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Indian Premier League 2023

Ben Stokes throws weight behind ‘discretional penalty runs’ alternative to pre-delivery run out

Ben Stokes Mankad penalty - Stokes suggests awarding penalty runs if batter leaves crease early.
by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

After a rather sedate start to IPL 2023 with no real close games in the first week, the tournament finally woke up from its slumber to produce some memorable games over the last few days, including the RCB vs LSG clash on April 10 that ended with a failed run out attempt at the non-striker’s end, opening up the debate around the fairness of the mode of dismissal once again.

With a run required off the last ball and the last pair on the crease, Harshal Patel ran in and tried to remove the bails at the non-striker’s end as Ravi Bishnoi had been backing up to take the winning single. However, Pate’’s delivery stride was relatively wide off the crease and he ended up missing the stumps as his hand never reached the bails.

Patel eventually threw the ball back at the stumps in his follow-through with Bishnoi still short of his ground. The umpire did not refer it and signalled a dead ball. Avesh Khan missed the next ball, but so did Dinesh Karthik behind the stumps, allowing the LSG pair to run through for a bye and seal a dramatic win.


Harshal’s run-out attempt led to mixed reactions on social media as players, broadcasters, and fans alike got involved to share a wide range of opinions and suggestions. One of the most prominent among them was that of Ben Stokes, the current England Test captain and Chennai Super Kings star.

Harsha Bhogle had tweeted to enquire whether ‘any silly people’ were still opposed to the idea of running out the non-striker after what transpired had transpired.

Stokes suggested that the the bowling side be awarded six penalty runs if the umpire finds that the non-striker was “obviously trying to gain unfair advantage by leaving the crease early”.

He felt that doing so would automatically make the batters less prone to leave the crease early, and would also remove the controversy involved with this type of dismissal.

The debate around the run-out at the non-striker’s end, often referred to by the M-word, has been raging for a long time.

While some people are of the opinion that there is nothing wrong with the mode of dismissal, many, including former and current cricketers feel that the penalty of a wicket is a bit too much for leaving the crease early at the non-striker’s end and that it goes against the ‘spirit of the game’. They deem a run penalty as an appropriate measure.

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