When Bairstow was ‘very very smart’, McCullum’s hattrick, Pant’s U19 shocker: Similar run outs in aftermath of ‘Spirit of Cricket’ Ashes saga


It’s been more than 48 hours since Australia beat England in the Lord’s Test and gained a 2-0 lead in the five match series. The discussions on the result may have withered off however, conversations around the Jonny Bairstow stumping by Alex Carey remain a hot topic in world cricket.

England looked in the groove to chase down 371 at Lord’s on Day 5, despite losing five wickets, thanks to what was only a third 150 plus score for Ben Stokes in Test cricket. At the other end, leaving alone the final ball of the 52nd over, Bairstow almost instantly vacates the crease and starts moving towards his partner. He thinks the ball is dead, but Alex Carey ensures his underarm throw hits the stumps and the Australians start celebrating. Bairstow looks perplexed. Third umpire, Marais Erasmus has a check and deems the Englishman out. A few words are exchanged between the two sets of players in the middle.

The first jibe was taken moments later as the new batter in Stuart Broad said to Carey, “That’s all you’re ever going to be remembered for.” The otherwise prestigious Lord’s Long Room would turn into a vicious away end at football experience for Australia. Within a myriad of opinions, those in favor of the motion would suggest that the stumping – albeit by the book – wasn’t in line with the ‘Spirit of Cricket’. And there it was. That old vague term again.

But was the instance a new for world cricket to have responded in the way it did? The Indian Express looks back at similar run outs/stumpings on similar grounds.

When Jonny Bairstow was ‘very very smart’ against Samit Patel

The Jonny Bairstow of 2023 may wish to look away. In 2014, a young keeper batter, while playing for Yorkshire in the County Championship affected the stumping of left-arm spin all-rounder Samit Patel. This wasn’t one of those regulation stumpings however. As Patel left a ball strolling down the leg stump, Bairstow collected the same and kept his glove in close proximity to the stumps and just as the New Zealand international lifted his back foot to adjust his pose, the English keeper would take the bails off.

While the on-air commentators termed the manoeuvre as ‘very very smart from Jonny Bairstow’ while also suggesting that it was ‘lousy’ on the part of Patel. Post-match, the Yorkshire keeper would state with a straight face, “It’s within the rules of the game, and that’s how it is.”

When Brendon McCullum registered a hat-trick

Not one, not two, but three run outs that can fall under the same ‘Spirit of Cricket’ debate inducing category. Back in 2006, when Sri Lanka were nine wicket down, Kumar Sangakkara scored a brilliant century to bail his team. But just as he raised his bat following a single, there was a run out celebration at the other end. Having tapped his bat at the striker’s end, Muttiah Muralitharan quickly turned back to congratulate his partner but New Zealand keeper McCullum would run him out within the laws of the game as the ball wasn’t dead yet.

A year ago, McCullum had cut short fifty celebrations of Blessing Mahwire after Chris Mpofu paid the price for joining in on the celebrations too soon. During the 2009 Champions Trophy, the incident was different. So was its outcome. Against England, as McCullum collected a Kyle Mills bouncer with a hop behind the stumps, he saw Paul Collingwood outside his crease and took the chance at the stumps. While the instance was yet another well within the laws, the then New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori withdrew his appeal. “According to the laws of the game, it was probably out, but of late we have discussed a lot about the spirit of the game,” he’d say post match.

From having justified himself as player by stating, “I never thought it the wrong thing to do, the rules are there and you can’t reward stupidity” to having said as a head coach, “When you become older and more mature, you realise the game and the spirit of it is something you need to protect”, McCullum has surely come a long way.

When Tony Grieg ran out Kallicharan

Before Barstow and Carey, it was the most infamous incident of run out when the batsman was walking away thinking the ball was dead, and not in play. In fact, the batsman Alvin Kallicharan not only thought it was the end of the over, but end of the day’s play.

Derek Underwood had bowled the last ball of the second day in the 1973-74 Port of Spain Test against West Indies and Bernard Julien had bunted it out to Tony Greig at silly point.

Everyone thought the day was over; Julien turned and walked back, Alan Knott, the wicketkeeper, took the bails off and even uprooted the stumps, and the non-striker Alvin Kallicharran, who had backed up a couple of yards, continued walking, heading off the field, without getting back to his crease. Greig turned around, and hit the stumps at the non-striker’s end, and appealed for a run out. The umpire Douglas Sang Hue, who had not called time, gave Kallicharran out after a slight hesitation. After a hostile crowd reaction after stumps and heated discussions between the management of the two teams, the ruling was overturned overnight and a statement was issued by the English management that “in the interest of cricket as a whole, and the future of this tour in particular … the appeal against the batsman be withdrawn”. The statement also carried an apology from Greig, who “in no way intended his instinctive actions to be contrary to the spirit of the game”. As things turned out that evening, Garry Sobers had to drive Greig back to his hotel, as he felt the angry crowd wouldn’t harm Greig as long as he was with him.

When Rishabh Pant was punished in the U19 World Cup Final

The 2016 U19 World Cup produced a bunch of new superstars for Indian cricket, none bigger than Rishabh Pant. In his first ICC tournament, Pant smashed 267 runs. In the final however, the southpaw opener was sent back early after the West Indies U19 keeper Tevin Imlach collected it following a leave from Pant and had a go at the stumps. Bulls eye and batting first, India lost their chief batter early on. The wickets kept on tumbling and the Rahul Dravid coached side were dismissed for 145 and the Windies went on to win by five wickets.

When John Emburey ran out Kris Srikkanth who had absent-mindedly walked out of crease

It was Krishnamachari Srikkanth’s debut Test in 1981 and the man who would be come to be known for his strolls to square-leg, nose-sniffs, and a general air of nonchalance and fun even as he belted the bowlers, would do an unforgettable act.

He was out for a duck in the first innings, and had reached 13 in the second when he turned a ball towards gully, and, much to the surprise of even the non-striker Sunil Gavaskar, wandered outside the crease for a bit of gardening or perhaps because he just felt like it. John Emburey, the English offspinner, took aim at the striker’s end and that was that. Srikkanth had to go back.


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