Nevermind the result. All the talk today is about Dave Warner’s remarkable “switch hit” against India last night. Wow. Talk about skill. But was it legal?
Not according to respected ABC commentator Jim Maxwell it wasn’t. “The switch hit is deadset against the spirit of the game,” Maxwell told The Punch today. “Not to take anything away from the amazing skill of Dave Warner, but if I was the bowler and I saw a batsman do it, I’d chuck it at him!”
The laws of cricket have nothing to say about the practise whereby a batsman changes his grip on the bat and effectively changes from left to right hander, or the reverse, while the ball is in flight. But the laws are crystal clear that a bowler could never do the same thing.
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Look at the world’s great historic cricket grounds. Look at Lord’s with its UFO of a media centre staring down the graceful pavilion on the opposite side of the field. Look at the SCG, where the Victorian era Members and Ladies Stands cower beneath huge imposing concrete edifices.
Arenas like these are metaphors for the modern cricketing era, in which the ancient game of Test cricket desperately vies for attention with the bold, brash child of Twenty20.
When T20 first hit the cricket landscape, the big issue was scheduling. Just how to squeeze in all those extra matches? The issue is no longer about programming but people. What kind of batsmen will form the spine of future Test batting line-ups? Which bowlers have a strong enough spine to withstand three forms of the game?
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