The run-out that wasn't!

The run-out that wasn't!

Backing-up Thirimanne reprieved by Sehwag

Off the second ball of the 40th over of the match, R Ashwin appealed for a run out after taking off the bails as Sri Lankan batsman Lahiru Thirimanne was caught standing well outside the crease, backing up, much before the offie released the ball.

Under Law 42 of the Laws of Cricket, Ashwin was well within his right to appeal, and the umpire, in this case Paul Reiffel, too had the authority to give the batsman out without consulting his on-field colleague or the third umpire.

The Law says, “The bowler is permitted, before releasing the ball and provided he has not completed his usual delivery swing, to attempt to run out the non-striker. Whether the attempt is successful or not, the ball shall not count as one of the over.

“If the bowler fails in an attempt to run out the non-striker, the umpire shall call and signal dead ball as soon possible.”

On Tuesday, umpire Reiffel chose to consult his colleague Billy Bowden, and then asked stand-in skipper Virender Sehwag whether he wanted to press on with the appeal. The Indians decided to call Thirimanne back, the process initiated by senior statesman Sachin Tendulkar.

‘Warned earlier’

Asked about the incident, Sehwag said, “I think Ashwin warned him once in the previous over, and then in the next over he just took the bail off and appealed, and the umpire discussed and asked me. I said we could give him one more warning,” Sehwag said.

“If he does it, again we will give him out because that’s the ICC rule. If somebody is taking an early start, then bowlers have the full right to run him out.”

The Delhiite also said they decided to call Thirimanne back keeping the spirit of the game in mind. “The umpires told me it’s your call, if you appeal then we can give out. I took the decision that we can give him one more warning. If you appeal and the umpire gives him out, then somebody will criticise us for that, it’s not the spirit of the game.”

But was it a soft thing to do? “Yes, it is soft but that’s the way we are,” Sehwag said.
However, Thrimanne kept backing up too far in subsequent overs bowled by Irfan Pathan and R Vinay Kumar.

“It was because they were not aware. Ashwin was aware when he was bowling. You have to be aware when the non-striker is taking a start,” Sehwag said.

Sri Lankan skipper Mahela Jayawardene said there was some fault on Thirimanne’s part as well. “I felt there was a little bit of fault in our guy as well. Trying to do that, to be honest. But at the end of the day, the spirit of the game was the winner.”

However, Jayawardene said he would have approached the issue of a batsman backing up too far in a different way. “I would give him a warning and make sure that he stays in the crease. I wouldn’t have got the bails off in the first place.

“Try and keep it nice and clean, and tell the umpires to try and keep an eye on the guy. But if he still keeps doing it regularly, then, I think they did the right thing in the middle.”
It may be recalled that Kapil Dev had ‘Mankaded’ Peter Kirsten during India’s tour of South Africa in 1992.