“To hell with the spirit of the game”: Hardik Pandya on non-striker’s run-out

Star Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya has given his verdict on the red-hot topic of non-striker’s run-out, followed by the spirit of cricket debates around the mode of dismissal.

Notably, the debate surrounding the spirit of cricket was reignited last month when Deepti Sharma ran Charlie Dean out at Lord’s in the deciding third and final Women’s ODI between England and India. The hosts were nine wickets down and needed 17 off 39 balls before Deepti flicked the bails off to run Dean out.

More recently, Australian speedster Mitchell Starc had given an informal warning to England captain Jos Buttler for leaving the non-striker’s end before the left-armer had released the ball.

Speaking about the same, Pandya has come up with a strong response stating the bowler shouldn’t be worried about the Spirit of Cricket and follow the rules. The 29-year-old, who played a huge part in India’s thrilling win over Pakistan on Sunday, also mentioned if the players are so thin-skinned about the spirit of the game getting affected, the rules should be removed.

“We need to stop making a fuss about this. It’s a rule – [as] simple as that. To hell with the spirit of the game. If it’s there, [then] remove the rule – as simple as that. The ones who have a problem, good for them; it’s fine,” said Pandya while speaking on The ICC Review podcast.

“Personally, I have no problem. If I am walking out [of the crease], and someone runs me out – fair enough. It’s my mistake, not the bowler’s. He is taking the rules to his advantage – [as] simple as that. That’ll not make a big deal,” he added.

For the unversed, earlier this March, to break the stigma around the non-striker’s run-out, MCC had moved the mode of dismissal from Law 41 (Unfair play) to Law 38 (Run out), making it a legitimate mode of dismissal.

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