South Africa v England, Group B, Centurion September 27, 2009

'You shouldn't get a runner for cramps, full stop' - Strauss

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England's ultimately comfortable passage to the semi-finals of the ICC Champions Trophy was marred by a moment of controversy towards the end of the night at Centurion, when Andrew Strauss refused Graeme Smith a runner. Smith, who batted 216 minutes in all after having spent a session in the field, was clearly unhappy when AB de Villiers was asked to head back to the pavilion, and Mickey Arthur, the South African coach, was seen swearing in frustration. Smith was dismissed soon after for 141, and South Africa eventually fell 12 runs short of the 313 that would have given them a mathematical chance of survival in the competition.

"I was cramping quite badly and I requested a runner," said Smith later. "Andrew spoke with the umpires and turned it down. He felt that if you score a hundred, you're going to be tired. From my perspective, it felt a touch inconsistent. Guys have got runners for cramps in the past, so there needs to be a degree of consistency there. This is the frustration that we have."

Strauss's take was obviously very different. "He asked me for a runner because he was cramping," he said. "The umpires were not particularly keen to give him one. I felt that at the end of a long game, after a long innings, you're going to be tired. Cramping to a certain extent is a preparation thing. To a certain extent, it's a conditioning thing. I didn't feel that he merited having a runner at that stage."

Smith insinuated that the Strauss decision may have had something to do with the suggestions of softness that resulted in him recalling Angelo Mathews during England's victory over Sri Lanka on Friday night. "I'm not going to sit here and slag Andrew and say that he should have done this or that," he said. "The decision rests with the umpires as well. From my perspective, it's just about putting it behind me now. The thing I've learned from this game is that the world's round. It's going to come back somewhere in the game, at some period of time in his captaincy. It'll be interesting to see how he handles it again."

Strauss was of the view that the refusal of a runner had nothing at all to do with the run out-obstruction incident. "You just go with each situation as it comes," he said. "I think the umpires were very uncomfortable with it as well. My personal view is that you shouldn't get a runner for cramps, full stop."

When it was pointed out that batsmen had been allowed runners in the past while suffering from cramps, he said: "That's something for the ICC to look at. I didn't feel he was cramping that badly either. He was still able to run. That was my view."

Despite the disappointment of defeat, Smith still found time to smile when he was reminded of the fact that Arjuna Ranatunga, the former Sri Lankan captain, frequently asked for and was given runners. "I don't know if I want to be likened to Arjuna," he said. "I think I've worked quite hard in the winter [laughs]. From our perspective, it was a crucial period of the game. I was on the field for 95 overs and just felt it was inconsistent, that's all."

Dileep Premachandran is an associate editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Amol_Gh on September 29, 2009, 5:04 GMT

    I'm an Indian & a SA-fan. I think cramps is a fitness issue & not an ijury. And I hope the umpires did what they thought was right. But why Strauss was seen nodding (with his head) such an EMPHATIC 'NO' when umpires just only asked for his opinion is beyond me. There should have been a BIG 'NO' for Runners long, long before back then in cricket. But I think ICC is weak and can't take any decisions on some facts like : 1. Runners 2. Why are day/night games being played which r largely unfair anyway ? Even if Namibia wins the toss, they can beat SA/Australia in a Day/Night game. 3. Why is cricket the only game where toss plays such a HUGE role ? 4. When will ICC ban T20s which is kill Art/Skills of a sportsman and reduce the ODI slightly by trimming off 10 overs each in each innings & divide the innings into 4 equal alternate innings of 20 overs each ? That way if a guy loving T20 will also love it too.

    Finally, to Smith...Well done & beat Eng 5-0 (Tests) & blank them in ODIs.

  • version1 on September 29, 2009, 4:54 GMT

    Runners should be abolished from the game. This is the only sport where you have pplayes keep playing even if they are injured. Its not fare to anybody and only serves the batsmen. And batsmen has enough liberties in the game as it stands.

  • Baria00 on September 29, 2009, 4:52 GMT

    in case of tendulkar..compaq cup final was the first time he had ever taken a runner. mostly he has played through the pain but it is true that he would not come on the field after that type of the field..strauss was absolutely right in not allowing the runner to smith, u saw with ryder..when u r injured and can not run..u can just stand than play your shots..

  • TheOldBat on September 29, 2009, 3:42 GMT

    Ah well Mr Strauss, I am sure that though Graeme Smith may be a gentleman when you visit our shores later this year, that there are a lot of South African fans who watched while you played revolving fielders thoughout the Ashes series who will, like our elephants, remember. If your poor bowlers need to go into the shade after a mere bowling spell, I guess we will remember Graeme after 3.5 hours in the field in 30 degree heat and over 3 hours batting suffering from cramp. We will also remember how many other cramped players were allowed to have a runner. We will remember the issues with Collingwood and the Kiwi's and the pommie need to win at all costs. And maybe too we will make sure that you too remember!

  • Rooboy on September 29, 2009, 3:31 GMT

    I think Strauss may have been a bit harsh but his decision is understandable. Utlimately it is up to the umpires anyway, and where do you draw the line if runners start being allowed for cramp? It will end up like the old days where someone like ranatunga could get a runner every game, merely on the basis of being a fat, out of shape, cheat, and we don't want that again.

  • arunbasa on September 29, 2009, 3:20 GMT

    Whether allow a runner for a batsman is totaly depend on the Umpires. I don't know everybody talks that Strauss denied a runner. No where in the laws of cricket it is mentioned that opposite captain is to allow a runner. I think here don't blame Stauss for that since the decisios lies with the Umpires and the opposite captain is to be informed that's all. If the umpires are denying a batsman runner then they should take the decision by themselves and stood by that. Thus, it is fit to ask the umpires of the match why or why not Smith was not allowed with a runner after having cramps (which qualifies as a injury due to his stay of 95 overs in the field), which has been done in the past.

  • shovwar on September 29, 2009, 3:15 GMT

    I totally agree with SAM_T........ if smith got a runner SA would've won that game...... SA Wud've won that game if smith was not injured in the first place..... Its always bad luck that kept SA away from trophies....But hats off to Smith for the best innings ever played in this CT.......n to Strauss....dont blame him...he got the chance and did what he has to do to save that game..the way it was going...smith's cramp came like a blessing to England..that was the only thing he (strauss) could do to win......or else it wud've been SA..in the semis.... They were on course for 323.....i beleive it...i ve seen them knock out the highest chase in the history against a far better attack than England..... Way to go Proteas....the WC is yours......

  • EdgedNTaken on September 29, 2009, 3:13 GMT

    @ Sorcerer, you & the other guy on this post are just showing your ignorance by saying Tendulkar always asks for a runner. What kind of statement is that ?! Tendulkar is dead against running with the help of a runner, as he has said only he knows how well he has hit the ball & how many runs the stroke will get him. Examples: Refused a runner when battling cramps during WC 2003 game against Pakistan, Retired Hurt batting 163 not out against NZ in NZ in an ODI. I can think of so many batsmen who would have wanted to hit a double ton with a runner; case in point: Saeed Anwar, who batted most of his innings with a runner during his 194 against India (still the highest individual score in ODIs) It was for the FIRST time during the Compaq Cup final in SL that Tendulkar asked for a runner. Get you facts right before making statements about the great man !

  • anilmf on September 29, 2009, 2:39 GMT

    Yeah!. Andrew Straus is right. It's a part of fitness and if you get cramps it simply shows you are not fit. Fitness is part of the game and your reflexes and co-ordination.You don't deserve a runner in such instances.- ANIL

  • insightfulcricketer on September 29, 2009, 1:57 GMT

    Under cricketing rules Strauss cannot be faulted in denying Smith a runner. But what a blow to sporting spirit of cricket! ODIs highest score of 194 was made by Anwar who when playing in Chennai asked for runner at 24 score on a shirt front wicket in India. The Indian players and its followers never for once questioned the wisdom of the then captain in allowing a frail Anwar( who had cramped up so early because of lack of stamina) a runner. I have never seen hard as nails Australians - no matter how much they swear on field - refuse a runner for opposing players. I hope Strauss realizes to be tough as a competitior means to be temperamentally tough day in and day out and not by being petty. That is a huge difference. Just two wins is fluke but having and showing class has its own permanence.Learn!

  • Amol_Gh on September 29, 2009, 5:04 GMT

    I'm an Indian & a SA-fan. I think cramps is a fitness issue & not an ijury. And I hope the umpires did what they thought was right. But why Strauss was seen nodding (with his head) such an EMPHATIC 'NO' when umpires just only asked for his opinion is beyond me. There should have been a BIG 'NO' for Runners long, long before back then in cricket. But I think ICC is weak and can't take any decisions on some facts like : 1. Runners 2. Why are day/night games being played which r largely unfair anyway ? Even if Namibia wins the toss, they can beat SA/Australia in a Day/Night game. 3. Why is cricket the only game where toss plays such a HUGE role ? 4. When will ICC ban T20s which is kill Art/Skills of a sportsman and reduce the ODI slightly by trimming off 10 overs each in each innings & divide the innings into 4 equal alternate innings of 20 overs each ? That way if a guy loving T20 will also love it too.

    Finally, to Smith...Well done & beat Eng 5-0 (Tests) & blank them in ODIs.

  • version1 on September 29, 2009, 4:54 GMT

    Runners should be abolished from the game. This is the only sport where you have pplayes keep playing even if they are injured. Its not fare to anybody and only serves the batsmen. And batsmen has enough liberties in the game as it stands.

  • Baria00 on September 29, 2009, 4:52 GMT

    in case of tendulkar..compaq cup final was the first time he had ever taken a runner. mostly he has played through the pain but it is true that he would not come on the field after that type of the field..strauss was absolutely right in not allowing the runner to smith, u saw with ryder..when u r injured and can not run..u can just stand than play your shots..

  • TheOldBat on September 29, 2009, 3:42 GMT

    Ah well Mr Strauss, I am sure that though Graeme Smith may be a gentleman when you visit our shores later this year, that there are a lot of South African fans who watched while you played revolving fielders thoughout the Ashes series who will, like our elephants, remember. If your poor bowlers need to go into the shade after a mere bowling spell, I guess we will remember Graeme after 3.5 hours in the field in 30 degree heat and over 3 hours batting suffering from cramp. We will also remember how many other cramped players were allowed to have a runner. We will remember the issues with Collingwood and the Kiwi's and the pommie need to win at all costs. And maybe too we will make sure that you too remember!

  • Rooboy on September 29, 2009, 3:31 GMT

    I think Strauss may have been a bit harsh but his decision is understandable. Utlimately it is up to the umpires anyway, and where do you draw the line if runners start being allowed for cramp? It will end up like the old days where someone like ranatunga could get a runner every game, merely on the basis of being a fat, out of shape, cheat, and we don't want that again.

  • arunbasa on September 29, 2009, 3:20 GMT

    Whether allow a runner for a batsman is totaly depend on the Umpires. I don't know everybody talks that Strauss denied a runner. No where in the laws of cricket it is mentioned that opposite captain is to allow a runner. I think here don't blame Stauss for that since the decisios lies with the Umpires and the opposite captain is to be informed that's all. If the umpires are denying a batsman runner then they should take the decision by themselves and stood by that. Thus, it is fit to ask the umpires of the match why or why not Smith was not allowed with a runner after having cramps (which qualifies as a injury due to his stay of 95 overs in the field), which has been done in the past.

  • shovwar on September 29, 2009, 3:15 GMT

    I totally agree with SAM_T........ if smith got a runner SA would've won that game...... SA Wud've won that game if smith was not injured in the first place..... Its always bad luck that kept SA away from trophies....But hats off to Smith for the best innings ever played in this CT.......n to Strauss....dont blame him...he got the chance and did what he has to do to save that game..the way it was going...smith's cramp came like a blessing to England..that was the only thing he (strauss) could do to win......or else it wud've been SA..in the semis.... They were on course for 323.....i beleive it...i ve seen them knock out the highest chase in the history against a far better attack than England..... Way to go Proteas....the WC is yours......

  • EdgedNTaken on September 29, 2009, 3:13 GMT

    @ Sorcerer, you & the other guy on this post are just showing your ignorance by saying Tendulkar always asks for a runner. What kind of statement is that ?! Tendulkar is dead against running with the help of a runner, as he has said only he knows how well he has hit the ball & how many runs the stroke will get him. Examples: Refused a runner when battling cramps during WC 2003 game against Pakistan, Retired Hurt batting 163 not out against NZ in NZ in an ODI. I can think of so many batsmen who would have wanted to hit a double ton with a runner; case in point: Saeed Anwar, who batted most of his innings with a runner during his 194 against India (still the highest individual score in ODIs) It was for the FIRST time during the Compaq Cup final in SL that Tendulkar asked for a runner. Get you facts right before making statements about the great man !

  • anilmf on September 29, 2009, 2:39 GMT

    Yeah!. Andrew Straus is right. It's a part of fitness and if you get cramps it simply shows you are not fit. Fitness is part of the game and your reflexes and co-ordination.You don't deserve a runner in such instances.- ANIL

  • insightfulcricketer on September 29, 2009, 1:57 GMT

    Under cricketing rules Strauss cannot be faulted in denying Smith a runner. But what a blow to sporting spirit of cricket! ODIs highest score of 194 was made by Anwar who when playing in Chennai asked for runner at 24 score on a shirt front wicket in India. The Indian players and its followers never for once questioned the wisdom of the then captain in allowing a frail Anwar( who had cramped up so early because of lack of stamina) a runner. I have never seen hard as nails Australians - no matter how much they swear on field - refuse a runner for opposing players. I hope Strauss realizes to be tough as a competitior means to be temperamentally tough day in and day out and not by being petty. That is a huge difference. Just two wins is fluke but having and showing class has its own permanence.Learn!

  • yankeecricketfan on September 29, 2009, 1:57 GMT

    In this day and age , you should not have a runner in any form of the game period ! (I mean full stop! :)) CRicket is about playing your strokes AND running between the wicket. If you cannot do that because you are injured either retire or get out and let the next player come in.

  • wanderer1 on September 29, 2009, 1:21 GMT

    It's just not cricket....

  • CeeDee on September 29, 2009, 1:10 GMT

    How can Strauss say "I didn't feel he was cramping that badly either."? We can't ever exactly know how much pain another person is in! Everyone has different pain thresholds. The only reason Smith may have kept running [even while in pain] os because he felt it his duty to try and do as much as he possibly could to help his team win. Remember we're talking about the guy who once went out to bat for his team with a broken finger!! If that's not a hero I don't know what is. Strauss needs to learn some things from Graeme Smith.

  • Looch on September 29, 2009, 1:08 GMT

    Strauss was wholly within rights and he made the correct decision given the situation and to accuse him of bad sportsmanship is at best immature. However I don't believe anybody should compare Graham Smith with serial "cramper" Arjuna Ranatunga!

  • shahidmahmood on September 28, 2009, 23:49 GMT

    If I was match referee i'd give Strauss a life ban "full stop". He is getting a bad name because of his crazy idea of not allowing a runner. He let Australia change their wicket-keeper after the toss in the ashes and won't let South Africa get a runner, wow Stauss!!!

  • SaiBharadwaj on September 28, 2009, 23:35 GMT

    Runner shld have been provided. Full Stop.

  • spinkingKK on September 28, 2009, 23:31 GMT

    Well done Strauss. If you are not fit enough, we are not going to give you concession for that. This bye runner thing is bad. They should just retire hurt. Most of the time, the opposing captain is afraid because of the criticism he had to face and allows the runner. But, Strauss has been very gutsy to disallow it. May be Strauss should work out harder next time.

  • Chempus on September 28, 2009, 23:23 GMT

    At a time I feel that cricket is no more gentleman's game. Strauss was feared of losing the match for sure. Just few days back when he recalled mathews, I was full of praise for him but situation here was not the same. You may be doing too many good things unnoticed but a single act of greediness can make you villain and people remember these things for long. A player like Smith will never ask for a runner just because he was 'little' uncomfortable. I feel that afterwards player like Sachin would also consider twice before asking for runner. Views written here from both perspective are correct but I feel that if fielding captain has a choice of replacement why not batsman.

  • Pep1 on September 28, 2009, 23:18 GMT

    Cant blame Staus, winning is everything. Just do what you need to to win the game. Just ask the Aussies...

  • EverTried on September 28, 2009, 22:52 GMT

    Okay, so let's look at the basics, because I see several of you people ramble on with terrible rationales. A player can get injured in the following ways:

    1. Natural causes or fitness causes like cramps, etc. 2. Getting tired. 3. A bowler throws the ball at the batsman and gets him injured. 4. Punch him although highly unlikely.

    So, how do you decide who gets the runner? Further, who decides it? Does the opposition captain decide this or the umpires? Is the opposition captain or any umpire on the ground a physiotherapist or a doctor?

    If I were captain, I could do #3 in all my games at get my entire opposition team retired hurt, and then not allow runners or substitutes. Right? Right?

    "What goes around comes around." So the best way to avoid the "going around" is not go there at all. It was extremely unsportsmanlike of Strauss to not have allowed a runner. What he started may or may not end any time soon.

  • SpreadEagle90 on September 28, 2009, 22:24 GMT

    Did Herbet's post (September 28 2009, 13:00 PM GMT) go completely unnoticed?

    For all posting bitter, passive-aggressive remarks towards Strauss such as " Be prepared for retribution", "i really hope this comes back to haunt strauss" and and I am sure in no time Strauss or someone from England team will face this situation - would love to see the English team's reaction then", do take care to make note of the fact that Strauss, in the same situation as Smith, an opening batsman anchoring his teams innings, retired hurt with cramp. Complaints of inconsistency on Strauss' part are determined obsolete by this evidence; a sign of his integrity as a player.

    It is a shame that, with England's players finally performing against the top sides in the world, be it a 'flash in the pan' or not, their captain is being vilified for a non-story that even Smith, with a past reputation of a bullish attitude, didn't generate hostility over.

  • __PK on September 28, 2009, 21:53 GMT

    Law 2 of the Rules of Cricket makes no mention of the opposing captain's rights to object to a runner. As for being unsportsmanlike, I noticed that SA were planning on using their fastest man between the wickets as a runner, to replace the leaden-footed Smith - how sporting is that?

  • Navdip on September 28, 2009, 21:50 GMT

    Definitely Rite on. If you cannot run for the cramps, sit out in pavilion. I have seen so many games that drift out of the bowling side with an extra runner out there. the batsman has to just hit it & rest is upto runner, so easy out there. The great example is 194* scored by Saeed Anwar, highest ever score by anybody in ODIs. the question mark on that particular innings was "was he running on his own". Yes he had runner running for him through most of innings. For me there should be no runner allowed. If you cannot run just sit in pavilion just that simple.

  • KyleG on September 28, 2009, 21:47 GMT

    Shah being off the field and Bresnan being on at the time makes a mockery of this whole situation. Law 2.1 applies in the EXACT same way for both runners and substitute fielders. I saw no injury to Shah, except maybe for badfieldingitis. Inconsistent and bad umpiring, but since they approached Strauss, he should have taken moral high ground and allowed the runner.

  • cricdizzle on September 28, 2009, 21:21 GMT

    Allowing a runner in cricket is ridiculous and needs to be disallowed. The point of playing a 6+ hour game is not just skill but working on your fitness. If you're not fit enough to score a century and keep going then well, move to a place of high elevation and start training. Some of the athletes in cricket are ridiculously unfit, for playing a long intense game. If you cramp, drink gatorade, deal with it. You can have a trainer do some work on you; and if you're in terrible shape, retire it's a game of fitness as much as it is of skills.

  • cabman1969 on September 28, 2009, 20:40 GMT

    eric-bryan { it would not have taken a blind man to see that Smith was not running well and trust me because his character is tested and proven.}

    I seem to remember a previous south african captains character being tested and proven, and a man of god. Oh no hang on a minute he was a cheating crook.

  • McPiggle on September 28, 2009, 19:48 GMT

    Mr Strauss, I would like to you to remember that you have a long tour of South Africa coming up at the end of the year.

    Your act of poor sportsmanship will be remembered by not only the captain who you poorly treated but by the viewing public. You have done little to endear yourself and consequently will get little respect from us in the future.

    You have just eclipsed K.P. in the stakes of contempt and dislike! I will be rooting for NZ tomorrow!

  • shirishtulsian on September 28, 2009, 19:45 GMT

    this is for SORCERER. please get ur facts right before commenting on a legend like sachin. the great man has asked for runner just 1 time in his entire career. the innings in which he asked for one this month was the first for him. so please in the future dont post something just for the sake of it.

  • SP123 on September 28, 2009, 19:39 GMT

    Adding to the Inzamam story below..............I don't think Jesse Ryder would have scored as many against SL if he did not have the runner. Some of the singles that MacCallum and Tuffy ran were lightening, runs that Ryder would not have a prayer making the other end.

    So, did the fact that Ryder got a runner end up being a double whammy for SL?

    1. The pair ran more singles because of Tuffy and 2. Ryder was able to hit out because he had not spent the energy running between the stumps?

    Thoughts?

  • ChokieChokie on September 28, 2009, 19:38 GMT

    Seems to me our South African friends have blown this out of all proportion in order to deflect scrutiny from the poor effort and lack of support Smith received from his own team-mates with both bat and ball.

    Taking Smith's 141 out of the equation, for the most vaunted one-day team on this planet to allow the worst side in the tournament 300+ and then muster barely 150 runs between them when it really mattered in favourable conditions speaks volumes.

    Blame Strauss all you want - you're merely in denial. South Africa choke far too often to blame this self-imposed shocker on sporting etiquette...

  • 2107gc009 on September 28, 2009, 19:32 GMT

    I am not surprised by the rather ordinary decision made by Andrew Strauss. One must consider that, as captain, he will be most known for his anonymity, shabbiness and general lack of understanding of how the game is played by gentlemen . The cricket audience will remember the way he commanded his team's behaviour on the last day of the Ashes Test in Cardiff and his latest exhibition of non-sportsmanship is further evidence to his weakness of character and general lack of spine. I struggle to see how the English team derive any sort of motive or determination from the man, who is often seen but never heard. One must understand his lack of empathy for such a situation as Graeme experienced - Strauss, himself, has seldom been expected to bat 45 out of 50 overs of a game and I am confident in saying he never has and never will. He will soon lose the captaincy, be dropped from the team and be forgotten by everyone. Smith will be remembered in history as one of the greatest captains ever.

  • Philip_Gnana on September 28, 2009, 19:31 GMT

    Come on lets get this straight. Ranatunga was given a runner because he could not run. His walk annoyed the fielding side so much that it was better to get a runner instead......:). Smith may have been given a runner if the score was different and SA not having any benefit...having scored 141 it was time to head out. Fair call I would say. Philip Gnana, New Malden, Surrey

  • CatC on September 28, 2009, 19:30 GMT

    I am not a South African but fair play to Graeme Smith - that was truly a captain's innings. I don't know the ins and outs of the rules about runners but I think had one been allowed SA could have gone on to win that match or at least get enough runs to go through on run rate. If as fielding captain he could overrule an umpire and bring back a player given out, then why not in the case. This may come back to haunt Straussie - what goes around comes around.

  • PrinceKler on September 28, 2009, 18:59 GMT

    Strauss as you know plays it as the situation goes.. mathews as you know is not as capable as smith and england was not going to lose the match ayways so he called him back but he could not give smith a runner..that is absolutely shameful for england and for strauss.. i myself am from india and have seen hunderds of england batsmen ask for runners in hot n humid conditions and recieve them because of only dehydrating not cramping because that is the way to lay the game .. its a gentlemens game and ofcourse some of them (strauss) do not fit that description .. like smith said the world is round strauss n what goes around must come all the way back around.. good luck to ur fake sportsmanship

  • Parryg on September 28, 2009, 18:37 GMT

    In response to Sorcerer's Tendulkar comment, I disagree on facts. Tendulkar is known for not getting a runner until it's absolutely necessary. I know he got one recently in Sri Lanka, but that was the second time ever he's got a runner in an ODI. Given he's played for 20 years and played more long innings than anyone else, I thought that's remarkable.

  • cricinformed on September 28, 2009, 18:29 GMT

    For the record... Tendulkar has opted for a runner ONLY TWICE IN HIS ENTIRE ODI CAREER. In his own words just recently: I never played with a runner in my entire life, even in schools, because only I know where the ball is going and how hard, when I hit the ball, something my runner will never know about.

  • chandau on September 28, 2009, 18:26 GMT

    Sangakkara showed real sportsmanship allowing 2 runners for Ryder. Its not about winning at any cost, its winning despite the costs. Sri Lanka would have won had Sanga not missed the run out of Vettori. In the olden days cricketers bowled in semi darkness so that the other team would win. Now England et al try delaying tactics with physio and 12th man on the field. I wonder how many of the people commenting here remember that cricket is a gentleman's game to be played with honor and dignity and sportsmanship. Vaasy used to say "sorry sir" after every unsuccessful appeal. That is how we Sri Lankans play the game. That is why we have won the SPIRIT OF CRICKET award 3 years running!! We may not get into semis at this event but that is not the end of the world. Cheers :)

  • Quazar on September 28, 2009, 18:21 GMT

    Talk about propaganda! 'Sorcerer' and 'Farce-follower' are distorting facts about Tendulkar. The on-air commentators clearly mentioned during the recent SL triseries final (prompted by their statistician) that it was highly rare for Tendulkar to have someone else run for him as he dislikes it. In fact, I challenge both of you to recount even a couple of hundreds when he has used a runner (aside from this one-off SL incident)! Yes, in SL he cramped up in the severe afternoon heat and did not field, but the SL captain gave permission. And 'Sorcerer', perhaps you remember that a certain Saeed Anwar (another brilliant batsmen) was allowed to have a runner by Tendulkar for half his ODI WR innings of 194...or do you have selective amnesia?

  • CricketingStargazer on September 28, 2009, 18:20 GMT

    It's wonderful how some fans talk about cheating. "Cheating" is breaking the rules. Strangely though, there are umpires on the field to ensure that rules are followed. The rules say that a runner may only be allowed if the fielding captain agrees. Very few sides would have allowed a runner in such circumstances. If you want cheating, how about picking a ball up off the ground in full view of the TV cameras and, thinking the umpire unsighted, claiming a catch? Or bowling so slowly to stop the opposition winning that a match ends in near darkness? Or bowling an underarm daisy-cutter on the last ball of a close run chase? Or simply complaining because a catch is referred one day and then complaining even more loudly when it is NOT referred the next. Or appealing constantly and aggresively when you know that the batsman is not out and then complaining of bias.

    If there is a side that goes in for gentlemanly behaviour in cricket these days, I don't know it. Cricket is a game for men.

  • Calgarian on September 28, 2009, 18:05 GMT

    Read a few posts regarding tendulkar's habit of asking for a runner! How many times has he asked for a runner? "Twice" in a carrear spanning 20 years... is this a "habit" or what? Agreed , he gets cramps on playing a long innings, but most of the times he has not asked for a runner..

    Had smith been allowed a runner, maybe the result of the match been different..

  • Nampally on September 28, 2009, 18:05 GMT

    I thought it was poor sportsmanship in refusing Smith a runner. Muscle pulls & cramps for a batsman in the past test matches always resulted in a runner. I know England were keen to win but Strauss did not show true spirit of the game. It is a wrong to say one had to work properly on fitness to avoid cramps. Cramps can occur due to multiple causes including due to weather & humidity. I think Strauss did not want to lose the advantage of seeing a crippled Smith get out due to pain rather than lose the match, which was close. Win at any costs seems to be new Cricket sportsmanship.

  • Jarr30 on September 28, 2009, 18:04 GMT

    I think all teams should be consistent in allowing or not allowing a runner. I know all the SA fans must be cursing Andrew Strauss and accusing him of lack of sportmanship, but I feel he did the RIGHT THING BY NOT ALLOWING A RUNNER to Smith. In the past Ranatunga asked for a runner all the time and that is not right. Sayeed Anwar scored 194 not out and out of that more than 100 runs came by a help of a runner. For god sake this a professional sport not school cricket.Just recently a Zimbabwan player scored 194 not out without any help of a runner but his name is nowhere. I feel if you get cramps then go back to pavilion and get it treated while another batsman can come and do the scoring.

  • Borderline_genius on September 28, 2009, 18:03 GMT

    It's always interesting to note the ill-educated and vindictive comments that come from readers when any story relating to England appears. The poor grammar makes the comments more pitifully woeful.

    Let's look at some of the sentiments: I hope this happens to Strauss (from Addepally, Redneck, azzu_sust) - Lovely, mature playground sentiments there! It wasn't sporting - I think you might like to examine Mickey Arthur's action frist prior to coming to any conclusions on sportsmanship

    Let's look at the facts: It was the umpires' decision. Smith could still run. Cramp is not an injury, it is fatigue/fitness related. If you can't last 100 overs, tough.

    But hey ho. England would have won anyway. I'm sure most of the people who disagree with me will find time to reply inbetween working in call centres for British Banks and Insurance companies, and cold calling British people to ask them to change their mobile phone contracts.

    Anyway, I'm off to watch Slumdog Millionaire.

  • Green_How on September 28, 2009, 17:57 GMT

    One things for sure this issue is really gonna stoke up the forthcoming test and 1 day series if some the of SA fans comments are anything to go by. England can expect even less applause then the odd unsporting murmur they got yesterday when Colly, Owais and Eion made their excellent half centuries. Hit the treadmills Proteas !!

  • vpadmana on September 28, 2009, 17:55 GMT

    The decision to allow a by-runner should be taken out of the hands of the opposing captains and should rest solely in the hands of the umpires. And the umps should be given a set of guidelines by which they can approve or deny a request.

  • madhu21 on September 28, 2009, 17:55 GMT

    I think couple of people including sorcerer and someone else mentioned about sachin using a by-runner. as a matter of fact sachin has never used a by-runner in his whole life and he has also quoted many times that he never believes in having a by-runner as he alone is the person who knows how hard he has hit the ball. he has not come for fielding on quite a few occasions but so have many other players before him and after him have done that.That is not illegal so is the case with using a by-runner. having said that there are specific reasons when one would be allowed a runner and umpires have to make that decision with the fielding captain's agreement. I dont see anything wrong with strauss's line here.

  • cricinformed on September 28, 2009, 17:45 GMT

    Just a second..are we saying that Tendulkar is fond of having others run for him. He has opted for a runner just TWICE IN HIS ENTIRE ODI CAREER! Also in his words just some time back: "I never played with a runner in my entire life, even in schools, because only I know where the ball is going and how hard, when I hit the ball, something my runner will never know about."

  • Sorcerer on September 28, 2009, 17:39 GMT

    Good on him that his team has choked yet again despite his effort. I've never rated Smith to be an exemplary sportsman or skipper either who plays in the spirit of the game. This stems largely from how he ranted at Yousuf after his player Hall shoulder barged Yousuf in Pak after being hit for a boundary, and all Smith had on offer for the gentle aggrieved Yousuf was rebuke. Good on him that he lost the Test Series duly too as his opener Kirsten got violently injured by a Shoaib fierce bouncer. Saffies like to play tough and squeal when so does the opposition.

  • SillyPoint2009 on September 28, 2009, 17:37 GMT

    Much ado about nothing - Smith has moved on, and so should the others. Those who saw the Ashes know that Strauss is no gentleman, whatever his schooling. Why should the umpires ask the other captain? Was Smith consulted when Shah was replaced after his horror drops? I doubt it. Could Strauss have been more considerate? Yes. But, in all fairness to him, England were looking to win 3 matches in a row for the first time since Ian Botham played!

  • Tanzeev on September 28, 2009, 17:36 GMT

    Strauss shouldn't hv done that, full stop!

  • SP123 on September 28, 2009, 17:30 GMT

    So, what are we suggesting here?

    - Forget about the runner thing, period. If you're injured (or cramped) while batting, then `retire hurt', let the next batsman in and come back when you're fit again. I have often seen the confusion a runner creates to the (TV) viewer, so how much would it be for the fielding side? What about the umpire? Let us eradicate this. I know of no other major sport that has a runner. Pinch runner in baseball plays the rest of the game and the substituted player stays out. - There are no rules currently to prevent a bowler from leaving the field once he bowls his quota of overs. There should be a mandatory number of overs that the player stays on the field after finishing his quota and that the substitution is done with the consent of the opposing captain, or have one less fielder. - To address the Tendulkars there should be a mandatory number of overs that any player should be on the field. Failing that, the team be docked runs or overs.

  • Quazar on September 28, 2009, 17:28 GMT

    It would have been admirable if Strauss had allowed a runner, but the decision was in the hands of the umpires and they followed the rules to the letter. No point in denouncing Strauss. But superb character from Smith...very brave fight to the end!

  • Sorcerer on September 28, 2009, 17:16 GMT

    Case of Tendulkar as raised by someone here is also quite relevant. He has this growing habit of asking for a runner quite often when he is playing a big innings. And yes indeed, in cases he also does not come on to field later having a younger and much fitter guy get on the field when India is bowling. This is bordering on unfair play.

    On the other hand, I recall in '81 Test Series in the Multan Test, King Viv was blasting his way to an absolutely fabulous ton - 129, but in his duel with King Khan he had started to limp pretty badly as he was being hit quite a few times by Imran's swining fast in-duckers and as the batting pads were not of such high quality as evolved later on. Viv was limping badly but got even more murderous. Greenidge was also one who used to bat even more aggressively and effectively when he got injured, and yes, those two hardly ever called for a runner to assist them!

    Batsmen now have become too flashy and signal straightaway given even minor cramps.

  • Sorcerer on September 28, 2009, 17:08 GMT

    Well, eZoha.....I can recall an incident in international cricket when a runner was disallowed, and in my opinion for good reason too, even though for cramps. Case in question came in the last hour or so of Inzamam's epic 329 v NZ in Lahore Test.

    Inzamam was toying with the bowlers and then after passing 250-odd asked for a runner - something duly refused by Stephen Fleming whose men were on the verge of collapse already having chased leather the whole day. As it happened then, Inzamam limped and swung hard his way to even more boundaries but in any case I personally thought Fleming was justified....why cause even more hardship for your own bowlers and reward the opposition batsman letting him rest so much? Of course, on another count, there have been quite a few cases in international cricket where batsmen have abused this convenience and continued merrily faking slight limp in between.

  • sarfrazniaz on September 28, 2009, 17:02 GMT

    Dear All I believe that was cheap approach by strauss, he mentioned "You just go with each situation as it comes," . He was right there at least. Because he knew that Angela Mathews wicket won't make any difference, so he allowed him to come back. Smith would have made a huge difference, so he didn't allow him a runner. My simple theory is batsmen should be allowed to have runner in any case, otherwise rule should be made stating no runner whatsoever.

  • Sorcerer on September 28, 2009, 17:01 GMT

    I thought about commenting on the runner issue in the Ryder case and co-incidentally all hell broke loose on the issue later on the same day! Plain simple, there should not be room for a runner whatever the circumstances..this is not festival or school cricket being played on where we expect everyone to be sympathetic and chummy with the opposition. Cricket has become too commercial and severe in intensity. Teams like India and Pak have massively passionate followings and want their teams not to give an inch to the opposition. If a player gets injured, tough. They should retire or keep on slogging staying firmly at the crease. Why give him the luxury as was given to Ryder to clobber the bowlers swinging wildly and merely stepping aside for someone else to do the hard running? I'm glad Strauss has stepped in firmly albeit it is moot whether he would have allowed Ryder a runner, and I bet even Sagakkara must be having qualms now about it. this runner nonsense has gone on for too long.

  • proteasfan99 on September 28, 2009, 16:26 GMT

    England fans talk a whole lot of rubbish but South African fitness when their players have to cheat to win and draw games...look at the ashes test in which England in sensing an obvious defeat kept changing gloves and the physio kept coming to attend to both Panesaer and Anderson when we knew they were both fine....such things will count against England I promise one day...I am dissapointed by the Proteas but disheartened by England. we will have no mercy come the England series and this time the Protes have to give us fans something to smile about...

  • sillymid on September 28, 2009, 16:24 GMT

    Though I am deeply upset by Strauss's decision I hope that if Smith is given the same situation in the upcoming series, I hope he is big enough to not follow Strauss's example, and to add, regardless of the law saying it was the umpires decision, Strauss could clearly be seen shaking his head. If the Umpires can call back a player who has clearly been given out, theycan agree to a runner, even tho it is not in the rules. We should also perhaps look at the definition of a injury, surely painful involuntary movement to the muscles would be considered an injury?????

  • proteasfan99 on September 28, 2009, 16:16 GMT

    I do not think in that situation Smith would have instigated the run out of Albie if he wasnt truely in pain....it would not have taken a blind man to see that Smith was not running well and trust me because his character is tested and proven...Smith would not have tired at that stage...Strauss showed unsportsman quality...Shah went off because he had played a less demending innings than Smith and was now tired and fielding badly as usual....i think a runner should be allowed by the match refree after analysing the situation and a replacement fielder should follow the same scenario.... Smith should have had a runner period and Strauss knows it...with the South Africa, England series coming up Strauss may leave to regret this decision....he might need the same and I would be horrified if Smith gives him though I sense due to sportsmanship he might...

  • Sam_T on September 28, 2009, 16:14 GMT

    Smith was not that badly cramped. strauss did correct thing in his point of view. sometimes a tired batsman can run for single where as runner can get 2. Those runs would make lot different at the end. May be if smith got a runner, SA would have taken a match. Never know. If SA batted first, may be strauss would have said yes.But it was crucial game for england too. You can't point anyone wrong except the icc rules.

  • Rabbit72 on September 28, 2009, 16:10 GMT

    To all those who have castigated Strauss for vetoing the decision to allow Smith a runner: please refer to Laws 2.1 (a) and (b) and 2.2 (they apply equally to substitutes acting as fielders and runners). To paraphrase: Strauss should not have been given the right of objection in the first instance, it is solely the umpires' decision. Direct your ire towards the umpires, if anyone. But then again, they are not the South African-born captain of a team who has just knocked the hosts South Africa out of a tournament they were favourites to win. Hey ho.

  • sillymid on September 28, 2009, 16:10 GMT

    TCoffey, are you telling me English batsmen have never had runners for cramp before.

  • Alexk400 on September 28, 2009, 16:09 GMT

    Strauss is correct. Unless it is an injury happened in the field , there should not be runner for cramps. You have to be fit play. No runner for Fat/weak/tnmy midget people who try to exploit the law for even small discomfort.

  • AJ_Tiger86 on September 28, 2009, 15:58 GMT

    Strauss have done nothing wrong here. He played by the rules. To those who are talking about sportsmanship: it only applies to players who respect it themselves. Graeme Smith is one of the most arrogant cricketers on the planet. He has previously gotten in trouble with Pietersen and Vaughan. So there was no reason for Strauss to show any mercy. If it was Tendulkar or Kallis in Smith's place, I think Strauss would have allowed the runner. It was great to see England storm into the semis proving everyone wrong. South Africa will never ever win a major trophy.

  • azonicz on September 28, 2009, 15:51 GMT

    I dont see anything wrong with Straus refusing a runner.If Smith needed a runner the umpires have the power to allow one even if the fielding captain refuses.Now guys pls know the rules before saying something about a player who plays for his country.Its always easy to comment how many of us are gentlemen when it matters?????I dont Strauss for refusing a runner.They allowed a keeper to be replaced after the toss.How many teams have done that.

  • pwalsham on September 28, 2009, 15:14 GMT

    Edmond - Unfortunately Delboy has a point, you implied Strauss was cheating when you said "...the idiots that govern the sport allow idiots like Srauss to get away with this type of crap", he didn't "get away" with anything, the Umpires had no business in asking Strauss to rule in the matter and therefore was not Strauss's decision to make.

    The English have been vilified for not being ruthless, being spineless - infact the decision to recall Matthews could be seen as exactly the sort of decision he shouldn't be making, and yet when he makes a decision, completely within the laws, he's lambasted for that too!

    s0ldier - Get a grip - cramp is not an injury - torn ligaments, broken bones, detached muscles are injuries. Cramp is just an involuntary muscle spasm, sometimes caused by an illness or injury but not an injury or illness by itself.

  • Oldmanmartin on September 28, 2009, 15:09 GMT

    The Laws make it abundantly clear that it is the umpires' responsibility to decide if a runner or substitute fielder is allowed. End of story.

  • eZoha on September 28, 2009, 15:07 GMT

    Runner creates confusion. Nobody asks for a runner in ODI unless he really needs one. What Strauss did was very bad to see. A grave example of lack of sportsmanship. I have been following international cricket for the last 14 years and I cannot remember any single occasion where fielding captain did not allow the batsman having cramps to get a runner. Of course, if you carry an old injury, captains sometimes don't allow runner. But that's another story.

  • Farce-Follower on September 28, 2009, 15:07 GMT

    Strauss has done the right thing. Absolutely right. Tendulkar needs a runner everytime he scores a century. And never gets to field after that. What a farce!

  • diri on September 28, 2009, 15:01 GMT

    I thought strauss was a good man,a gentleman that would be a good role model for the youngsters.....but after lastnight i changed my mind yes there is no rule saying he should have let smih get a runner but it would have been the fair and decent thing to do....i mean after all england had already had the match rapped up right?? haha noooo he was scared that smith would take SA to a memorable victory and i think he would have if he wasnt in such discomfort....shame on strauss....shame on english cricket for what they have become... enjoy the win because when yourl come back here in december there will be hell to pay....what comes around goes around strauss

  • auggie on September 28, 2009, 15:00 GMT

    A solid law must apply. Either you get a runner or not. Injury - definitely yes. cramps - not always because as a sportsman one is supposed to be fully fit and be able to score a century without cramping. Having said that batsmen going on to score 150, and 200 + will cramp, fit or not and should be allowed a runner. The dig about old Napolean - Arjuna Ranatunga was a good one! He could call for a runner even before scoring a fifty and he always got away with it! More humourous still was his singles, which he more often than not walked rather than 'ran'. The Aussies gave him hell for this habit but he always had his standard PR smile on his face and cared a hoot!.

  • vijayc123 on September 28, 2009, 14:57 GMT

    What is Smith complaining about? Strauss did the right thing by denying the runner. Smith stays in sleeps for 50 overs and only aims for batting for the rest 50 overs. So why is he lying that he has to stay there for 95 overs. Standing in slips is hardly any physical exercise. On top of it he claims he worked really hard over his fitness. Looks like hard work is a very relative term. Mickey Arthur just acted like a joker or fanatic fan. You cant beg for a runner and complain when denied. Thats the reason it is called request and not order.

  • pwalsham on September 28, 2009, 14:49 GMT

    Can we please have less of the bleating and bleeding hearts? The fact is that the rules prohibit the provision of a runner except where one is needed due to injury or illness. And as far as I am aware, cramp is neither an injury or an illness, although it may be caused by an illness it is however, usually due to dehydration, hypoxia, inadequate stretching, muscle fatigue or electrolyte imbalance. Cramp is simply an involuntary muscle spasm - people with cramp are not generally thought to be ill or injured. If Smith was cramping badly due to illness or injury then he should've left the field and allowed someone else to get into the English attack, he's the captain and he should know better.

    SA obviously expected England to be a walkover in respect to their thrashing by the Aussies. Poor prep, poor excuses and poor show!

  • Yusuf.Raja on September 28, 2009, 14:37 GMT

    Rather that get into a debate about the merits of Strauss's decision and whether a cricketer should be fit or not, the question that should be asked is if SA were totally out of the game with no hope of winning and Smith asked for a runner would he have been given one or not (now, only Strauss can answer that?). If the answer is that he would have been given a runner then then that would be a problem cause the match situation is dictating the decision rather that a law of the game. In addition i would like to believe that the other captains would have allowed a runner which would be in keeping with the spirit of the game. In the absense of a clear guideline or law this matter will come up again in the coming months... Have the laws of the game been broken by Strauss? probably not... Is Strauss's decision in keeping with the spirit of the game? definitely not... I therefore personally believe that Smith should have been given a runner - but thats only my opinion.

  • drsuso on September 28, 2009, 14:34 GMT

    ICC should CHANGE this rubbish rule of taking a runner. The rule should be if a batsman is unfit to run then his team can decide to replace him with the next batsman. He will be considered as retired hurt. If the rule is changed no captain will have to take the blame for wrong reasons.

  • Safiya on September 28, 2009, 14:28 GMT

    Plain and simple, Strauss was just being difficult. Its definetly not withern the spirit of the game.

  • TCoffey on September 28, 2009, 14:21 GMT

    If Smith were genuinely hurt, or in danger of suffering a heat-related injury, that's one thing. To say you're tired and cramping because you've been batting for SO LONG is no excuse for wanting a runner. Come on ... "I've been too successful against you, can you make it easier on me for a minute?" I don't feel asking for a runner in this circumstance is within the spirit of cricket. As for fielders going off, I agree they shouldn't, but are you telling me South Africa fielders never leave? The bowler and batsman are a different question.

  • Green_How on September 28, 2009, 14:19 GMT

    I think the main issue is conditioning here. If your a pro cricketer you should be able to last 100 overs, especially as an opening batsmen where there is the possibility for being out in the field for long periods. Take nothing away from Smith, his performance was absolutley top draw, unfortunately the same can't be said about his fitness levels. Am i the only 1 to have noticed how big some of the SA players have got over the past year or so, the skin tight shirts don't help but i wonder whether there has been a ploy to bulk up for power hitting at the expense of greater cardio fitness levels (i don't profess to be an expert but carrying extra weight is surely going to take its toll). As it is i think Strauss was absolutely right and its the umpire decision at the end of the day. Unfortunately the bottom line for South Africa is they bottled it again and hiding behind this issue of a runner doesn't change that.

  • Edmond on September 28, 2009, 13:59 GMT

    Hey Delboy! I never said that there wasn't cheating in football, in fact I never even said your Mr. Strauss was cheating! but yes I do agree that football is a global sport.

    What I did say was that cricket is governed by a bunch of spineless idiots, the same idoits who make a brilliant sport that requires huge skill into a game

    On a more constructive note, but still very angry, for MR Hall0! I don't think Mr. Strauss will be getting too many Xmass cards from anybody other than his Colonial yobs!

  • woody.w.woodlington on September 28, 2009, 13:30 GMT

    How on earth have there been 73 comments on this?? It's SUCH a non-story! Spurswasps has it spot on. As, more importantly, Andrew Strauss. Smith didn't make that big a deal about it, even in the heat of the moment.

  • Pengpo on September 28, 2009, 13:22 GMT

    Obviously it's unfortunate that he cramped up, because it was a brilliant knock, but you can't expect Strauss to make any other decision here. In fact, you shouldn't expect him to even be asked, the umpires should just have been firmer with enforcing the rules. The SL one is entirely different, Ryder was genuinely injured, and therefore qualified for a runner. Smiith could obviously still run, because he did.

    I agree with the person who mentioned De Villiers walking on the pitch, despite the request being turned down, as unsporting. They perceived Strauss as weak after his gesture to Angelo Mathews, and decided to send ABDV on, believing that Strauss would relent and let it happen if they just brought him on anyway. He stayed strong in not allowing the rules to be bent, but as i said previously, the umpires shouldn't even have consulted him.

  • BDKu on September 28, 2009, 13:18 GMT

    I dont think you can blam Strauss for his decision because there is no rule saying that you have to allow a runner. Neither can you blame Smith for asking because such request have been granted on many occassions before. Its all about what you value. But it will be interesting to to see if the situation ever reverses and whether Smith can have the courage to show he is a bigger human being, and whether Strauss will be shameless to ask, and may be even complaint if Smith retaliates. This will will show who is the real man out of the two. So lets wait and see.

  • KBOO on September 28, 2009, 13:12 GMT

    If the rules allowed Strauss the descretion to deny the request by Smith to have a runner, why should he be chastised, it's his right. rules are rules. On the issue of sportsmanship, when cricketers raise this issue, it's nothing but BS. If it was a significance in cricket these days, batsmen would be walking on caught behind and there would be no sledging........

  • Herbet on September 28, 2009, 13:00 GMT

    extract taken from the Cricinfo match report for the ODI game India v England, April 12th 2006, Jamshedpur:

    "Bell's dismissal, four short of what would have been a well-deserved half-century, allowed Strauss to shift to consolidation mode - angling the ball in the gaps and thwarting the spin threat in the middle overs. The sapping heat gradually took its toll on Strauss and he cramped up on 76, retiring hurt, but England were just 65 adrift then. Pietersen blasted 33 in quick time before falling to Harbhajan Singh, who had earlier turned out to be his first international wicket. "

    So there you go fella's, if you get cramp you retire hurt. Easy peasy.

  • theboycodhead on September 28, 2009, 12:58 GMT

    Yes England have routinely abused the laws regarding fielding substitutes (although the Ponting run out at Trent Bridge in 2005 is a bad example to quote as Gary Pratt was on for the genuinely injured Simon Jones, who is yet to play for England again) in both tests and limited overs cricket, however, the issue of a player cramping after 45 overs batting being granted a runner is a non starter and a lack of conditioning is no excuse to be granted a runner. Jesse Ryder was genuinely injured (to the extent he will miss the rest of the tournament) and was therefore correctly allowed to have a runner, should he have been allowed to change his runner, probably not unless Tuffey was due to bat next but that is a different matter altogether.

  • Delboy71 on September 28, 2009, 12:53 GMT

    tmd >> issues regarding players leaving the field are down to the umpires only and nothing to do with the opposition captain.

    Edmond >> can you please tell me why football is such a massive global sport when far worse blatent cheating goes on? Are you a South African by any chance?

    There seem to be a lot of people on here vilifying Strauss without a full knowledge of the laws of the game or indeed what is / isn't within the spirit of the game.

  • Howzzat07 on September 28, 2009, 12:52 GMT

    Wow, any respect I had for Strauss is gone. What a piece of garbage that move was. There would have been nothing wrong to let a runner in. England couldn't handle the fact they would have lost so they pulled that bush league move. I hope South Africa annihilates England during the tour after the ICC Trophy. Send those idiots home with a real beating. Strauss and the rest of the England team can go to hell.

  • spurswasps on September 28, 2009, 12:50 GMT

    Fully agree with simon_w comment. Professional cricketers should be fit enough to last a full days cricket - cramping is a surely a conditional and fitness issue rather than an injury. I have every admiration for Smith's abilities especially after this teriffic innings - but to suggest that Strauss was showing 'unsporting and ungentlemanly behaviour' is ridiculous. Giving Smith a runner would be handing an advantage to the opposition - why gift the opposition an fresh-pair of legs? Should we turn this to the other perspective and suggest that SA we're seeking an unfair advantage by requesting a runner, whilst staring defeat in the face? It seems that now that England have (finally!) found a competitive streak, many are quick to jump to the conclusion that this is through some form of foul-play. If the ever-competitive Aussies and Ponting had done the same thing, would we see the same reaction??

  • JethroTull on September 28, 2009, 12:46 GMT

    This isn't club cricket. If are not fit you are not getting a runner no matter for how many overs a player is on the field.

  • Hall0 on September 28, 2009, 12:44 GMT

    Oh dear Edmond! what an angry and confused young man you are! I really hope Andrew Strauss doesn't see your comments cos I reckon he might not be able to sleep tonight. If you dont have anything constructive or remotely relevent to say dont bother!

  • RADB on September 28, 2009, 12:42 GMT

    This is a bit controversial, but if it was up to me, I'd do away with runners altogether. I think the running is part of batting, and you're either fit to bat or you're not.

  • panhyar on September 28, 2009, 12:35 GMT

    strauss shud feel guilty,,,, spirt of cricket doesn't allow this

  • HaranSA on September 28, 2009, 12:30 GMT

    Anyone else think that Smith should have retired hurt, gone off and got some fluids and treatment for the cramp, allowing Morkel to do some damage and not run himself out. If need be he could've come back on to finish the job?

    I'd like to see what Strauss' views are on batsmen who score big knocks in the first innings not making it out for the resumption and needing a sub (read practically any centurion in any ODI match). Shah being off the field when this incident took place just shows the hypocricy of Strauss' statement.

  • Play_with_me on September 28, 2009, 12:18 GMT

    The decision was made by pressure. SA was in a must win situation and England wanted to confirm the berth in semis. If the fielding captain decides on the runner, the I would say why cant the batting team decide whether to allow a substitute for the fielding team if a bowler goes for break after completing a brief spell. It all comes to sportsmanship. You cant expect a guy to go relax in dressing room and come back again when hardly 5 overs were remaining. But Strauss got scared that they might be defeated even though the full control was under them. The reason Strauss calling angelo back was, at that point the match was under England's control. If angelo's wicket happened to be the final one with 2 runs required to win what Mr.Strauss would have said?? Maybe, clashes are common in cricket !!

  • dilshan1786 on September 28, 2009, 12:13 GMT

    foddy,i think this is something to do with the gentlemanship coz sri lnakan skipper showed it on the same day.even though strauss got 152, he wasnt that much tiring.but smith is someone whos sufferring from this cramp for a long time.but he still plays for his country.

  • FastLegTheorist on September 28, 2009, 12:12 GMT

    Dear oh dear - are those of you aghast at Strauss' decision seriously saying that he was wrong for not helping the best opposition player to damage his chances of winning? Can you imagine the uproar if Smith - who had a superb innings - had gone on to win the game for the Proteas? Ridiculous. Strauss did what any captain would've done and I commend the saffa mates of mine, and those that commented on this site that they would've done the same. Smith is a fantastic player and captain, and the way he fought for the Proteas was admirable, but at the end of the day his body let him down and no way on earth was anyone going to help him take their field apart more than he'd done already. Good on you Straussy - and the Proteas need to work on their fitness: if guys are cramping up in an ODI how will they handle a test match? ;0P

  • amitkingoftheworld on September 28, 2009, 12:07 GMT

    If I were Smith, I would have asked, sorry, told England to haul Shah back onto the field when he was replaced by the sub fielder. They subbed him off after he dropped that sitter, England did the same against Holland in the 20/20 World Cup when Rashid mis-fielded. England need to understand that this isn't football, you can't sub people on and off. England do it all the time. That is called cheating to claim a player is too injured to field, funny how it is always the poorest fielder in the side. Hmmm, think the ICC should look into it

  • mar6372 on September 28, 2009, 12:07 GMT

    Hats Off to Grame Smith for his great and valiant fight, he really deserved a runner as any other batsman WOULD HAVE.The question is what was Andrew Strauss afraid of by allowing a by runner. It would have hardly matter, BUT time will for sure answer him back. At the end of the days the audience world wide remebered Smiths great innings " THAT KEPT THE MATCH ALIVE ".

  • simon_w on September 28, 2009, 12:00 GMT

    There are one hundred overs in an ODI. You should be fit enough to be on the field for all of them, if necessary.

  • tmd1 on September 28, 2009, 11:55 GMT

    In the recent Ashes series Flintoff and Pietersen both went into a test with injuries and kept leaving the field ,Ponting was sporting enough to let them. The Ashes series in England in 2005 the English bowlers kept leaving the field after they completed their spell for a rest,Strauss was a member of both teams and must live under the motto "Do as i say not as i do.

  • Edmond on September 28, 2009, 11:52 GMT

    Once again, true sportsmanship from an Englishman! The reason why cricket isn't and probably never will be a global sport is because of the idiots that govern the sport allow idiots like Srauss to get away with this type of crap!

    Strauss is one game trying to be a martyr by recalling a batsman to the crease, but then the next game being a complete disgrace by denying a runner! Who is he trying to win favour with? his Queen?

    All I can say is that he makes the bed he has to sleep in!

  • chevaline on September 28, 2009, 11:52 GMT

    so, when you get tired from batting a long time all you have to do is summon a fresh, fit, younger replacement from the pavilion to sprint the rest of the innings for you - what a marvellous idea! how churlish of andrew strauss to refuse the valiant South African captain's request! By the way, how come de Villiers got onto the pitch in the fisrt place when he wasn't invited by the umpires (etiquette)?

    The best part of watching South Africa lose in seeing the faces of the 'blinkered' crowd, who never appreciate good cricket, never applaud the opposition, and only want their side to win. they'd be better off watching rugby.

  • wajihIBA on September 28, 2009, 11:20 GMT

    Thats a very good point by Andy_God. Choice of runner by the opposing captain would take away any undue advantage for the batsmen. Furthermore, it should be the umpires that decide on the necessity of a runner to ensure that there is more "consistency". Definitely something for the ICC to look at.

    By the way, I do believe that Smith deserved a runne after being on the field for 95 overs. That's despite the fact that I do not rate himself on any South African/Australian (barring Gilly) too highly on the sportsmanship meter.

  • ShyamS on September 28, 2009, 11:18 GMT

    I was not particularly fond of Graeme Smith and felt that he was over regarded for his skills and was brash and arrogant. Not after yesterday... Sorry Graeme, I was wrong. Watching your sublime batting performance and your grit, I can only say that you were victorious in defeat. You had the halo of a martyr when you walked back to the pavilion after your dismissal.

    As for Mr. Strauss, your action in denying a runner to a batsman whose physical pain was apparent to all watching the game, certainly was not in good taste. One swallow does not make a summer, Andrew Strauss. Be prepared for retribution.

  • eriverpipe on September 28, 2009, 10:05 GMT

    Aswin_ ganesh: You say 'If you are on the field for over 95 overs and your team requires your presence on the pitch, you obviously need a runner.' Given that a standard day of cricket in the county championship here in the UK is 100 overs, you are therefore saying that ANY batsman who bats through the day, or ANY batsman batting after fielding all day obviously requires a runner for the last five overs of play? Ridiculous.

  • Andy_God on September 28, 2009, 10:05 GMT

    I reckon IF a runner is to be used, the opposing captain should pick him. If Strauss could've picked Kallis to run for Smith instead of AB, there might not have been such an issue...

  • PaulInShire on September 28, 2009, 10:02 GMT

    I agree that there should be consistency. However, I feel that it is unlikely that Smith would have granted a runner if the situation had been reversed. This is a situation which should be purely in the hands of the umpires anyway. Law 2 indicates that the opposing captain has no right of objection to any player acting as a substitute on the field, so it is logical that the same would apply to runners.

  • eriverpipe on September 28, 2009, 10:01 GMT

    What total rot the majority are speaking here. If the umpires were not content for him to have a runner, then why should Strauss have undermined their authority (remember who is supposed to be in control of events and decisions on the field here, people) and INSISTED (as that is what he would have had to do) that if Graeme wanted a runner, Graeme should have a runner. Strauss simply endorsed the feelings of the umpires, and that is absolutely correct. A lot of England-bashers on this forum it seems....

  • Foddy on September 28, 2009, 9:48 GMT

    Dilshan 1786

    "And also,we must keep in mind that strauss never played a long innings like smith in his career." On a point of order, Strauss's highest ODI innings is 152, which is higher than Smith's, although he faced 6 balls fewer.

    Dean Jones scored a famous double century in the tied test at Chennai in 1986 (?), during which he was vomiting and urinating and so cramped he could hardly stand upright. He lost 7 kilos during that innings. Did he have a runner? No way.

  • dsirl on September 28, 2009, 9:21 GMT

    It's been said before but still seems to be ignored: Strauss should have had nothing to do with the decision. The revision of the Laws introduced in 1980 stripped the captains of any involvement in the matter of substitutes.

    Cramp is always a difficult one to decide on as an umpire though and because it isn't really an injury umpires will in my experience usually say something to the effect of "you really shouldn't have a runner, but if the fielding captain agrees then you can." Some guidance from the ICC or MCC on this issue is probably in order. Umpires could be consistent on this issue and it would remove a not uncommon source of discontent in numerous matches in lower-level (e.g. club) cricket where fitness and hence cramps are more often an issue than amongst professionals

  • Andrem1952 on September 28, 2009, 9:09 GMT

    All medical websites consider muscle cramps as an injury. Strauss just wanted to ensure that England went through to the semi's.

  • dilshan1786 on September 28, 2009, 9:01 GMT

    Once again the so called gentlemans showed their gentlemanship by not allowing a runner for the sufferring hero Smith.I was so dissapointed with that decision.im so sure that strauss will hav to face this situation in his career as well.im waiting to see that moment.And also,we must keep in mind that strauss never played a long innings like smith in his career.It shows how scared strauss had been abt Smiths innings.That was a remarkable innings by Smith even they lost the match. If people talk abt Sanga's decision as a dumb decision, i must admit that whoever it says ais a dumb person whose inhuman.Sanga showed w@s this game is about and he showed the great gentlemanship.But the so called gentleman couldnt prove it.Everyone should be happy abt sangas decision.

  • NBZ1 on September 28, 2009, 8:56 GMT

    As this discussion shows, it's quite subjective whether runners should be allowed or not, and what the circumstances are under which they should be allowed. Yet you're missing the point Smith made, which is the need for consistency in these matters. Whether or not it's "right" to have a runner for cramps, there have been situations in the past when a runner has been used for cramps, and it's this lack of consistency that is the problem and that can lead to teams feeling they were hard done by. It's obvious the laws need to be clearer on this issue.

    Now it would certainly have shown good sportsmanship on Strauss's part if he allowed the runner, but even in the Mathews incident he looked pretty reluctant to call the player back and by his own admission did so partly because of the backlash against Collingwood. The point is that by having clearer laws you avoid putting captains in such situations where they have to balance their team's interests against the game's interests.

  • ferzil927 on September 28, 2009, 8:47 GMT

    i think Vansan should know what is cricket before he make a comment. stupid comments. the best thing is Andrew should have given a runner for smith.this is just a game not a war. be nice to players. as smith says "world is round & thats gonna come back for him one day". yes hes right what goes around comes around. kevin -

  • anderson2010 on September 28, 2009, 8:42 GMT

    Well done Strauss. South African cricketers are too soft anyway. I remember Gibbs retiring one time due to cramps, when s. africa were in very comfortable position. There were 183 for 1 chasing 260 with more then about 20 overs to go. And they lost that match. They weren't bowled out, they simply couldnt score required runs. LOL

  • Biggsey on September 28, 2009, 8:37 GMT

    The issue of cramp is a fitness one, it is not an injury. If Smith was unable to continue then he should have retired hurt and come back on the field when he was able to. And all this nonsense about feilding for 50 overs and then batting through the innings - little more than he should be expected to do in one day of a test match. In fact, if the previous day's play of a test has been affected by rain then you could be expected to be on the field for 100 overs that day. Cramp is a result of poor hydration. South Africa lost wickets relatively frequently, Smith should have hydrated himself each time there was a change of batsman. And he should have worked on his fitness during their winter break. Fair play Strauss, and bloody well done England on a great win!

  • sixOverThrow on September 28, 2009, 8:34 GMT

    I think Strauss should have say yes to Smith's runner appeal. Yes, the world is round and sooner or later Strauss might find himself in Smith's position. Really it will be an interesting thing to observe.

    It was an outstanding performance by Graeme Smith. His mission was a success failure, I mean he made a great knock but could not overrun England score. Surely, he showed great professionalim cricket. Thank you Smith.

  • bobyouruncle on September 28, 2009, 8:30 GMT

    Great captaincy Andrew Strauss. It is high time someone set an example. For one Graeme Smith's cramps didn't seem to last very long - I didn't seem him hobbling back to the pavilion when he did get out for a well made (though lucky) century. Second - you know the nature of the game, if you are not fit enough then hard luck. Someone said something about this being a subcontinental malady - lets be specific. Why mince words? Ranatunga always seemed to want a runner when the going got tough - when he found it difficult to reach the opposite crease - weight, age or otherwise. I can recollect a certain Jayasuriya inflicting insult upon insult (with his bat) on Indian bowlers, while at the same time enjoying the benefit of a runner. Its time the ICC changed the rules - the runner may have been a necessity in the days when the average age of a player was beyond the 30s. In this day and age - you better shape up or ship out.

  • bonaku on September 28, 2009, 8:25 GMT

    The subplot is, SA managed to knock out of this tourney with cramp issues. What a way to go out. But Smith played an exceptional game and i also believe that These D/N games are "win toss and win game" type stuff. Regarding gamesmanship. I will wait for a while to let the issue boomerang lol lol .

  • Aswin_ganesh on September 28, 2009, 8:20 GMT

    Well, I will support Smith here. If you are on the field for over 95 overs and your team requires your presence on the pitch, you obviously need a runner. I don't feel this is unfair at all. It would have been a different case had Smith asked for a runner when he was on a score of 40-50+. BUt I guess it is within the rules of the game.

    As for the other who stated that people shouldn't be allowed runners just because they aren't fit. I agree.

    For your information: Former Pakistani Opener, Saeed Anwar, made 194- the highest ever ODI score, using a runner. Shahid Afridi came in as runner when Anwar had made 50+ runs or something. So I donno if ICC justifies this. I guess if it is within the rules of the game, everything is fair.

  • Mutukisna on September 28, 2009, 8:20 GMT

    I applaud Sri Lankan Captain Sangakkara's decision to allow Jesse Ryder a runner. A good display of sportsmanship! However, he should not have allowed Darryl Tuffey the original runner to be replaced by another runner many overs later. Sangakkara did not have to extend his magnanimity even further. Needless to say, everybody knows what Tuffey inflicted when he came on to bowl.

  • domsumners on September 28, 2009, 8:18 GMT

    there is some real one eyed stuff going on here. This runner "controversy" does not exist. Smith wanted a runner as he was knackered (as he stated himself 95 overs in field) and cramping due to the herculean effort he had put in. No captain in world cricket would or should allow a runner in those circumstances (as previously mentioned its umpires call anyway ultimately). Come on everyone move on and dont start looking for alternative reasons to SA's premature exit from tournament.

  • EdwinD on September 28, 2009, 8:17 GMT

    Strauss has never been in long enough (against a ranked team) in a ODI to know what cramps are.....don't forget that Smith was batting after 50 overs fielding as well. The game was won, and Strauss could have shown a little respect and admiration for Smith's innings by allowing a runner. NB I'm English.

  • mumbaiguy79 on September 28, 2009, 8:07 GMT

    Shame on Strauss!! I am sure as Smith mentioned that it's gonna definitely bite him when he tours India or Sri Lanka and one of his batsman is refused a runner. Even we here in our local cricket games allow a runner for batsman who feels a bit tired without any prejudice. Strauss has to learn the fact that winning is important but there are other things more important as well. Good luck England!

  • 5963traderc on September 28, 2009, 7:48 GMT

    If the opposing captain was allowed to nominate the runner i think they'd find it easier to agree to the request. The fear is that sides exploit substitute situations by putting a specialist onto the field (rather in the way that England did with Gary Pratt as a fielder in the 2005 Ashes, as Ricky Ponting will recall).

    I'd have been fine with Smith having a runner so long as England picked the SA player to be the runner on his behalf.

  • Chrishan on September 28, 2009, 7:47 GMT

    A very good decision by Strauss. Most captains today are worried about their reputation and by denying a runner they feel that their image gets tarnished as they are considered to have no sportsmanship features. But rules are rules, and a cramp isn't considered an injury. Batsman have it too easy these days. They should do away with the whole runner situation altogether. Think of Aravinda in the '96 WC final, he bowled to get 3 wickets and then scored a century to remain not out and see Sri Lanka home. If Smith can't field for 50 overs (he doesn't even bowl these days) and then suffers from cramp when batting he should admit that he hasn't prepared well enough for the game.

  • engdia on September 28, 2009, 7:44 GMT

    yes,i hope what goes around comes around for strauss.this is the team that have clearly abused the fileding sub for years,it's not in the spirit of the game to do what strauss did,but england seem to have controversy follow them around,remember collingwood's decision to ask for a new zealander to be given run out after colliding with the bowler,the more recent physio and twelth man wondering on the pitch in the ashes.

  • dude420 on September 28, 2009, 7:34 GMT

    Whether your are seriously injured or cramping, a batsmen should always be allowed a runner if he genuinely looks in pain. Imagine the burden of not allowing a batsmen a runner and the batsmen continuing on only to sustain a major injury or a career-ending one. As a true lover of cricket and in the name of sportsmanship, I personally believe, Strauss didn't have faith in his bowlers and fielders to get Smith out, so he declined the runner in hope that Smith retires and heads back to the pavilion. Smith played for his country and for the people around the world, but Strauss got selfish. I was supporting England in their match yesterday, but Strauss' decision was unworthy and out of character, as a captain you are responsible for the team and your country. I understand that allowing a runner is the umpires decision, but Strauss should have said yes and left it to the umpires to decide so that he could have been free of the controversy.

  • grimsa on September 28, 2009, 7:28 GMT

    My biggest problem with this is the inconsistency of the matter. Shah went off the field after his disastrous fielding display. Last time I checked the rules this is not allowed. But then Smith who does have an injury (cramp is an injury in my book, even if it is a result of bad conditioning). It is a great pity that the umpires took the decision they did, in the end however matters like this should be left up to the captains and in the spirit of the game Strauss should have allowed it. Unfortunately it made a difference on what was a great game because I don't think Morkel would have taken the run. However South Africa only have themselves to blame they bowled badly and could not adapt their game plan when the England batsmen decided to play out of their skins.

  • vinnigefanie on September 28, 2009, 7:23 GMT

    Nagelo Mathews is obviously ignorant of the laws that given such action and as a former captain of his country's national Under 19 side at a Youth World event, he should know the conditions better. The problem is that too many Sri Lankan players take a chance and Mathews should have been sent on his way and later told the read the relevent laws. As for Smith, it is a fitness factor. A batsman will know at some stage after a long period in the field he will feel the problems. I have not seen Ricky Ponting seeking a runner in such circumstances. South Africa lost because Gibbs, Kallis and De Villiers all became too impatient - as did Dilshan and Jayasuriya at the Wanderers against New Zealand. Jesse Ryder was injured pure and simple in the act of playing the game and the commentators were anti-Kiwis all through the game as they wanted Sri Lanka to win to prove them right and the Black Caps wrong. Typical bias here against a lesser side standing up and telling them we can do it too.

  • SatishT2105 on September 28, 2009, 7:03 GMT

    It's silly, VVS Laxman, Saurav Ganguly never used to take the field if they scored a hundred when India batted first in an ODI. Nowadays even Sachin Tendulkar seems to have taken a cue from his former teammates. In such scenarios a faster, agile fielder replaces these great batting stalwarts on the field and some of the opponent skippers felt that it is unfair. Some other notable greats who did something similar were Arjuna Ranatunga and Inzamam.

    As Strauss said, cramps is something related to preparation. Inadequate preparation can cause such a thing that can cause cramps. Unfortunately, since it happened to the Proteas skipper who incidentally is an opener, one felt that Strauss should have relented. However, we can easily relate where Strauss was coming from, this is England's chance for redemption and he felt that Smith was given too many lives anyway (1 missed stumping, 1 catch put down and 1 lbw turned down)

  • Barking_Mad on September 28, 2009, 7:02 GMT

    Picking an injury during a game should mean a runner is allowed. Getting cramp however is not an injury and should not be treated as such. The fact that players have previously been allowed a runner is wrong, and should not mean Smith was allowed one.

  • Shahul74 on September 28, 2009, 7:02 GMT

    #Allowing a runner I blv. does not go in-line with the high precision nature of todays game. When a run out is judged by high tech cameras the "runner" you feel is far too casual an aspect of the game which should be omitted. #A batsman generaly makes a stroke, regains his balance, then starts his run. #But a runner starts running as soon as the batsman makes contact with the ball. A runner stands ready at the crease like a sprinter on his/her starting line. #Adding to the fielding teams disadvantage the extra runner on the field can potentialy be an obstruction to the fielders (i.e. Ryder's runner may have affected Kandamby's dropped catch).

    Running is a part of batting and imagine how much more Inzi and Arjuna would have scored if they were better runners . I agree with Strauss's decision(he was sharp).. Smith would have made him regret for sure if not. Cheers to Smith though, ... What a gentleman cricketer, never seen such grace in defeat.

  • chandau on September 28, 2009, 6:59 GMT

    What goes around comes around Strauss. RATTLE, Sri Lanka have won the SPIRIT OF CRICKET 3 years running because of "DUMB DECISIONS" like allowing a runner for an injured player. It was not this decision that cost Us the match but the missed runout by Sanga of Dan and the missed catch of Ryder by Kanda. Hats off to Sanga for a sporty decision now out of time. Such things happened in the 1900 -1970 era before Packer series. In fact Sanga himself claimed not out of Vettori's run out. It seems England are a very confused side not knowing what to do day in day out as far as sportsmanship is concerned. Remember the physio and 12th man in the Ashes Test? At least we Sri Lankans play the game with the highest level of sportsmanship, whether we win or loose. I bet Sanga will allow a cramping Strauss no matter the situation in the match. cheers:)

  • luvelydude on September 28, 2009, 6:53 GMT

    here's the two character of a single person.....had srilankan team been in the same situation as southafrican's i bet matthews wouldnt have been called back....it wazz just becoz srilankans were turmoiled that day.....and it was the right time for strauss to show the world how sporting is he........shame

  • Rattle on September 28, 2009, 6:49 GMT

    OK nerk... If it is an injury for Ryder, my point is he should leave the field and come back later. It is completely unfair on Sri Lankans, because it was just at the start of play. And also it really confuses the fielder because 3 batsmen were there and dumb Tuffy was just jumping here and there disturbing Sri lankan fielders. All in all, i think it was sanga's fault to allow Ryder to have that runner. And really should compliment captain struass coz he really stand up to the challenge and got the correct and fearless decision.. well done Stauss..

  • seamersbeamers on September 28, 2009, 6:45 GMT

    Strauss seems to be suffering from a memory lapse - as well as a serious lapse of sportsmanship. England are notorious for their massive abuse of "toilet breaks" in which their own players - notably fast bowlers - go off after a bowling spell for an very extended break, massage etc and are replaced by a fresh fielder. This was highlighted in Ponting's infamous outburst in the 2005 Ashes after his run-out by specialist fieldsman who was a fresh substitute. England's total abuse of this loophole has changed little so it's laughable for Strauss to start thumping the rule book in his denial of assistance for a player who was clearly genuine distress. If it's about "preparation" why can't your own fast bowlers prepare adequately for the duration of test, Andrew? The "runner" rule (even for cramps) is reasonable whereas England's abuse of the substitute rule remains cheating.

  • cnkodda on September 28, 2009, 6:38 GMT

    Strauss is correct.for cramps you don't need a runner.Sri Lanka had to pay when Ryder was in with a runner.I think the umpires should have told Ryder to leave the field when you consider how he acted in pain.the simple example is when you are in a battle field and your best soldier gets injured you dont ask your enemy to cease fire to take the injured person to a safe zone.Either the injured has to go alone to safety or he has to continue fighting until the last moment.Simple story.

  • Fidozz on September 28, 2009, 6:30 GMT

    Well in my opinion it is the generosity of a captain to allow a runner to the other teams batsmen. If you play by the Law no such provision should be given to any batsman, like any other sport, and that is why the power of this decision is given to the captain and not the Umpires. Andrew Strauss took a wise decision of not allowing the runner to Smith. Its not that he did anything unlawful its just that he is more concerned to his teams victory rather than being generous. It should not be an excuse for any batsman that he has been in the field for 90 overs and he should be allowed a runner. A one day match is a 100 over game and if someone is fit enough to live in these 100 overs then he should be selected in the team. I feel sorry for SA leaving the tournament without any significance performance but i do not find any injustice in Strauss decision.

  • Daiya on September 28, 2009, 6:28 GMT

    So many people have already forgotten Sachin Tedulka's innings in the compaq cup final where he got a runner and did not take the field either....so Smith is right about inconsistancy. I think that Strause is right for not letting Smith have a runner because its not fair to have someone who is not tired and probably the fastest man in the team run for you. It gives the batting team the advantage of putting pressure on the fielders (something that a tired player might not be able to do). Perhaps the ICC should let the fielding team pick the player to run for the the batsman.

  • Abbyz on September 28, 2009, 6:24 GMT

    It is clearly Strauss's effort to manage the perception back home where crowds think he is too soft to be competitive. It would be very interesting to know how many English fielders went off the field, were replaced by a substitute and returned after a shower and a drink - ain't they supposed to be on the field unless they get knocked with a ball on their head???

  • Addepally on September 28, 2009, 6:08 GMT

    What all I wanted to say is there should be consistancy. If captains arround the world are allowing runners for cramps then why not Strauss. Eleminate runners and subs in the game. If a batsman is not fit to run, get them retired hurt. If a fielder cannot stay on the field, dont allow him to come back. That is why I said it is poor captancy from Strauss. I have not hard feelings that ENG have won and I am least bothered about the result. I was dissappointed because such inconsistant thing happened in a nail biting match and then match was decided there and then when Smith can no longer run. Imaging this match going down to the wire.

  • N.R.Miranda on September 28, 2009, 5:27 GMT

    Completely differently cases on one day of cricket. Smith having been on the field for 95 over's and refused a runner. Later SA ended up losing the match. On the other match J.Ryder from NZ pulls a muscle almost at the bingeing of the match and takes a runner. Then he goes on to make a super knock that takes the game away from SL. Surprisingly he was out in the field, without any major injury look, at the end of the match to congratulate the teams after the NZ victory. Coming back to Arajun's case there were many cases where he was refused a runner on the first place and then again given a runner after he looked injured. So its time ICC checked the rule on a runner before another ugly incident.

  • chiggers on September 28, 2009, 5:21 GMT

    Law 2.1(a) says that the player must have been injured or become ill after play has started. Cramp is not an injury (there is no specific incident that inflicts it, unlike a muscle strain or a broken leg), nor is it an illness - it is a temporary condition, and as such the umpires should refuse the batman a runner. If you wish to argue that it is an illness, then I am sure that Smith has had cramp reviously, and it is thus not an 'illness' that thas occurred during the game but a REcurrence of an existing 'illness', not an OCcurrence of an illness, and again not the basis for being allowed a runner. The captain does not make the decision on whether a runner should be allowed, but I think it is reasonable for him to bring to the umpires' attention any possible misuse of the privilege allowed to the player

  • Nerk on September 28, 2009, 5:20 GMT

    I can understand if a runner comes on for an injured player. But do cramps constitute an injury? I mean, i thought the commentators were harsh on Ryder for getting a runner when he had a torn hammy. Imagine what they would have said when Smith calls a runner on for cramps! Strauss as an opening batsman would have gotten plenty of cramps in his longer innings, as does every player who makes a big score. But how many of them get runners? The physio should come on, rub the source of pain, like they do in every other sport, and the player should continue. But you do not need a runner for cramps. As Healy is supposed to have said to Ranatunga - "you don't need a runner just cause you're fat, porky."

  • Vijay_P_S on September 28, 2009, 5:11 GMT

    I don't think any player wants a runner if he can help it. Having a runner causes so much confusion and the percent chance of getting runout is higher. If fielders are allowed to leave the field in between while a substitute fields for them, why can't the batsmen have runners. I agree with Smith that it has to be consistent. Either leave the decision to the umpires or completely eliminate it. Or else some captain can get greedy in an important match.

  • azzu_sust on September 28, 2009, 5:01 GMT

    Fully agree with Addepally. Poor gamesmanship from Strauss. Smith had been on the field for 95 overs of the day and it's quite normal that you can have a cramp. I wish Strauss himself fall victim to such thing in his career.

  • Vansan on September 28, 2009, 5:00 GMT

    @Addepally,

    Angelo Mathews should be given out for obstructing the field and he was running into the pitch as well :)). That was just a sportive call back. We have clearly seen that incident and the fuss mathews made in pitch like he is innocent. You guys cant accept that england is winning.

  • s0ldier on September 28, 2009, 4:50 GMT

    "The umpires shall have discretion, for other wholly acceptable reasons, to allow a substitute for a fielder, or a runner for a batsman, at the start of the match or at any subsequent time" I wonder how the umpires allowed Strauss to have a say in this matter. It's solely at their discretion!! The world witnessed how pusillanimous Mr.Strauss was today - he was clearly scared to allow a runner for Smith. Sanga showed his magnanimity allowing a runner for Ryder. As Smith said, the world is round, and I am sure in no time Strauss or someone from England team will face this situation - would love to see the English team's reaction then!! How can someone define "injury"? A cramp is an injury to me. For the law to be applied, the umpires should be convinced that the batsman is injured/fell ill during the course of the game. It's a gentleman's game and the umpires are not doctors to check the batsman and determine if there's indeed a cramp. It's solely their judgemet. Loser Strauss!

  • Rahul_78 on September 28, 2009, 4:46 GMT

    I agree with ' santhoshkudva ' on the issue. This runner nonsense is going on for long time. Speacially batsmen from subcontinent without naming anybody in perticular with either weight or age issues have been utilising this loop hole. I blv someone like buchanan or shahrukh khan wont be averse to hiring the services of one Usain bolt or Asafa powell from caribian to run for ganguly in next IPL. Runners should not be allowed period. If you have injury or cramps or anything else go back to pavillion and come back if you feel fit enough.

  • Aahd on September 28, 2009, 4:20 GMT

    Addepally, crams are not an 'injury', its mere dehydration that causes them and I think Smith is a pretty fit man so somewhere the support staff went wrong and didn't keep him hydrated for the battle. I'm sure he would have been in pain but he wasn't injured and runners are for injuries sustained during the match. You can't fault Strauss for being logical, it was the South African support staff's fault their captain was cramping and had Strauss given him the runner it would have been purely against common sense because there was no injury to the batsman and Smith would have had an undue advantage.

    By the way, Ryder was 'injured', as we know now, he is out of the tournament because of the injury so Sangakara being sympathetic to the injured bloke was a good gesture and the umpires had ample reason to award a runner. There is a huge difference of circumstances here. Umpires do not need to consult the fielding captain for the runner but they almost always do.

  • redneck on September 28, 2009, 4:16 GMT

    with these 2 teams playing 4 tests, 5 ODI's and 2 20/20s soon, im sure smith might get a chance to return the favor or should i say lack of favor to strauss. and it wasnt like this was ranatunga in the 90's where he would ask for a runner every match due to him being unfit. the blokes body was stuffed after fielding 50 overs and batting almost the entire innings. after seeing smith bat on in the sydeny test earlier in the year, you cant say the bloke is soft! if he asked for a runner, he must have needed it and therefor should have been allowed one! i really hope this comes back to haunt strauss!

  • meatballeditor on September 28, 2009, 3:27 GMT

    According to Law 2.1.a, the umpires are the ones who decide whether or not a batsman is allowed to have a runner. The fielding captain has nothing to do with it, much less being able to veto the runner. It wasn't Strauss's decision to make. Perhaps the umpires "consulted" him merely as a courtesy.

  • Rattle on September 28, 2009, 3:18 GMT

    Great Captaincy from Andrew Strauss. Sure it might have been a tough decision to made, but considering the situation of the match his decision of not allowing smith to have a runner should be considered as a very wise decision. If you cramping up, it is a fitness problem. so one shouldn't be allowed to get runners unless he is hurt. but the way I see it, if you can't bat anymore, what ever the reason is...you should retired hurt. On the same day, in the match between Sri lanka & New Zealand, Kumar sangakkara made a quite dumb decision of allowing Ryder a runner. He could have really deny a runner because it was around the 5th over of the match when Ryder get him self that injury. Sanga allowed a runner and it was Darrel Tuffy. Then Ryder hit 50 in 28 balls, and continues to limp. An can you believe..that sangakkara allowed NewZealand to change the runner again because Tuffy is going to bowl, so NewZealand wanted him fresh.This is the dumbest decision made by sanga, which cost the match

  • santhoshkudva on September 28, 2009, 3:00 GMT

    ah! here is something i had always wanted to discuss. the concept of a substitute runner simply does not appeal to me. it entitles a batsman the benefit of putting only half the effort while making use of the saved energy to have wild slogs. if a batsman is not fit, he should not be playing. and if an injury is sustained during play, he should retire hurt and come back only when he is fit. fitness is a key factor, and we don't want to be in a situation where batsmen break records simply because a part of their job was done by someone else.

  • Addepally on September 28, 2009, 2:45 GMT

    I never respected Strauss as a captain before I came accross the Mathews incident and that respect lasted less than 48 hrs. It is really poor sportsman ship to deny a runner when the player gor injuerd playing the game. If smit came to this match injured and asking for runner, then I would have agreed with Strauss. I hope Strauss will definitely come accross this situation in his carrer and I would love to see oposition captain deny him a runner. I hope SA will teach a lession to Strauss in the series to come.

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  • Addepally on September 28, 2009, 2:45 GMT

    I never respected Strauss as a captain before I came accross the Mathews incident and that respect lasted less than 48 hrs. It is really poor sportsman ship to deny a runner when the player gor injuerd playing the game. If smit came to this match injured and asking for runner, then I would have agreed with Strauss. I hope Strauss will definitely come accross this situation in his carrer and I would love to see oposition captain deny him a runner. I hope SA will teach a lession to Strauss in the series to come.

  • santhoshkudva on September 28, 2009, 3:00 GMT

    ah! here is something i had always wanted to discuss. the concept of a substitute runner simply does not appeal to me. it entitles a batsman the benefit of putting only half the effort while making use of the saved energy to have wild slogs. if a batsman is not fit, he should not be playing. and if an injury is sustained during play, he should retire hurt and come back only when he is fit. fitness is a key factor, and we don't want to be in a situation where batsmen break records simply because a part of their job was done by someone else.

  • Rattle on September 28, 2009, 3:18 GMT

    Great Captaincy from Andrew Strauss. Sure it might have been a tough decision to made, but considering the situation of the match his decision of not allowing smith to have a runner should be considered as a very wise decision. If you cramping up, it is a fitness problem. so one shouldn't be allowed to get runners unless he is hurt. but the way I see it, if you can't bat anymore, what ever the reason is...you should retired hurt. On the same day, in the match between Sri lanka & New Zealand, Kumar sangakkara made a quite dumb decision of allowing Ryder a runner. He could have really deny a runner because it was around the 5th over of the match when Ryder get him self that injury. Sanga allowed a runner and it was Darrel Tuffy. Then Ryder hit 50 in 28 balls, and continues to limp. An can you believe..that sangakkara allowed NewZealand to change the runner again because Tuffy is going to bowl, so NewZealand wanted him fresh.This is the dumbest decision made by sanga, which cost the match

  • meatballeditor on September 28, 2009, 3:27 GMT

    According to Law 2.1.a, the umpires are the ones who decide whether or not a batsman is allowed to have a runner. The fielding captain has nothing to do with it, much less being able to veto the runner. It wasn't Strauss's decision to make. Perhaps the umpires "consulted" him merely as a courtesy.

  • redneck on September 28, 2009, 4:16 GMT

    with these 2 teams playing 4 tests, 5 ODI's and 2 20/20s soon, im sure smith might get a chance to return the favor or should i say lack of favor to strauss. and it wasnt like this was ranatunga in the 90's where he would ask for a runner every match due to him being unfit. the blokes body was stuffed after fielding 50 overs and batting almost the entire innings. after seeing smith bat on in the sydeny test earlier in the year, you cant say the bloke is soft! if he asked for a runner, he must have needed it and therefor should have been allowed one! i really hope this comes back to haunt strauss!

  • Aahd on September 28, 2009, 4:20 GMT

    Addepally, crams are not an 'injury', its mere dehydration that causes them and I think Smith is a pretty fit man so somewhere the support staff went wrong and didn't keep him hydrated for the battle. I'm sure he would have been in pain but he wasn't injured and runners are for injuries sustained during the match. You can't fault Strauss for being logical, it was the South African support staff's fault their captain was cramping and had Strauss given him the runner it would have been purely against common sense because there was no injury to the batsman and Smith would have had an undue advantage.

    By the way, Ryder was 'injured', as we know now, he is out of the tournament because of the injury so Sangakara being sympathetic to the injured bloke was a good gesture and the umpires had ample reason to award a runner. There is a huge difference of circumstances here. Umpires do not need to consult the fielding captain for the runner but they almost always do.

  • Rahul_78 on September 28, 2009, 4:46 GMT

    I agree with ' santhoshkudva ' on the issue. This runner nonsense is going on for long time. Speacially batsmen from subcontinent without naming anybody in perticular with either weight or age issues have been utilising this loop hole. I blv someone like buchanan or shahrukh khan wont be averse to hiring the services of one Usain bolt or Asafa powell from caribian to run for ganguly in next IPL. Runners should not be allowed period. If you have injury or cramps or anything else go back to pavillion and come back if you feel fit enough.

  • s0ldier on September 28, 2009, 4:50 GMT

    "The umpires shall have discretion, for other wholly acceptable reasons, to allow a substitute for a fielder, or a runner for a batsman, at the start of the match or at any subsequent time" I wonder how the umpires allowed Strauss to have a say in this matter. It's solely at their discretion!! The world witnessed how pusillanimous Mr.Strauss was today - he was clearly scared to allow a runner for Smith. Sanga showed his magnanimity allowing a runner for Ryder. As Smith said, the world is round, and I am sure in no time Strauss or someone from England team will face this situation - would love to see the English team's reaction then!! How can someone define "injury"? A cramp is an injury to me. For the law to be applied, the umpires should be convinced that the batsman is injured/fell ill during the course of the game. It's a gentleman's game and the umpires are not doctors to check the batsman and determine if there's indeed a cramp. It's solely their judgemet. Loser Strauss!

  • Vansan on September 28, 2009, 5:00 GMT

    @Addepally,

    Angelo Mathews should be given out for obstructing the field and he was running into the pitch as well :)). That was just a sportive call back. We have clearly seen that incident and the fuss mathews made in pitch like he is innocent. You guys cant accept that england is winning.

  • azzu_sust on September 28, 2009, 5:01 GMT

    Fully agree with Addepally. Poor gamesmanship from Strauss. Smith had been on the field for 95 overs of the day and it's quite normal that you can have a cramp. I wish Strauss himself fall victim to such thing in his career.