Controversy has raged over the latest instance of a batter being run out at the non-striker’s end by a bowler.
This type of dismissal, is and has always been a completely legal method of dismissal but some feel that it runs contrary to ‘the spirit of the game’.
You might rightly ask how something clearly outlined in the laws and playing conditions of the game can be considered to be unacceptable and that is something that the sport’s bigwigs are trying to address.
How they intend to do that is by making things just that little bit more black and white.
The dismissal is currently listed in the ‘Unfair Play’ section of the laws, but is set to be moved to the ‘Run Out’ section at the start of next month, although that is the extent of the changes to the laws.
It should be reasonably obvious to most with more than a passing knowledge of the game that the potential for a bowler to be able to run out the non-striker before bowling is a necessary check to keep that non-striker from being halfway down the pitch before a ball is even bowled.
In this most recent instance the England batter was a long way down the pitch which makes the outrage directed at Deepti Sharma for running out Charlie Dean seem that much more like sour grapes.
There are those that say the sporting thing to do is to warn the non-striker but that principle is applied nowhere else in the game and is out of place in professional sport.
A bowler isn’t required to tell the batter that they will bowl a bouncer or a yorker next ball although some have been known to get animated at the sight of someone standing square in front of the stumps.
The MCC’s made things plain in a statement that bears repeating: “MCC’s message to non-strikers continues to be to remain in their ground until they have seen the ball leave the bowler’s hand. Then dismissals, such as the one seen yesterday, cannot happen.”