Rajasthan Royals (RR) endured a costly error from their left-arm quick Mustafizur Rahman in Match 12 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in Mumbai on Monday (April 19).
RR ended up conceding crucial runs to CSK because of a poor exhibition of game awareness from Rahman, as he failed to run out CSK’s non-striker Dwayne Bravo despite him clearly taking an unfair lead in his effort to get across the other end.
Mustafizur Rahman overstepped the line and bowled a no-ball. However, the run-out of Bravo was still on if one of RR’s first-choice quicks been more alert to the situation and ensured that the opposition batter pays for his cleverness.
As it happened, though, Bravo could get back on strike, denying RR the chance to bowl the next ball – a free hit – to CSK’s lower-order batter Shardul Thakur in the all-important 20th over of the game’s first half.
And while Mustafizur Rahman managed to go largely unscathed on the free hit, he ultimately paid for his misjudgement later in the over when Bravo smashed the last ball – the extra delivery – for a maximum of six runs. Therefore, in not running out Bravo when he could’ve (and should’ve) at the non-striker’s end, Mustafizur Rahman cost RR a wicket and important seven runs.
Error from Mustafizur Rahman costs RR a wicket and seven runs versus CSK
The moment Mustafizur Rahman didn’t inflict the run-out on Bravo, renowned commentator Harsha Bhogle reacted strongly to his error, saying “Look where Bravo is…. That is why I believe you’re entirely within your rights – it should almost be mandatory in team meetings – to say, run him out. All this talk about not being in the spirit of the game is so much nonsense.”
Strong from Harsha Bhogle on TV just now.
"Look where Bravo is…. That is why I believe you're entirely within your rights – it should almost be mandatory in team meetings – to say, run him out. All this talk about not being in the spirit of the game is so much nonsense." pic.twitter.com/48G4WNhs82
— Geoff Lemon Sport (@GeoffLemonSport) April 19, 2021
Bhogle only reinforced why bowlers and teams should overcome the taboo associated with running out the non-striker, with many calling it against the unwritten ‘spirit of cricket’ despite it being an integral part of the laws accepted by the International Cricket Council (ICC).
Law 41.16, which pertains to the ‘Non-striker leaving his/her ground early’, in ICC’s adopted rule book 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.”
Mustafizur Rahman was well within his right to dismiss Bravo, who was clearly looking to gain an unfair advantage in completing the run, but chose not to do so.
When the then Punjab captain Ravichandran Ashwin ran out RR batter Jos Buttler at the non-striker’s end during a match in the IPL 2019, the incident triggered a major controversy around the cricketing world.
Ashwin faced criticism, and even abuse, over social media, with only a few appreciating him for being aware of the game’s laws and not hesitating one bit in implementing them.
When Ashwin later joined Delhi Capitals (DC), their head coach Ricky Ponting stated publicly that he doesn’t want his team’s bowlers to indulge in any such instance and that he will have a chat with Ashwin to try and force him to change his ways.
While discussions may have resolved the matter between him and Ashwin, Ponting didn’t help the stigma attached to running a non-striker out with his statement. More and more coaches should be encouraging bowlers to dismiss the batter the moment he crosses the crease at the other end before the ball is released.