Wednesday, 4 June 2014

On run outs

'That was bad sportsmanship'

'Not in the spirit of the game'

'He may have been given two warnings but that was below the belt'

'Batsmen step out of the crease all of the time.'

These are the comments being made in the wake of the 'controversial' run out of Jos Buttler against Sri Lanka.

Are we not aware that all of the same points could be made about stumpings? Except no batsman gets multiple chances when they're stumped.

As much as I support Buttler and the England team the solution is very simple. Back up properly. It is not hard.

No one has been tricked or cheated. No one has lied to or deceived the umpires. No one has been rude to anyone else. The Sri Lankan team simply enforced a law. After two warnings.

If you want to talk about the spirit of the game, let's ban sledging and punish batsmen who don't walk when they know they're out. These actions are far more against the spirit of the game.

In the meantime, I'm very happy to apply for the role of England's backing up coach. I will teach all the batsmen how to back up without leaving the crease before the ball is bowled. I will even show the bowlers how to enforce the rule themselves. I did so once in youth cricket.

Can we please not talk about umpires deducting/awarding runs for bad backing up? They have enough to do and it'll be a nightmare for scorers.

All we need to do is de-stigmatise this mode of run outs. Batsmen shouldn't even be given warnings. Very soon, batsmen will learn to back up properly and fairly.

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