lanka, which will be played in the Emerald Isle from next month.

Manjrekar and Aravinda echoed similar views as that of the MCC, who discussed the legality of the switch hit last week and decided that as the stroke involved an element of risk for the batsman and offered the fielding side a good chance of taking a wicket.

''As a batsman, I should be taking the batsman's side, but at the same time, I do believe if the shot is accepted, some other rules also need to be changed,'' Aravinda said.

The reference was obviously to MCC's statement that they would meet in the future to discuss the implications regarding wide balls and the lbw rule, which could be considered to change when a right-handed batsman alters his stance to that of a left-hander, or vice versa.

''I first saw Paul Nixon trying out that shot,'' reminisced Manjrekar. ''I initially said, during my commentary stint, it is unfair to the bowler, but I agree with the logic put forward by the MCC when they said it was a high risk shot and the bowler has a better chance of taking a wicket. In any case, how many batsmen can do that? Not every one is a Pietersen,'' he said.

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