During the second ODI of the New Zealand tour of Bangladesh on September 23, a remarkable incident unfolded in the 46th over. Bangladesh’s pacer Hasan Mahmud attempted an unconventional run-out of Ish Sodhi. In a bold move, Mahmud removed the bails at the non-striker’s end before delivering the ball as he spotted Sodhi straying out of the crease, a rare occurrence in cricket.
Umpire Marais Erasmus referred the decision to the third umpire, who upheld the appeal, declaring Sodhi out for “backing up” too far. However, Bangladesh’s captain, Litton Das, showcased the essence of sportsmanship by intervening and allowing Sodhi to continue playing, thereby emphasizing fair play and the spirit of the game.
While many praised Litton for his decision, his senior teammate Tamim Iqbal criticized him for calling Sodhi back despite dismissing him right according to the rules.
Now, former South African cricketer AB de Villiers has shared his views on this incident that sparked a lot of debates amongst the cricket fraternity.
“I find it really irritating”: AB de Villiers
De Villiers provided a comprehensive analysis of the incident, firmly articulating his perspective on why the bowling team should not have the option to recall the dismissed batsman. The former South African captain suggested that the International Cricket Council (ICC) make a definitive ruling: enforce the dismissal as a standard rule or eliminate it from the cricket rule book.
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“Something that is irritating me at the moment is the rule of the run out when the batter is leaving the crease. Ish Sodhi was called back by the captain and I think, this is a little all over the place. I looked at the footage. If I get bowled, the captain can’t feel sorry for me and call me back. Right? So, why would this rule allow the batters to be called back? Where I am going with this is, I want the ICC to bring it into the rule that you can’t call batters back. Make it a fair dismissal. There are too many grey areas. When you leave grey areas, it can be really sore on the eyes for the fans, and I find it really irritating and hurtful towards the game,” the Proteas star said on his official YouTube channel.
“I don’t see this as sportsmanship, I’m sorry”
De Villiers emphatically asserted that the choice to reinstate Sodhi was not an exemplification of sportsmanship but rather a justifiable fair dismissal.
“My advice would be, take the rule away that you can’t call a batter back. If a bowler wants to run the batter out, take the dismissal off the rule book. If you are caught on the boundary, you are out. These are the rules of the game. You can’t say, “ah, he is my friend, call him back’. I don’t see this as sportsmanship, I’m sorry. It’s a fair dismissal, it’s out. Walk off the field,” the 39-year-old further added.
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