ICC defends abolishing runners, says batsmen were misusing it

ICC defends abolishing runners, says batsmen were misusing it

The ICC, during its annual conference here Tuesday, abolished the provision of having runners besides introducing new rules to spruce up the sport.
     
Lorgat said the more than a century old runner rule was put to end as it was not used by batsmen in the "right spirit".  "It has been considered by the cricket committee... and there has been a strong feeling that runners were used not in the right spirit," Lorgat told reporters.
 
"It is quite a difficult one for umpires to determine whether there has been a real injury to batsmen or whether it was a tactical use of runners."
 
The debate on the need for runners came to the fore in the 2009 Champions Trophy when England captain Andrew Strauss turned down his South African counterpart Graeme Smith's request for a runner while he was battling cramps.

The ICC made the decision keeping in mind cases like these and came to a conclusion that runners can't be taken for cramps as they are a result of fatigue and not an injury.

"If a bowler gets injured you can't continue bowling for the rest of the day and the feeling was that it would be better to not allow the use of runners because there has been abuse in the past," said Lorgat.
 
The move by the apex body however drew flak from Indian batting legend Sunil Gavaskar, who demanded that bowlers should also be stopped from drinking water at the boundary line.

"I would also like to suggest that there should be no water for bowlers at the boundary end. They bowl one over and come to the boundary where energy drinks are waiting for them.

"There should be no drinks breaks that are usually scheduled after one hour or so. If you are going to make a situation like this then there should not be any substitute fielders either," Gavaskar had said while commentating in the ongoing second Test between Indian and the West Indies in Barbados.

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