Who is a Runner in Cricket?

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A runner in cricket is a player who runs from one wicket to another instead of a batsman who is injured. But do not be surprised if this is the first time you hear about such a player’s role in the batting team: since 2011, according to the decision of the ICC, the rules do not provide for such a way of playing in international cricket.

Who is a runner in cricket?

A runner is a player who an injured batsman calls during a match. The referees allow the use of the runner during the match if the following two conditions are met:

  1. The batsman is injured so much that his ability to perform runs has deteriorated.
  2. The injury was sustained during the match.

If these conditions are not met, then the use of a runner during the match is not allowed.

The runner that is involved must meet several conditions:

  1. To be, of course, a member of the batting team.
  2. If there is such an opportunity, he must be one of those who has already taken on the role of a batsman in the current innings. If the runner is a player who has not yet played in the position of a batsman, then as soon as a player who can notice him (the one who has already been a batsman) appears, he becomes a runner.
  3. The replacement of the runner during the match is made only with the referee’s approval.
  4. The runner wears the same equipment as the batsman and holds a bat in his hands.
  5. There is no Penalty time on his account.

The runner usually stands on the square leg to be able to make a run between the wickets.

The match where this player participates usually looks like this:

  • The striker batsman stands in his position and hits the balls as usual.
  • If the ball is hit successfully, the striker batsman does not make runs between the wickets – the runner does it instead.
  • A striker batsman who plays in a pair with a runner is responsible for any violation that the runner has committed. He is also eliminated if the runner is eliminated according to the rules of cricket.

Why are runners not used in international cricket?

In 2011, the Cricket Committee issued recommendations according to which the ICC banned batsmen from involving runners in international matches. At that time, runners had been an integral part of cricket matches for more than a hundred years (they first appeared in the MCC’s Laws of Cricket rules in 1884), but their involvement often caused a lot of controversies. For example, in 2009, during the Champions Trophy, Andrew Strauss refused Graeme Smith to attract a runner, although this player suffered from seizures. According to Andrew, the cramps were only a side effect of a long game, and Graham argued that in such cases in the past, a runner was allowed to enter the game, so the rules are applied inconsistently. A similar case occurred a year earlier with Michael Clarke, who also suffered from seizures.

The reason for the ban on the use of runners, the ICC called the fact that most of the violations of rules and ethical norms are associated with the use of runners.

According to Haroon Lorgat, the ICC chief at that time, cricket was in an unpleasant position when runners began to be used, violating the spirit of the game because it is always quite difficult for the referee to determine how real the injury of the batsman is and whether the use of a runner is a tactical technique to gain an advantage over the opposing team. Of course, this, like any actions that lead to foul play, is contrary to the spirit of cricket.

The ban on the use of runners was also intended to eliminate the possible inequality between batsmen and bowlers because if a bowler is injured, he cannot attract another player to help him. In this sense, the use of runners is initially an abuse.

Therefore, since 2011, you will not see runners in international cricket (at least in those matches held under the auspices of the ICC). A large part of the sports community supported this decision. The recommendations of the ICC Cricket Committee and national leagues followed; for example, Indian Premier League teams are also prohibited from attracting runners.

Nisha Bhavani
Author: Nisha Bhavani Position: Cricket Expert
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