The debate on the morality of run-outs of non-strikers for backing up has surfaced again after Charlie Dean’s dismissal in the third women’s One-Day International between India and England at Lord’s. All-rounder Moeen Ali has said he dislikes the mode of dismissal and would like to see it banned from cricket.
“I don’t think I’ll ever do it unless I was really angry with someone. It’s in the laws and there’s nothing illegal so people that do it have the right, but I just hope it doesn’t become a common thing, or something that’s regularly done,” Moeen, currently in Pakistan for an ongoing seven-match T20I series, was quoted as saying by telegraph.co.uk.
“You’re not really working to get a wicket. At least with a run-out, there’s a bit of work that has to be done, and with all the other dismissals. This is just waiting for the guy and taking the bails off. Even when I played cricket as a kid in the garden, it’s not my thing to do,” Moeen said.
The legality of the dismissal isn’t in question. The Marylebone Cricket Club, the maker of the Laws of Cricket, has even recognised it as belonging to the normative values of behaviour on the cricket field to keep up with the times. In changes to the Laws of Cricket that will come into effect from October 1, the Law examining this form of dismissal now no longer comes under ‘Unfair Play’. It has instead been characterised as simply a ‘run out’. “After all, this is simply a run out, and there is nothing unfair about it,” stated the MCC.
‘A difficult one’
“You should be in your crease anyway, to be fair, but it’s a difficult one. You don’t really look at the bowlers. You feel like they’re there and they’re going to bowl, but if they’re stopping, your momentum can take you out of your crease,” Moeen said.
This mode of dismissal generated debate three years ago as well, when R. Ashwin ran out Jos Buttler in an Indian Premier League match. Ashwin stuck to his stand, saying “My actions were within cricket’s rules, can’t be called unsporting.” He also pointed out that batters take undue advantage by stepping out of their crease before the ball is bowled.
But Moeen felt there could be better ways of preventing the batter from taking that advantage.
“I actually just think they should get rid of them. We were discussing this the other day, how would you do it, because guys would then (pinch ground) but there should be a line where you can’t go past and you know how the umpires look for the no-balls, they could potentially do the same for that and say, right, he’s got one more, if he does it again, he’s gone.”
Jos Buttler also expressed his dislike for it. “No one wants to see them (mode of dismissal) in the game because they always create such a talking point when it should be about the battle between bat and ball and watching great games of cricket. They always seem to happen at unsavoury times,” he told TALKsport.
(With inputs from PTI)