Nobody has championed the cause of bowlers running out non-strikers for backing up more than Ravichandran Ashwin in recent times. Despite the criticism coming his way, the India offspinner has remained steadfast in his opinion on dismissing batters in this manner, a mode that continues to polarise cricket world.
The backers cite the dismissal being within the rules and justify it as the batters try to gain an unfair advantage. The opponents claim the act to be against the spirit of the game.
Ashwin has found another backer in Tabraiz Shamsi who says bowlers shouldn’t have to deal with the ‘abuse’ about spirit of cricket when they run out non-strikers for backing up.
“I think all bowlers should do it (the dismissal) without any fear.. its within the rules of the game. Why must the bowlers get abused about “spirit of cricket" when it’s actually the batsmen that are stealing yards and THAT is against the spirit of cricket That’s the real truth," Shamsi said quoting an Ashwin Tweet about the mental trauma a bowler has to go through should one punish the batter for gaining unfair advantage.
The dismissal, though rare, has resulted in big controversies in the past with Ashwin being at the centrestage of one such incident during IPL 2018 when he ran out Rajasthan Royals Jos Buttler in such manner. That blew into a huge debate with cricketers and experts from across the globe either supporting the offspinner or criticising his action.
Ashwin recently suggested adding a free ball for the bowler every time a batter leaves the non-striker’s end early and reducing 10 runs from the bowlers’ figures.
“Let’s add a free ball for the bowlers every time a batter leaves the non strikers end early, a wicket of that ball will reduce 10 runs of the bowlers analysis and total," Ashwin had tweeted.
When a fan said running batter out is fine but it will complicate things, Ashwin said, “The mental trauma that the bowlers may go through stops them from doing it."