There has been a bit of a fuss about Andrew Strauss refusing Graeme Smith a runner for cramp in yesterday’s Champions Trophy match. There seems to be an implication that it is ‘unsportsmanlike’. Ridiculous. There is no way ‘cramp’ should be an excuse for a runner. Strauss was quite right to deny Smith a runner - what will be next ‘my legs are a bit tired’. I looked up the law and it states:
“If the umpires are satisfied that a player has been injured or become ill after the nomination of the players, they shall allow that player to have (ii) a runner when batting.
Any injury or illness that occurs at any time after the nomination of the players until the conclusion of the match shall be allowable, irrespective of whether play is in progress or not.”
Cramp is clearly not an injury or illness. If a player is incapable of batting he should either retire or grit his teeth and carry on. I think the ICC should take a positive stance here and add something to the laws that states quite clearly that fatigue or fatigue related ailments are not cause for a substitute or runner.
Of course, had South Africa won Smith may not have mentioned it.
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