Indian pacer Deepak Chahar decided against running Tristan Stubbs out at the non-striker’s end and instead warned him after the Proteas batter backed up too far during the 3rd T20I in Indore on Tuesday.
The incident occurred when right-arm pacer Chahar was about to bowl the first ball of the 16th over of the first innings. Seeing Stubbs already moving out of the crease before the ball being delivered, Chahar stopped midway through his action and warned Stubbs by gesturing that he was going to remove the bails.
The debate on the particular mode of dismissal has been raging ever since spinner Deepti Sharma ran out batter Charlie Dean to pick the last wicket and ensured Indian women’s team a clean sweep in the ODI series against England at Lord’s on September 24.
While the English cricket fraternity has opposed the mode of dismissal, calling it against the ‘spirit of cricket,’ majority of the global cricket community has come out in support of Deepti which includes fellow cricketers like Ravinchandran Ashwin.
Ashwin, who has often objected to these kind of run outs being termed ‘Mankading’ (named after former India player Vinoo Mankad) and instead recommended a bravery award for the bowler.
Ashwin, who himself had ran English batter Jos Buttler out at the non-striker’s end during an IPL game in 2019, responded to a tweet by English cricket Sam Billings post Deepti running out Dean.
Billings had asked English pacer James Anderson, “Imagine how many more wickets you could get James,” to which Ashwin responded, “In fact that’s a great idea.
“How about awarding that wicket to the bowler for “presence of mind” under immense pressure and of course knowing the social stigma that he/she would have to deal with post doing it. How about a bravery award to go with it too.”
What do the current laws say?
The provision to run the non-striker out is clearly laid out in the Laws of Cricket. It is a thoroughly fair, legal act, as even Don Bradman, who was captain of that Australian team in 1947, insisted back then. Law 41.16, which pertains to the “Non-striker leaving his/her ground early,” states: “If the non-striker is out of his/her ground at any time from the moment the ball comes into play until the instant when the bowler would normally have been expected to release the ball, the non-striker is liable to be run out.”
Have there been any changes made to the law before?
The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), the custodian of the Laws, has tweaked the rule and changed its wording over the years. In the 2017 Code, “Bowler attempting to run out non-striker before delivery” was replaced with “Non-striker leaving their ground early” in order to put the “onus on the non-striker to remain in their ground.” To emphasise this point further, on April 1 2019, the MCC slightly rephrased Law 41.16 again, replacing “the bowler is permitted to run [the non-striker] out” with “the non-striker is liable to be run out.” Also changed in 2017 was an important aspect of the law. Previously, the bowler was only permitted to run out a non-striker backing up before entering his delivery stride. “This meant that as the bowler’s back foot landed, the non-striker could move down the wicket a considerable way before the bowler actually delivered the ball. This was considered unfair,” notes the International Cricket Council Match Officials’ Almanac 2017-18 (the ICC’s interpretation of the Laws). The new playing condition permitted the bowler to run the batsman out “at any point before he releases the ball provided he has not completed his delivery swing.”