Not unexpectedly the storm over Ravi Ashwin’s dismissal of Jos Buttler on Monday is not abating. The pros and cons, those for and against either the bowler or the batsmen have all aired their views and opinion is divided.
But the most important reaction has come from MCC the guardians of the laws of cricket who have defended the controversial circumstances of Buttler’s dismissal stating that it is not against the Spirit of Cricket for a bowler to run out a batsman at the non-striker’s end. However MCC stated that the legality of the dismissal came down to the umpire’s interpretation of the law given that Butler had not been seeking to gain an advantage in the moments before Ashwin chose to abort his delivery stride and attempt the dismissal.
The relevant part of Law 41.16 states: “If the non-striker is out of his ground from the moment the ball comes into play to the instant when the bowler would normally have been expected to release the ball, the bowler is permitted to attempt to run him out.’’
MCC however acknowledged the ambiguity of the current wording of the law pertaining to the non-striker leaving his ground early. Given that the ICC’s interpretation of the law clarifies that the “expected moment of release’’ comes when “the arm reaches its highest point’’ in a bowler’s delivery stride MCC concluded that it was understandable how Bruce Oxenford the TV umpire had seen it fit to give Butler out.
Most importantly the MCC in its statement clarified that it has never been in the laws that a warning should be given to the non-striker and nor is it against the Spirit of Cricket to run out a non-striker who is seeking to gain an advantage by leaving his ground early. “Furthermore with batsmen now being deemed in or out by millimeters by TV replays on quick singles it is right that they should remain in their ground at the non-strikers end until it is fair for them to leave.’’
That puts to rest all talk that a bowler should warn the batsman before running him out. In short, in future if the non-striker does not want to be “Mankaded’’ he should stay within the crease till the ball is delivered.