Fair play or simply not cricket? What do you think about the sport’s latest flashpoint?
11:57 04 June 2014
Cricket fans across the region were today engrossed in heated debates about the latest sporting row involving the sport.
England captain Alastair Cook claimed Sri Lanka “crossed a line” between what is and is not acceptable in international cricket when Sachithra Senanayake ran out Jos Buttler at Edgbaston.
In the Royal London Series decider which Sri Lanka won by six wickets, the controversial dismissal of Buttler, when backing up at the non-striker’s end, in England’s lacklustre innings of 219 all out was the unmistakeable flashpoint.
But what do you think? Was it acceptable behaviour and would you have done the same thing? Or did Sri Lanka cross the line?
Leave your comments below and take part in our poll.
Here’s what two of our writers think.
THE CRICKET PRO’S VERDICT
Paul Newman has been involved in cricket long enough to refer to Sachithra Senanayake’s controversial dismissal of Jos Buttler as a Mankad - after Indian bowler Vinoo Mankad.
Newman - nicknamed The Judge - is a cricket coach at Town House School in Norwich and runs Norfolk’s 11s and 12s teams, having had an illustrious career playing first class cricket for Derbyshire as well as leading the Norfolk Minor Counties team.
And his judgment is summed up fairly simply: “It is a bit like getting a speeding ticket and then going out and driving at 90mph again.
“Essentially, if he has been given sufficient warnings and he continued to do it, I think he should have learned his lesson.
“I am not saying this just because I am a fast bowler, but if I am to be called up by the umpire because I am half an inch over the front line it seems only fair that a batsman doesn’t go two or three metres down the wicket and then complain that he has been unfairly treated.
“The game favours the batsman enough. When I have played I have said to batsmen, ‘please don’t back up’.
“In this case he (Buttler), was just wandering, but if you wander two metres down the wicket that is two metres less that you have to run. Inches can be the difference between winning and losing.
“Only yesterday we had a session on backing up and I told some of the youngsters that they needed to wait until the moment of release.”
(.) During India’s tour of Australia in 1947, bowler Vinoo Mankad ran out Bill Brown during the second Test at Sydney when thew Ausyralia batsmen was well out of his crease. It was the second time Mankad had dismissed Brown in this way on the tour - on the first occasion, against an Australian XI, he had warned Brown once. Since then, a batsman out in this fashion is said to have been “Mankaded”.
IAN CLARKE - AMATEUR CRICKETER
I like to think myself as pretty sporting.
I have always given 100pc effort in any game I have participated in. I love winning and don’t enjoy losing.
But fairness and competing in the true spirit of sport are vital to me.
Despite that backdrop, I don’t think the Sri Lankans did anything wrong when they ran out Jos Butler and am surprised at the furore it caused.
Butler had been warned but still backed up too far at the non-striker’s end.
Time will tell if this sours the test series and leads to copy cat run out attempts at all levels of cricket. I hope not on both counts and there’s no reason it should.
ROB SETCHELL - AMATEUR CRICKETER
In normal circumstances, I’m a proud and vocal member of the ‘rules are rules’ brigade – you play fairly and do everything possible to win. I’ve also never been shy about having a word or two in the batsman’s ear, which certainly wouldn’t be considered as ‘in the spirit of the game’.
But Jos Buttler’s dismissal last night worries me. It worries me because of the precedent it sets and it worries me because, in this case, the rule book seems wrong.
The advantage Buttler is getting by moving a fraction out of his crease is minimal. The keeper is stood up to the stumps with a spinner bowling, so there’s no chance of a single to him. It’s also very easy for the bowler to pull out of his delivery stride early and whip the bails off. Batsmen should not be dismissed in this way. The punishment doesn’t merit the crime.
Funnily enough, the same thing happened in one of the first men’s games I ever played in. I was 12. It was our opening bowler, who’d got increasingly grumpy about being slapped around some village green, who decided he’d had enough.
The non-striker backs up too far; the bowler takes the bails off and yells an appeal at the umpire. The batsman is given out, but players on both teams look pretty uncomfortable about it. 10 out of 11 players on our side felt we’d gained an unfair advantage, so we called the batsman back and justice was done.
That display of sportsmanship stuck with me as a young player – and there will have been plenty of 12-year-olds watching as Buttler was sent packing yesterday. How long before we see that sort of run-out happen again in a big international game? How long before we see more it at club level? Most worryingly, how long before under-11s start pouncing on a dodgy rule to gain an advantage in youth games?
If I was Sri Lankan captain Angelo Mathews, I’d have called Buttler back and set an example at the highest level.