Former ICC umpire, Simon Taufel has aired his views regarding the switch hit. Recently the switch hit has been in the news, when former Australian captain, Ian Chappell demanded the ICC to ban the shot. Chappell’s comments came after Glenn Maxwell used the shot to perfection as he toyed with the Indian bowlers in the ODI series, which Australia won 2-1.
A switch hit is different from the reverse sweep. In the switch hit, the batsman changes his grip; he becomes left-handed from right-handed and vice versa, but in the reverse sweep, the grip remains the same.
Hence, Chappell opined that it is unfair that a batsman becomes ‘opposite-handed’ while playing the switch-hit, and thus renders the field set by the captain useless. He urged the ICC to ban this shot. Later Maxwell fired back at Chappell saying that the shot is ‘within the laws of the game’.
Cricket is not a science, and it’s an art: Simon Taufel
In the past week, several experts and former cricketers have come out and made their views heard regarding this unorthodox shot, and so did former international umpire, Simon Taufel. He believes that the game of cricket is not science, rather it is an art.
Taufel opined that it is difficult to outlaw any shot. He also said that a standing umpire can’t monitor the batsman when he is changing his grip and stance.
As quoted by the Sydney Morning Herald, Simon Taufel said, “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.”
Considering the number of things an umpire has to judge. At the same time, delivery is bowled, the 49-year-old understands that it would be a highly demanding task to officiate while the batsman is making changes to his stance.
“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,” Simon Taufel remarked.