The ROATeNSE

My take on a form of dismissal that is quite wrongly deemed controversial. Run outs at the non-striker’s end are a form of dismissal fully sanctioned by the laws of cricket.

The title of this post refers to the running out of a non-striker who backs up too far too early (Run Out AT The Non-Strikers End with the lower case e slipped in to make it pronounceable – ROA (as in road) – TeNSE. When someone effects this form of dismissal there is always a lot of controversy, with many seeing it as sharp practice while others recognize it for what it is, a form of dismissal which has full sanction under the laws of cricket and for which the batter, and the batter alone is to blame. I look at in more detail in the rest of this post.

NOMENCLATURE

This type of dismissal is often termed a ‘Mankad’, which derives from Mulvantrai Himmatlal ‘Vinoo’ Mankad of India, who was the first to make such a dismissal in a test match. Surviving members of the Mankad family are split on the issue, with a grandson having recently declared in favour of the use of the term and a son having even more recently declared against it. My own feeling is that one of the foremost of all test match all rounders (reached the double of 1,000 runs and 100 wickets at that level in just 23 matches, a figure bettered only by Ian Botham who got there in 21) is ill-served by being chiefly known for his association with this type of dismissal, and also using the fact that he was the first to do it in a test match conceals the long history of this type of dismissal, going back at least to the 1830s and 40s when one Thomas Barker (Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire) did it a number of times in matches at various levels. The serious alternative to ROATeNSE for me is “bowler’s stumping”, putting it on a par with a keeper stumping a striker who misses the ball when out of their ground.

A FAILED ROATeNSE

Some of those opposed to this mode of dismissal claim it requires little skill, so I now mention a recent Big Bash League incident involving Australian leg spinner Adam Zampa. Zampa was into his delivery stride when he altered course and attempted to run out an encroaching non-striker, but it was given not out because his arm was beyond the vertical – he made his decision a fraction too late. Zampa, in defiance of the opinions publicly expressed by coach David Hussey, refused to apologize for his actions, insisting rightly that he had been correct to go for the dismissal. The fact that the mode of dismissal can be fluffed shows that it does require skill.

A SUGGESTED REWORDING

In order for greater clarity I would change the wording of the section of the laws devoted to this dismissal, ruling that until the ball has actually been released the bowling crease belongs to the bowler, and the non-striker leaves it at their own risk. This form of dismissal is part of the game and will remain so – batters need to learn that even at the non-strikers end they need to keep their eyes on the bowler and not make an early move out of their ground, and to accpet being run out if they leave themselves open to this form of dismissal. A few months ago Deepti Sharma (India) dismissed Charlie Dean (England) by this means in an international match. My sympathies were entirely with the bowler: not only had Dean been serially leaving her ground early when at the non-strikers end (over 70 times in her innings), her offending had grown worse following the dismissal of Amy Jones which made her senior partner, and Deepti Sharma just before the over in which the dismissal occurred had spoken to the Indian captain, so Dean really should have been alert to the fact that such a dismissal was on the cards.

PHOTOGRAPHS

New Materials For Cricket Bats

My take on a story that has come out today about bamboo being considered as a possible alternative material for the making of cricket bats (willow is the traditional choice).

This post is prompted by a story that bamboo, more sustainable than the traditional willow, is being considered as a possible material for making cricket bats.

A CONTROVERSY AND A PIECE OF LEGAL PEDANTRY

The laws of cricket currently state in the section codifying what is acceptable in a bat that “the bat shall be made of wood”. Officially bamboo is a grass and not wood, so strictly technically a change to the laws of cricket would be required to permit the construction of bamboo bats.

The reason for this requirement being codified into law dates back to the post-Packer concord series of 1979-80 when Australia, with the World Series Cricket players restored to the fold, played three test matches against each of England and the West Indies. In one of the Australia v England matches Dennis Lillee, one of the greatest bowlers in the history of the game and a competent lower order batter came to wicket bearing an aluminium bat, having come to a financial arrangement with the manufacturer. Mike Brearley, the England skipper, was less than impressed, quickly noting two things: firstly that every time the bat made contact with the ball it made an ugly clanging sound and secondly and more importantly that the impacts of this new type of bat on the ball were damaging to said item. There was an on-field spat, and Lillee, instructed to revert to a wooden bat, hurled the aluminium implement away in disgust.

To prevent the aluminium bat from making further appearances an addition was made to the laws of cricket, and the overly restrictive formula that ‘the bat shall be made of wood’ came into being.

ON ALTERNATIVE
BAT MATERIALS

Although it is technically grass and not wood (this distinction is to my mind a piece of legal pedantry in the David Allen Green class) I do not see a lot of difference between a wooden bat and a bamboo one in terms of either the effect its impact has on the ball or the distances the ball can be hit with it (I would object to a cork bat on the latter grounds – the natural springiness of cork would surely cause a bat made of that material to send a ball much greater distances) and this to me is the key. I would say that new materials for bats would need rigorous testing to ensure that they do not damage the ball, that the noise of the impact of bat on ball is not positively unpleasant, and that they do not radically alter the game by having a massive effect on the distances that balls can be struck. Rather than worry overmuch about the type of material from which the bat is constructed its effect on the game should be the key criteria. If it can be demonstrated that a bamboo bat will work not too differently to the traditional willow I would have no objection to such being used.

Possibly the keenest statisticians (are you reading this James McCaghrey?) will come to produce tables comparing scoring by batters with wooden implements and with bamboo to analyse whether the different material is having any great effect.

PHOTOGRAPHY

My usual sign off…

All Time XIs – Bizarre Dismissals

My latest variation on the ‘all time XI’ theme looks at bizarre dismissals. There is also a correction in my usual ‘reverse tabloid’ fashion and some thoughts about laws of the game that are connected to my theme.

INTRODUCTION

It is time for another variation on the ‘All Time XI‘ theme. Today we have an XI who have all suffered bizarre dismissals. I will follow this up with a look at some of the more unusual ways of getting out and at a few other aspects of the laws. However, before I get into the body of the post I have one other duty to perform…

A CORRECTION

In my previous post when I introduced the ‘Signed Off In Style XI‘ I made an error with significant consequences. Alec Stewart did not score a century in his final test match – the innings I was thinking had been played earlier. He did finish in front of his own home crowd, and with a tally of runs to match the digital form of his birth date, but his score in that final innings was a mere 38. This being the case, especially bearing in mind the shortage of left handed batters in the XI, his slot should have gone to Alastair Cook, rather than the Essex man having to make do with a special honourable mention. My apologies to Sir Alastair as the one who suffered from a rare lapse of memory on my part. Note that I have followed my usual ‘reverse tabloid’ policy when it comes to making a correction!

THE ‘BIZARRE DISMISSALS’ XI

  1. Sir Leonard Hutton – the Yorkshire opener, the first professional ever to captain his country in a home test, was also the first to be given out ‘obstructing the field’ in a test match. It happened against South Africa, and we shall be meeting the obstructed fielder a little later on.
  2. Gilbert Parkhouse – the Welshman was playing for England in New Zealand when he suffered the rare fate of being out twice to the same ball. The deliver, from a left arm spinner named Burtt hit his pad, and the umpire raised his finger instantly to give him out. However, the ball had been trickling backwards from the pad, and ultimately rolled into the stumps and dislodged a bail. The laws of cricket have this sort of thing covered, with an order of precedence for modes of dismissal, and Parkhouse was officially recorded as B Burtt, bowled outranking LBW in the pecking order. In the modern era this could actually have been made even worse, because the batter might have signalled for a review while that ball was trickling backwards! My own inclination in such a situation, for all that the review request would technically be null and void due to the subsequent dismissal would be to count it as a review burned off – no one who is that comprehensively out has any business reviewing, do they Mr Watson?
  3. Andrew Ducat – the Surrey stalwart, who was also an international footballer, was playing for England in the 1921 Ashes when a ball from Ted McDonald broke his bat, sending a splinter therefrom cannoning into his stumps, while at the same moment Jack Gregory at slip pouched the catch. In this case, ‘caught’ outranks ‘hit wicket’, so the entry on the scorecard was C Gregory B McDonald.
  4. Martin Donnelly – the elegant Kiwi left hander, who created a unique treble by scoring centuries at Lord’s in the Varsity Match, for the Gentlemen against the Players and in a test match, was once bowled by a delivery that broke his wicket from behind. The ball, from Jack Young, hit his boot, looped over the stumps and then spun back to hit them from behind!
  5. Henry Charlwood – running misjudgements don’t get much more horrendous than this one. He came back for a sharp second, and was comfortably run out – and what makes this a true classic, at the same time the bowler’s end umpire was signalling ‘one short’! Sometimes, especially if they were partnering Geoffrey Boycott and it was his call, run out victims deserve sympathy, but when you have failed to make your ground at either end of the pitch I feel that you can have little cause for complaint.
  6. *Steve Waugh – the tough Aussie who regarded allowing himself to be dismissed in any way as an offence nevertheless joined the select ranks of those to have been given out ‘handled ball’ in a test match.
  7. +Russell Endean – a few years after being the fielder obstructed by Hutton the South African entered the record books as the first person in test match history to be out ‘handled ball’. Endean also holds a rather more impressive record – most runs ever scored by one batter in a pre-lunch session of a first class match – 197, albeit in an extended session. His best test innings was 162 against Australia.
  8. James Southerton – the Surrey and Sussex slow bowler who was test cricket’s oldest ever debutant ended in an innings in a very curious way. He offered up a very straightforward catch, and headed for the pavilion without even waiting to see it taken. It was actually dropped, but the message did not reach Southerton, and he left the ground, to be recorded in the scorebook as ‘retired thinking he was caught’!
  9. James Grundy – best known as a right arm fast bowler, he only occasionally had his moments with the bat, but he featured in two of the ‘unusual dismissals’ list in the copy of the Wisden Book of Cricket Records that I used to own – from memory ‘handled ball’ and ‘hit ball twice’. As far I as am aware, his surname not withstanding, this particular Grundy did not have a side line producing home brewed cider!
  10. Haydon Smith – the Leicestershire right arm fast bowler and no11 batter’s unusual ‘dismissal’ was mentioned in my post about that county – he became one of a fairly select group of batters to have declined to accept a fielder’s word that they had NOT taken a catch!
  11. Harold Heygate – the 35 year old had not been planning to bat in Sussex’s second innings v Somerset due to back trouble, but when the ninth Sussex wicket fell with the scores dead level he rose from his sickbed and hobbled out in his everyday clothes. Unfortunately for him he took far too long to get to the middle, and a Somerset appeal for ‘Timed Out’ was duly upheld, ending the match in a tie, and no small quantity of confusion. This was Heygate’s sixth appearance for Sussex, and unsurprisingly his last.

The presence of Heygate at no11, mandatory given the nature of the XI, means that the side is light on bowling options, but I am hoping that Grundy, Smith and Southerton with a little help from skipper Waugh can carry the workload. The batting is definitely strong (when fully fit it was his batting that got Heygate selected).

THE REALLY UNUSUAL
MODES OF DISMISSAL

I believe that under the latest revisions of the laws of cricket ‘handled ball’, ‘hit ball twice’ and ‘obstructing the field’ now all come under the same heading of ‘obstructing the field’, while ‘timed out’ remains. However, I am go to look briefly at all of them individually:

HANDLED BALL

Batters are forbidden from handling the ball unless specifically and explicitly invited to do so by members of the fielding side. In addition to Waugh and Endean, Graham Gooch is another frontline batter to fall foul of this in a test match. The caveat over being invited to handle by the fielding side covers the situation where a fielder entices the batter to pick it up and then appeals (there is a Grace family story regarding the dismissal of Nottinghamshire’s Charles Wright which was apparently achieved in precisely such a manner). However, I think that in the last test match of the South Africa series (simultaneously only a few months and an epoch ago) England erred when Francois ‘Faf’ Du Plessis repeatedly and obviously deliberately handled the thing with sweaty batting gloves – rather than bother with official complaints about his conduct they should have simply appealed and sent him on his way – and ticked off anyone who dared to complain on South Africa’s behalf for being mischief makers. As it happened Du Plessis’ cheating (yes, that is what it was and I will not apologize for saying so) did not prevent his side from going down to a heavy defeat and the series going to England.

HIT BALL TWICE

This one specifically allows for a double hit if it is inadvertent or if it is purely to protect one’s wicket. What is being guarded against is the unscrupulous batter who uses one hit to ‘control’ or ‘tee the ball up’ and then smacks it out of the park with a second hit. Although I do not know of any stories of this happening I presume that it has done, since legislation, especially in the context of cricket, is rarely based on hypothetical happenings.

OBSTRUCTING THE FIELD

This is quite simple – if the batter deliberately prevents a wicket from being taken by getting in the fielder’s way it is out. Most often it is used in relation to catches, where fielder’s can easily be baulked by unscrupulous batters, but it could also apply to run outs if the batter had obviously altered their course to prevent a throw-in from running them out. There is no recourse if the batter is fairly diving for their ground with no obstructive intent and the ball hits them or their bat and races away to the boundary, although it would be considered out of order for the batter to attempt extra runs if the ball did not reach the boundary.

TIMED OUT

A simple, and to my mind, underused one. The batter is allowed a maximum amount of time (used to be two minutes, is now three) from the fall of a wicket to be at their place in the middle. I would say that the incoming batter should pass the outgoing batter on the field of play. Maybe in extreme circumstances, such as if the bowler has just taken four wickets with successive balls and that has caused the new batter to be caught unprepared, leeway should be given, but in general I would be harsh on this one, recommending fielding sides to appeal as soon as that three minutes is up.

HOW LEGISLATION DEVELOPS

Basically what happens with cricket laws is that something happens that makes people sit up, and legislation is passed to counteract it. Sometimes it is sensible, and sometimes very much not. I am now going to look at one specific topic:

DECLARATIONS

Originally no declarations were permitted – the batting side had to go on till they were all out. Then Surrey and Nottinghamshire, the two best county sides of the day, were playing a match the Surrey were ahead in, but unlikely to be able to bring to a conclusion. At this point John Shuter, the Surrey captain (yes, a Shuter on one side and a Gunn on the other!) had his ‘Baldrick’ moment, and instructed his team to get themselves out, so that they had time to dismiss the opposition and win the match. Surrey won that match, and the concept of the declaration was introduced. Subsequently there have been various scandals involving contrived declarations, at least one ‘bookmaker induced’ declaration and the declaration that led to the banning of declarations in limited overs matches. Declarations can be splendid when properly used, but also can be a huge blot on the game. Especially annoying is the giving away of runs to get your opponents to declare – no, back yourself and your team to win properly. I have mentioned (here) my distaste for the County Championship’s bonus point system. Justin Langer once declared an innings on 50-8 so that his opponents did not get full bowling points, which is obviously not to be approved of. The lawmakers have now said that declarations must be made with the intent to move the game forward, a woolly piece of phrasing practically designed to generate arguments. I have a hypothetical case: the batting side have scored rapidly, but have just had a mini clatter of wickets, and with an hour of day 1 remaining they are 375-8, with no 9 the not out batter and no 10 due to come in – now to me the declaration sticks out like a sore thumb, since 50 minutes bowling at a team who have spent most of the day chasing leather may well net two or three wickets, while it is unlikely the such extra runs as the tail produce will make a great difference. However, because of the bonus point system I would be prepared to bet money that in the event of such a declaration the opposition skipper would complain, although the batting side have given up a bonus point by declaring, they have also prevented the fielding side from getting full bowling points. Would the powers the be in such a circumstance have the guts to tell the complaining skipper that he needs to grow up or words to that effect? I now move to a really controversial subtopic:

DECLARATIONS IN LIMITED OVERS CRICKET

These have been outlawed since Brian Rose as captain of Somerset used a declaration to deliberately throw a game, because under the rules governing that competition doing so guaranteed that Somerset would progress. Rose declared at Worcester after one over, with the score 1-0, and Worcestershire of course won by ten wickets in a ‘match’ that contained ten minutes of actual playing time. While Rose’s declaration deserved the condemnation it got, and measures would be needed in some situations such as: last round of group fixtures, side A have already qualified, and side B who A are playing need a win to be sure of qualifying. Side C, who side A fear more are the other potential qualifiers, so side A use a declaration to give side B the game and eliminate side C. However, especially in this country, there should be some scope for declarations: Side A are 300-2 after 40 of their allocated 50 overs, and they know that the weather is likely to intervene, and to constitute a match each side must have faced at least 20 overs. If Side A are prepared to back their bowlers to defend 300 in the full 50 overs should it come to that then they should be allowed to declare their innings closed in the attempt to ensure that in the event of the predicted bad weather coming a match can be got in. Such a declaration should actually be considered praiseworthy in the circumstances, since Side A could probably be fairly confident of reaching 400 if they batted for the remaining 10 overs of their innings.

A LINK AND SOME PHOTOGRAPHS

The Fulltoss blog have a new post up speculating about the 2021-2 Ashes tour, and I heartily recommend it. Now, another XI has been put through its paces, I have raised some related issues, and it remains only to apply my usual sign off (nb for those who are squeamish about such things there is a picture featuring one of our eight legged friends)…

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A bug carwling across my book (Hammond’s “Cricket: My World”)

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A hovering insect, quite easy to see but very diifcult to capture – I hope the two shots I have managed to get of it are good.

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An eight legged little friend crawling over the back of my hand.

Bizarre Dismissals

Australia 2-0 Up In ODI Series

A mention of yesterday;s ODI, leading to an account of a controversial dismissal and some stories about other controversial dismissals. Some good pictures. Finally, some interesting and important links.

INTRODUCTION

As well as my title piece I have some links and some photographs to share.

AUSTRALIAN VICTORY MARRED BY CONTROVERSIAL DISMISSAL

Let me start by saying straight that the dismissal in question had no effect on the outcome of the match – Australia were already in control by then and thoroughly deserved their victory. England one the toss, put Australia in, and Australia ran up 309 from the 49 overs that the match was reduced to.

OBSTRUCTING THE FIELD

Ben Stokes was given out to one cricket’s most obscure modes of dismissal: Obstructing the Field. He deflected with his hand a ball that would have hit his stumps and run him out.  I quote from my copy of The Laws of Cricket the paragraph explaining the relevant law:

1. Out Obstructing the field

Either batsman is out Obstructing the field  if he wilfully obstructs the or distracts the opposing side by word or action. It shall be regarded as obstruction if either batsman wilfully, and without the consent of the fielding side, strikes the ball with his bat or person, other than a hand not holding the bat, after the ball has touched a fielder.

The emphases in the body text of the above quote are mine – in the space of time that it took for  the incident to occur it is hard to see how Stokes could have wilfully obstructed the field – and also the hand that struck the ball was not holding the bat and is therefore specifically exempted by the above. Steven Smith, the Australian captain earned few friends by allowing the appeal and dismissal to stand, and even fewer by the arrogant, unthinking post-match interview in which he refused to even countenance the possibility that he might have been wrong.

Of course controversies are nothing new when it comes to clashes between crickets oldest international foes – the first great controversy over a dismissal in an England – Australia match was the one in 1882 that led to the creation of the Ashes, when W.G.Grace ran out Sammy Jones after the latter had left his crease to pat down a divot. Fred Spofforth was particularly incensed, and proceeded to vent his anger by running through the England second innings to win the match. The first post World War II Ashes match featured very controversial moment when Bradman, then on 28 and having looked very unconvincing, sent a ball shoulder-high to Jack Ikin at second slip, and was given not out after England initially thought they had no need to appeal (normally for a high and clear catch you don’t). England’s captain Walter Hammond gave Bradman a pithy summary of his thoughts, saying “A fine bloody way to start a series”. Bradman went on to 187 and Australia to an innings victory. Other more recent cases of controversy include the Dyson run out that was not given at Sydney in the 1982-83 series (when the batsman was so far out of his ground that he was not even in the frame when the wicket was broken), the Wayne Phillips dismissal at Edgbaston in 1985 that ended all hope of Australia saving that match (caught by Gower after he had chopped a ball on to Allan Lamb’s boot and it rebounded up and across to the skipper) and the Ponting dismissal at Trent Bridge in 2005 and that worthy’s subsequent verbal firework display.

PHOTOGRAPHIC INTERLUDE

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LINKS

I have quite a few links to share today, and they divide into three sections…

SCIENCE AND NATURE

Five pieces here:

  1. Cosmos Up have produced one of their quirky compilations, in this case “10 facts about Mars your probably didn’t know
  2. The remaining pieces in this section all come courtesy of whyevolutionistrue, starting with this light-hearted “Saturday Hili Dialogue
  3. Next, this piece about a very brave woman who saved a fox from bloodthirsty, law-breaking hunters.
  4. Next, Lawrence Krauss exposing the xenophobia inherent in religion.
  5. Finally, this one, in which a chimpanzee takes out a drone.

AUTISM RELATED

Again, five links here…

  1. A new find via twitter, and a site I wish to encourage is nextstepacademy (I acknowledge that they are not strictly autism related, but that is where the connection arose).
  2. A report provided by the National Autistic Society on Special Educational Needs.
  3. A very promising looking site called interactingwithautism
  4. From perfectltyfadeddelusions, a new blog that I thoroughly recommend, comes this reblog of a post by an autistic person.

Also on the sharing theme, and accompanied by a pic to make things clearer for you, CricketNews have for the second time in quite a brief period shared something from an autistic blogger.
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GENERAL POLITICS

A total of six links in this section:

  • I begin with a link to what is in actuality a report of a theft committed brazenly and in broad daylight by a Jobcentre security guard. Having read the post, from samedifference, I have already stated in their comments section the “security guard” who thought it was alright ro behave in this manner needs to be arrested and charged. If I was handling the case, I would run him down to the Police Station, and tell him that either he yields up the phone so that I can be returned to its owner or he goes to court and when he is convicted, as on such ironclad evidence he would have to be, a custodial sentence will be called for. PLEASE READ AND SHARE THE FULL POST
  • julijuxtaposed takes on Scam-eron’s leadership attributes in this post.
  • Next courtesy of the Mirror comes this about David Cameron coming under pressure to abolish the bedroom tax, even from his own side. This piece contains a poll asking readers whether the bedroom tax should be abolished, and when I voted the records showed 92% had got the answer right and only 8% had clicked the no button!
  • perfectlyfadeddelusions are back, with this piece about WRAG workshops being a waste of time.
  • dwpexamination have produced this piece about who are being labelled as extremists (Anti-fracking protesters as a group and Caroline Lucas by name were mentioned in this context).
  • Finally, in an effort to finish on high note, this piece from Tina Savage, already widely shared on social media, about why she chose to vote for Jeremy Corbyn.