Deepti Sharma ran Charlie Dean out at the non-striker’s end to get the last wicket and ensure India a clean sweep in the ODI series against England at Lord’s on Saturday.
With just 16 runs left to get, England, through Dean and last batter Freya Davies were in touching distance of a come-from-behind win, when Deepti showed great presence of mind to spot Dean backing up too much and to run her out.
The on-field umpire referred the decision to the third umpire after checking with the Indian players whether they are going ahead with the appeal. In the review, it was confirmed that Dean had left the crease prematurely and the third umpire declared it out to ensure Indian legend Jhulan Goswami received a perfect farewell gift for her retirement from international cricket.
Recently, running out the non-striker has been moved from Law 41 (unfair play) to Law 38 (run out).
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.”