play a straight bat

play a straight bat

1. To avoid giving a direct answer to a question. (A reference to cricket, in which a player holds their bat vertically in order to deflect the ball.) Primarily heard in UK. Once again, the prime minister played a straight bat when asked about her plans to cut the budget to the NHS.
2. To act in an upright, honest, respectful, and morally correct manner. Primarily heard in UK. Even if you are on friendly terms with the interviewer, you should always play a straight bat during a job interview. No good will come of acting unprofessionally.
See also: bat, play, straight

play a straight bat

BRITISH
1. If you play a straight bat, you try to avoid answering difficult questions. But last Saturday her interviewee played a straight bat, referring all inquiries to his solicitors.
2. If you play a straight bat, you do things in an honest and simple way because you have traditional ideas and values. Amit, then 14, was a little shocked to find that playing a straight bat was not considered important in his new school. Note: In cricket, to play a straight bat means to play very correctly and with great care, in order not to risk being out.
See also: bat, play, straight