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Big Bash League 2022/23

Were the umpires right to deny Adam Zampa a run out at the non-striker’s end in the BBL? The Laws don’t offer a clear answer

Yas Rana by Yas Rana
@Yas_Wisden 2 minute read

Adam Zampa was at the centre of a moment of controversy in the BBL on Tuesday after attempting to run out Melbourne Renegades’ Tom Rogers at the non-striker’s end only for the umpires to adjudge Rogers to be not out, despite him clearly being out of his ground.

The incident took place in the final over of the Renegades’ innings with the Melbourne Stars well on top at the time. With two balls remaining in the Renegades innings, they were 139-7 with Mackenzie Harvey on strike.

As Zampa came into bowl what would have been the penultimate ball of the innings, he stopped just short of releasing the ball having already got through the majority of his action to take the bails off at the non-striker’s end with Rogers out of his ground.


There was no question about whether or not Rogers was in his ground but the on-field officials consulted the TV umpire Shaun Craig to determine how far through Zampa was in his action at the point at which he turned to dislodge the bails.

Law 38.3.1 in the MCC’s Laws of the game states: “If the non-striker is out of his/her ground at any time from the moment the ball comes into play until the instant when the bowler would normally have been expected to release the ball, the non-striker is liable to be run out.” The wording of the law is arguably ambiguous as it does not offer clarity on what “normally have been expected to release the ball” means.

The MCC Twitter account later posted a clarification, saying: “The non-striker can be run out if he/she is out of his/her ground up until the moment the bowler would normally have been expected to release the ball.

“That means when the arm gets to its highest point. The bowler is *not* entitled to go all the way around in the bowling action and then run the non-striker out.” The second line of the clarification is not currently mentioned anywhere in the MCC’s Laws of the game. While Rogers was out of his ground at what would normally be described as the expected point of release, Zampa’s arm did continue past the vertical. That said, confusion remained after the clarification as it referenced an explanation that is not actually found in the current Laws of the game, leading many to call for the MCC to put an addendum into the current Law regarded run outs at the non-striker’s end.

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