The MCC, custodians of the Laws of Cricket, have stated that Deepti Sharma’s controversial run out of Charlie Dean at the non-striker’s end was correctly officiated.
The run out, which gave India victory at Lord’s in the third ODI against England, has divided opinion around the cricketing world, with some feeling the mode of dismissal, formerly referred to as a ‘Mankad’, goes against the spirit of the game.
There was also debate over whether the dismissal should have stood due to the wording of the relevant law, which states that a non-striker run out can only take place “until the instant when the bowler would normally have been expected to release the ball”. Some questioned whether the run out did take place before Dean would have expected Sharma to release the ball.
The MCC have issued a clarification on both fronts. On the question of whether such a dismissal is in the spirit of the game, they suggested this was down to interpretation.
“Cricket is a broad church and the spirit by which it is played is no different,” the organisation stated. “As custodians of the spirit of cricket, MCC appreciates its application is interpreted differently across the globe.
“Respectful debate is healthy and should continue, as where one person sees the bowler as breaching the spirit in such examples, another will point at the non-striker gaining an unfair advantage by leaving their ground early.”
On the subject of the correctness of the dismissal, the MCC were more forthright. “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. Whilst yesterday was indeed an unusual end to an exciting match, it was properly officiated and should not be considered as anything more.”
They also explained an upcoming alteration to the Laws of Cricket, and suggested no further changes were needed to the non-striker run out law. “MCC this year announced amendments to the Laws of Cricket to move being run out at the non-striker’s end from law 41 (unfair play) to law 38 (run out).
“This change will formally come into effect from October 1, 2022. This was done to clarify this matter and to place an onus on batters to ensure that they do not leave the crease at the non-striker’s end, prior to a bowler releasing the ball.
“The law is clear, as it needs to be for all umpires to be able to easily interpret throughout all levels of the game and at all moments in the game.”