Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Clean Sweeping

Kevin Pietersen may be the only man willing to attempt a six with a reverse sweep and he made it look ridiculously easy against New Zealand last Sunday.

His 110 not out was an incredible innings but the International Cricket Council declaring the ruling of a reverse sweep has marred it.

Scott Stylis bowling looked rather pitiful as KP changed to a left hand grip to smack him for consecutive sixes. The brave gets fortunate. Now that behaviour is being referred to as unsporting and not in the right intentions of the game. Cobblers.

A batsman needs to protect his wicket with his bat and he should do that by any means necessary. KP was just being clever and he managed to rick benefits from a shot he has mastered. No batsmen should be put down for how they conduct their shots, let us remember that bowlers can do bouncers, Yorkers, etc, so they are in much greater danger of being hit.

I am under the presumption that the Cricket authorities wanted to make this bat and ball game popular and surely, they need to cash in on sportsmen like Pietersen and how he played the games. Shots like that make a talking point and it will dominate papers, sport shows, etc so therefore they should be pleased with all the attention.

KP even admitted that he should not be doing those shots, as it does seem, realistically, impossible. Nevertheless, he defined the impossible and I have no doubt that everyone who is training in the nets today will be trying to do that.

If this rule comes into action, let us think of other sports in which we can take some of the unorthodox movements out.

Imagine formula one without a seventh gear, as going faster would not be fair for the spectators. Football without a step over, as it confuses defenders. Basketball without a slam-dunk as it would not be fair to the shorter individual. Golf without a wedge, they have enough clubs to use?

The ICC should laugh off these claims and just let the good banter continue. Cricket is about to embark on a revolution and hopes the ‘old man’ version of the game can keep up. So if twenty20 is going to dominate, let us see something extra special shots. This makes cricket mush more exciting. We need to be grateful to players of the calibre of Pietersen and hope to see children try to emulate him in the, not too distance, future.

There were 16,000 spectators watching England against the Kiwi’s at Durham on Sunday and they were in for a treat. This one-day international was far more exciting that twenty20 it followed. It proves that people are still very much fascinated in this form of the game. KP rubbished the significance of the 50 over game and claimed that it may be something of the past. However, with more one day games like this, that certainly would not happen. Long live limited over’s cricket.

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