'Impractical to ban switch-hit shot', says former umpire Simon Taufel
Simon Taufel feels it will not be practical to bar the switch-hit shot from the game. He believes it is "impossible" for the on-field umpire to monitor the batsman constantly for change in grip or stance. His statements comes after former Australian skipper Ian Chappell urged the ICC to ban the shot, terming it as "blatantly unfair". Here is more.
"The game of cricket is not a science, it's an art. We're not perfect. When we say that we want to ban that type of shot how does the umpire officiate that? It's impossible," Taufel told Sydney Morning Herald.
Taufel insisted that the umpires already have several decisions to make. "The umpire has an enormous number of decisions - front foot, back foot, protected area, seeing where a ball is hit - it's impossible to have an official then watch for the changing of the grip or stance. It's an impossible ask for a standing umpire to make that determination," he added.
While playing the switch-hit, the batsman changes the order of his grip or stance (from left-handed to right-handed or vice-versa), after the bowler starts from his run-up. Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen was one of the first exponents of this shot. Over the years, the experts have argued that switch-hit is unfair to the bowlers as it defies the original field set-up.
During the ODI series between Australia and India, former captain Chappell had expressed reservations regarding the switch hit. Although he labeled it as "skilful" stroke, he also believes it is unfair to the bowlers as they set field according the original stance. "(Switch-hitting) is amazingly skilful, but it's not fair," he had told the Wide World of Sports."
Australia's Glenn Maxwell, who is often seen playing the switch-hit, replied to Chappell's statement. "It is within the laws of the game, that has always (been). Batting has evolved in such a way, that it has got better and better over the years, which is why see these massive scores are getting chased down and the scores are going up," he said.