Cricket Rules: In the game of cricket, it is much more important to score runs by running through boundaries than by scoring runs. Such runs are scored by placing the ball in an empty space or somewhere far away in the field without playing shots in the air. The risk of getting out on such shots is less, the batsman is able to rotate the strike by running one or three runs. If not, then he has to wait till the end of the over to rotate the strike. Sometimes one of the two batsmen present at the crease is unable to run due to injury or muscle strain, keeping this situation in mind the rule of ‘runner’ was implemented.
Let me tell you, when the rules of cricket were made in 1744, there was no provision of runner but later it was implemented. It was mentioned in detail in Rule 25 of the Laws of Cricket. According to this, the runner should be a member of the team of the batsman who is injured. When the runner was used, the injured batter used to stay at the crease and play his shots but did not run. Runner used to do this job for him.
Umpire’s consent was necessary
When the injured player was at bat, the runner would stand at a distance, usually parallel to the pitch used for the game, and run in tandem with the non-striker. When the injured batter withdrew from the strike If he was there, he would stand near the square leg umpire and the runner would stand at the non-striker’s place. The runner could be used only when the ground umpire is satisfied that the batter’s injury is such as to affect his ability to run.
Rule of ‘runner’ ended in 2011
One more thing, it was necessary to be a member of the playing XI of the runner team, the 12th player could not become a runner. The runner was required to wear protective equipment (helmet, pads, gloves, etc.) and carry a bat equal to that of an injured batter. However, the ICC, the apex body of cricket, abolished the runner’s rule in 2011 after long deliberations. Now if a batter is unable to run due to injury, then he will have to retire hurt.
There were allegations of misuse of ‘Runner Rule’
It was said by the ICC that this decision has been taken in view of the improvement in the fitness and skill development of the players. However, there is a fact that the batters started misusing this rule. There were some batsmen who had an excuse for injury. There seemed to be an excuse to take the runner up, in this the names of Saeed Anwar of Pakistan and Navjot Singh Sidhu of India are prominent. Mohammad Azharuddin, former captain of Team India, once told in a joking tone that as soon as Sidhu reached 90 runs, he used to hold his leg immediately, in which case the runner was ready for him. Wasim of Pakistan present in the program Akram had also said, ‘The referee came into cricket only because of Saeed Anwar. He used to sit after every 100 holding his feet. Every referee used to tell the captain beforehand that Saeed Anwar would not get the runner.
FIRST PUBLISHED : June 15, 2023, 14:38 IST