New Zealand v Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Christchurch, 3rd day December 9, 2006

The run-out: The readers' verdict

Cricinfo staff

Brendon McCullum's run-out of Muralitharan: fair or unsportsmanlike? The players have had their say, here's how readers see it

As a Cricket Umpire of Karnataka State Cricket Association Bangalore in India, I state that Muralitharan is out "RUN OUT" as the ball is not dead. So the umpire's decision is absolutely correct. Murthy

The run-out of Murali, exhibits much of what makes cricket so much less today. If winning is so important that the "spirit" of sport is violated, then watch the diminishing live crowds and TV audiences and wonder no more. Shame on the Kiwi's. SHAME, I switched channels. Patrick Welcome

Murali was clearly out. NZ did the right thing, this is not a charity match. Let alone how many matches he has played, the moment you represent the country you become a pro. He should have known that the ball was not dead. Sledging is not fair, but this is absolutely fair, within the rules of the game. Karthick Krishnan

I've just read of Murali's unfortunate runout while congratulating his partner on his 100. How cruel is that? Couldn't the umpires have exercised some discretion and leniency as they did when Tony Greig ran out Kallicharran on his way to the pavilion at the end of the day's play? Vidhyasagar

The run out of Murali was an absolute shocker.. I didn't expect that from Fleming who in my view is the best captain in the world. Murali grounded his bat and went to congratulate Sangakarra. Even the umpire was walking towards the other end.. It was obnoxious on NZ's part. Vivek Chhajer

Any Kiwi who ever whinges about the Chappell brothers and the one-day "underarm" incident, should be forced to watch the disgusting actions of Brendan Mccullum in "running out" Murali in the second innings of this test. Doing no more than congratulating his batting partner, and this keeper chooses the most unsportsmanlike action to end the innings. It's not the first time he has brought the game into disrepute with this underhand method of stealing a wicket. Fleming should have shown appropriate leadership and decry the actions of his team-mate and called the batsman back. But not from this Kiwi team. Disgusting is the only thing I can say. Wayne

It is perfectly correct the way New Zealanders ran out Murali. There is nothing wrong in their part. There is no question of spirit of cricket coming into play here. Murali, who had played more than 100 Test matches, should be knowledgeable enough to know that he can't walkout of the crease before the ball is dead. Bob Jacobs

It is not fair to get somebody out just for leaving the crease to congratulate the colleague who made a ton under difficult circumstances. New Zealanders, this is not cricket. Rajeendra

Murali gets out again in a bizarre fashion. He surely must be holding the record for most "weird" dismissals. I remember this one particular instance when he was running, and he kept his bat on the ground to grease it. The thing is he had kept his bat on the ground a meter away from the crease. And was running with the bat rubbing against the ground...and just before reaching the crease line. his bat got stuck unto something in the ground and fell. the wicket keeper pulled the bails off and he was given out. He was also give out for jumping in the air when the ball hit the wicket. Basically he's one of the most exciting batsman in world cricket today :) cos something or the other happens with him around.Murugan

I felt that NZ should have been sportive and let Murali play. It was not a great way to get him OUT. S.Fleming should have displayed sportmanship spirit! N Viswanath

Murali should not have left the crease but anyone could have seen clearly that he went to congratulate his mate. It is very unsportsmanlike like for a team that has been very sporty for a long time to run out Moral at the end. Anyway it shows that how people act under pressure. Good luck kiwis to win at any cost Dim

Murali should have known better. Laws are laws. NZ did absolutely nothing wrong. Sri Lanka would have done the same if they were in NZ position, i.e., tailender holding up an end.Carl Mason

I think it is Murali's mistake to turn to greet his partner even before the ball is dead.Bala

Murali should know better. It's a gentlemen's game but teams also play to win.Rahul

I think that it is justified, if they did not wait for the dead ball to be called, should we let them off. Expensive lesson, but hopefully they learn it well.David

In my mind, Murali should have known better. The keeper is watching the ball come in, so if he notices the batsman leaving his crease while the ball is live, then his next instinct is to take the bails off when he receives the ball. He doesn't know whether Murali is going for a run or not. At this level, it surely can't be hard to put your bat in the crease until the keeper has received the ball.Jeff Moen

Clearly Murali thought it was ok to walk to Sangakkara since umpire Jerling himself started walking down the pitch. The umpire was in no position (walking down the pitch) to rule Murali out or even tell him get back. Nuwan

It may be the rule, but it's definitely not the true spirit of the game. There are many instances where a player can be sent to the dressing room without a regular dismissal, but good players don't do that. For example, if a batsman picks up the ball and hand it over to a fielder, we don't see appeals. But I am truly disappointed with New Zeeland on this incident. Win or Lose but you need to keep the spirit of the game! Roshan Rupasinghe

Murali's run out: He should have known better, but it is clearly bad sportsmanship. Everyone knew he wasn't trying for another run. NZ have been the better team - this may well spoil a well earned victory. Steve Miller

No question, Murali was out. Even at club level, you always make sure the ball is dead before you leave your crease. He switched off and Sri Lanka paid the price. Jez

Shameful. Murali was clearly on his way to congratulate his partner, after grounding his bat. In the laws of the game, but certainly not something that adds to its decency. Chris

Talk of Mural's dismissal being against the spirit of the game is a many times do we see batsman refuse to walk in situations they must know they have edged a catch? There are numerous examples of (particularly Australians!) grounding catches! and personal insults in the form of sledging ... I mean the spirit of the game is nonsense at international level there's no room for sentimentality and none given which is why no one should bemoan a fair and legitimate wicket which could mean the difference between victory and defeat for New Zealand. Jeff

I am an SL supporter. But based on what I saw on cricinfo, Murali should have known better- and he should not have left the crease. But having said that cricketing authorities have not been consistent. Under a very similarly situation (ball being not dead ) Kallicharan was run out Tony Greig. But authorities reversed the decision to avoid possible riots and harm to Tony. Pooji