The controversial run-out of Pakistan batsman Umar Amin against Bangladesh has again brought into focus the much-debated spirit of cricket.
Amin had punched a delivery to long-off and completed an easy single in the 22nd over with Pakistan coasting at 135 for 1. After grounding his bat, Amin started to walk across the stumps to take up his position at the non-striker's end because the bowler, Mahmudullah, was bowling from round the wicket. While doing so, Amin was out of the crease with his bat was in the air, and the bowler - not facing the batsman, and unaware of Amin's position - perfunctorily whipped off the bails. Shakib Al Hasan, fielding at extra cover, noticed Amin was out of his crease and appealed for a run-out. The third umpire declared the batsman out. Pakistan coach Waqar Younis, speaking to reporters after the game, termed the dismissal "unfortunate".
Younis said that though Amin was out according to the rules, it was sad his innings had ended in that manner. "I mean he was out, if you open the law book, he's out, but the way whole thing happened, it feels sometimes it was sad," Younis said. "He's a youngster, he's talented, he needed time out there, which I think he took. He looked very good, but it's just unfortunate."
Jamie Siddons, the Bangladesh coach, did not wish to comment on the incident. "I wasn't even watching, so I don't have a clue," he said.
The spirit of cricket had also taken centre stage during last year's ICC Champions Trophy when Angelo Mathews was recalled by England captain Andrew Strauss after he was run out following a collision with bowler Graham Onions while turning for the second run.
There have been several incidents similar to the Amin run-out in the past, the most recent being Muttiah Muralitharan being declared run-out during the Christchurch Test in 2006 after the stumps were broken once he rushed to congratulate his batting partner Kumar Sangakkara for completing a hundred. The man who dismissed Murali on that occasion was Brendon McCullum, who had been involved in another such run-out, of Chris Mpofu, in a Test against Zimbabwe in 2005.
Perhaps the most famous of this sort of dismissal is former England captain Tony Greig running out Alvin Kallicharran during the first Test against West Indies at Port-of-Spain in February 1974. Unbeaten on 142, Kallicharan watched Bernard Julien defend the final delivery of the day. He had backed up a few steps, but seeing the wicketkeeper flick off the bails to indicate the end of the day he continued to walk towards the pavilion. Greig then threw down the stumps at the bowler's end and Kallicharan was ruled out. The decision, however, was overruled after a two-and-a-half hour meeting at the ground.
Siddarth Ravindran is a sub-editor at Cricinfo