Monday, 28 September 2009


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.


The Cricket Corollary said...

I have to admit that I got so caught up in the moment that I backed Smith (BTW, I am not his biggest fan) but you are right and it was his own fault. Besides SA was out-bowled and out-played by England. No excuses.

Brian Carpenter said...

Indeed, Rob. An open and shut case.

I have a vague memory of Strauss having to retire in one of the ODIs in India in 2006 when he'd nearly completed a match-winning innings (I hope I've remembered that right as England didn't win many games in that series) as he was suffering severe cramp after batting for a long time in savage heat and humidity. So I suspect his thinking went along the lines of 'what's good enough for me is good enough for you...'

Rob said...

Good point. I just looked it up. It was the 6th ODI on April 12, 2006. Strauss made 74 (retired) and had to be put on a drip afterwards.

Cricket Bats said...

Ok I know it is a professional game, but is the concept of "sportsmanship" completely dead? I guess the answer is yes!

Rob said...

JRod makes a good point here:

dannyhesford said...

Andrew Strauss shouldn't have been put in the position of deciding if Smith can have a runner or not. That is the responsibility of the umpires not the fielding captain.

In the end he did the umpires jobs for them and made the correct decision.

I still can't believe the bare faced cheek of Smith to ask for a runner when he was tired....I mean had cramp!

Park said...

I would suggest looking at this photo he had a runner prior to retiring hurt.

Fred said...

I can understand both sides of it. When you want to win, you will do anything.