But we live in more enlightened times these day and there is not much chance of the MCC suddenly banning the southpaw.
Nevertheless, the high number of left-handers in international cricket demonstrates the advantage still remains.
So why not make the most of it by opening with a left-right hand combination?
Why open with a leftie?
One of the crucial elements of opening the bowling is to be able to hit a good line and length early. No opening bowler wants to give the opposition a flying start.
But having 2 different lines to bowl against a left-right partnership makes it pretty tough on the bowler. Just when he or she has found that perfect rhythm, a stolen single means the line needs to be adjusted again.
Difficult and frustrating for the bowler, a few free hits for the batsman off their legs while adjustments are made.
Repeat this process for every bowling change and you soon see how the runs can stack up purely because of a left-right partnership.
Of course you need the right pair. Like all good openers they need to have an understanding when running between the wickets, be able to attack or dig in depending on the situation and be an excellent judge of the off stump (especially in longer format games).
The main thing is you need a pair who are prepared to work together and take pride in taking full advantage of this tactic with good shot selection and running.
The other big advantage of this method is in short-format cricket, especially if there is a powerplay in the opening overs.
With the emphasis on attack, an opener may try innovating hitting over midwicket or square leg. If both openers are the same hand this is the same area. With a left-right team it feels to the bowling side like they are getting hit to every corner.
So do you have a left hander in the team ready to open?
It could be the making of your season if the plan comes off.