In the current era of cricket, we see batsmen using switch hits to play a ball. That is, while playing a ball they change their batting side (left to right handed and vice versa) just before the ball comes to them.

My question is, can a bowler bowl a switch ball? Meaning, can a left hand bowler bowl right handed to a batsman? If it is not permitted, then is it not unfair to the bowlers that batsmen can change their batting style but not the bowlers? Or are there are any rules against a switch hit?

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    Do you mean a bowler runs in with the ball in his left hand and delivers it with his right? If so, there are loads of bowlers who do that. Apr 13, 2013 at 9:45
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    @Orangecrush a left hand bowler bowling right handed to a batsmen not a right hand bowler running before bowling with the ball in left hand and delivering the ball with right handonlt
    – NetStarter
    Apr 13, 2013 at 9:49

3 Answers 3


This would be a No-Ball as dictated by Law 21, No ball, of the Laws of Cricket

21.1 Mode of delivery

21.1.1 The umpire shall ascertain whether the bowler intends to bowl right handed or left handed, over or round the wicket, and shall so inform the striker.

It is unfair if the bowler fails to notify the umpire of a change in his mode of delivery. In this case the umpire shall call and signal No ball.

So the bowler has to tell the Umpire which arm they will use and which side of the wicket they will bowl from. The umpire then informs the batter. If the bowler wants to change the arm or side of the wicket they must inform the umpire first, who then relays this again to the batter.


ICC has opined that there is nothing wrong with switch hits as these are within the the laws of the game. In fact, they claim that it has made cricket more exciting.

On the other hand, once a bowler starts his run up, he cannot legally bowl a switch ball, that is, he cannot change his bowling hand. The only way this is permitted is if the bowler informs the umpire before his run up that he is bowling with this other hand. The umpire in turn informs the batsman.

The fact that switch hits are permitted but switch balls aren't, is a hugely debated topic. Switch hits surprise the bowlers. The fact that this surprise element is not available to the bowlers is something that doesn't go down too well with people who are against switch hits.

  • yes you are right but it is somewhat unfair to the bowlers as they can be hit to six or four with switch hit but the can not bowl a switch bowl directly.:(
    – NetStarter
    Apr 13, 2013 at 11:03

As far as I'm concerned it's not legal. Yes, switch hits are still OK. A bowler with an unexpected sudden change of his action is likely to hurt a batsman. So the bowler must inform the umpire before doing that. A batsman who switch sides can get hit by the ball too, but it's his choice and he has the permission to do that at his own risk.

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    Hi, Welcome to Sports.SE! Do you have any reference to support your answer?
    – Himanshu
    Jun 3, 2014 at 11:56

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