MCC throws renewed support behind bowlers running out non-striker's leaving the crease

The MCC's World Cricket Committee put the onus on batters to keep the mode of dismissal out of the game.

Deepti Sharma runs out Charlie Dean backing up at the non-striker's end, England vs India, 3rd ODI, Lord's, London, September 24, 2022

Deepti Sharma runs out Charlie Dean backing up at the non-striker's end  •  Getty Images

The MCC World Cricket Committee has reaffirmed its stance on the matter of bowlers who run out non-strikers leaving the crease prior to delivery - colloquially referred to as a "Mankad" - which may help settle the cries for less severe punishment than the batter losing their wicket. In the same statement issued on Thursday following a meeting of the committee members in Dubai, the MCC also called for "calm across the global game following several high-profile incidents in a relatively short space of time."
The hot-button debate generated renewed interest last September when India allrounder Deepti Sharma ran out England's Charlie Dean for the game-clinching wicket in the 44th over of the third ODI at Lord's which India won by 16 runs. Dean was on 47 off 80 balls at the time trying to rally her side which was chasing a target of 170. A detailed analysis conducted by ESPNcricinfo subsequently showed that Dean had left her crease early at the non-striker's end on 72 occasions prior to being run out.
Deepti received support from captain Harmanpreet Kaur in the immediate aftermath of the incident during a post-match interview, saying, "Whatever we have done, I don't think it was any crime. It is part of the game and is an ICC rule, and I think we just need to back our player." The MCC World Cricket Committee made clear in its statement released on Thursday that the batter is at fault in such a scenario and that "there is no precedent to require a bowler to give a warning to a batter, confirming they are completely within their right to dismiss the batter on their first occasion they break the Law."
The World Cricket Committee pointedly stated that such dismissals would not happen if non-strikers are "complying with the Law and remaining within their ground until they have seen the ball being released from the bowler's hand." In other words, it is the batter's responsibility to avoid being dismissed like this, just as it is their responsibility to avoid being dismissed bowled or lbw or caught.
"The bowler is not the villain here," Committee member Kumar Sangakkara said. "Every batter has a choice; to stay in their ground, or risk being given out if they try to steal ground. If they choose the latter, they are the ones who are breaking the Law."
Running non-strikers out for backing up too far tends to foster the argument that it isn't so big a mistake that it should cost a wicket. There is also a fear that normalising it would have a negative effect at grassroots level. But MCC World Cricket Committee chairman Mike Gatting disagrees.
"We have seen suggestions that this method of dismissal will be attempted more and more at recreational level and there is the possibility of matches descending into chaos," Gatting said. "Whilst attempts may increase in the short term, we would expect batters to learn their responsibilities under the Laws very quickly and drive it out of prominence."
"Our stance on this is simple - batters must not steal ground if they do not wish to be given out in this manner. Nor should they be expecting to be given a warning if they do. If all non-strikers only left the popping crease once the ball had been released, there would never be the need for such a dismissal again.
"The game is in a place where it should be able to self-regulate on this dismissal but there needs to be a Law in place, as we can't have a situation whereby batters are able to gain ground without bowlers being able to do anything about it."
The issue came under more scrutiny once again during a two week stretch in January where a spate of incidents happened across franchise cricket as well as men's and women's international cricket. The first incident in the sequence took place on January 3 in a Big Bash League match between Melbourne Stars and Melbourne Renegades. Stars captain Adam Zampa attempted to remove the bails with Renegades batter Tom Rogers well outside of his crease, but umpires ruled the appeal not out deeming that Zampa had gone past the point in his delivery action "where the bowler would normally have been expected to release the ball".
This specific incident resulted in the MCC releasing a statement on January 19 to make a slight adjustment in the wording of Law 38.3.
In a different incident on January 10, India men's captain Rohit Sharma chose to withdraw an appeal made after fast bowler Mohammed Shami removed the bails to catch Sri Lanka captain out of his crease in the final over of the first ODI at Guwahati in January. Shanaka was on 98 at the time and the reprieve allowed him to score a century in a match that India won a few balls later by 67 runs defending a total of 373. The incident sparked debates about whether the dismissal should be attempted only at certain moments of a match versus being fair game for the entirety of play.
Just five days later, Pakistan Women's U19 bowler Zaib-un-Nisa ran out Rwanda batter Shakila Niyomuhoza in an opening round fixture at the ICC Women's U-19 T20 World Cup in South Africa. The run-out occurred in the final over of the first innings in which Rwanda finished on 106 for 8 before Pakistan chased the target down to win by eight wickets with 13 balls to spare.

Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo's USA correspondent @PeterDellaPenna