EXPLAINED: Why was Aiden Markram not out and Jonny Bairstow was out?
Aiden Markram was involved in a Bairstowesque moment in the 17th over of the game against Pakistan. Haris Rauf bowled a pacy length delivery, and Markram tried to pull it but missed his shot. After staying in his crease for a few seconds, he went out to knock on the deck and have a chat with his partner.
However, Mohammad Rizwan threw the ball and broke the stumps. When the bails lit up, Markram was out of his crease. But the Pakistani players didn’t appeal, and Markram wasn’t given out, either.
So, the question arises as to why Markram wasn’t given out, but Jonny Bairstow was adjudged out in Lord’s in the Ashes. The answer lies in the rules and guidelines provided by the International Cricket Council (ICC).
According to MCC’s Law 220.127.116.11, “The ball becomes dead when it is finally settled in the hands of the wicket-keeper or of the bowler.”
Now, whether the ball is settled or not is solely decided by the on-field umpire, as mentioned in the rule book.
“Whether the ball is finally settled or not is a matter for the umpire alone to decide,” notes Law 20.2.
Further, Law 20.1.2 states, “The ball shall be considered to be dead when it is clear to the bowler’s end umpire that the fielding side and both batters at the wicket have ceased to regard it as in play.”
Since we know the rule now, let’s get back on the field. In Jonny Bairstow’s case, the ball was not deemed dead by the umpire. Because the law clearly mentions that it is dead only when “the fielding side and both batters at the wicket have ceased to regard it as in play”.
Alex Carey threw the ball quickly after it reached his gloves, so in no way was the ball dead. But Jonny Bairstow just scratched the crease with his right foot after leaving the ball but didn’t care whether the ball was settled or not. Carey hit the stumps in the flow, and Bairstow, out of his crease, was lawfully out.
Now, in Aiden Markram’s case, it’s the exact opposite. When the ball went to Mohammad Rizwan, he didn’t throw it straight away. He instead collected it and waited for a fairly long duration before throwing it back. Rizwan probably didn’t aim to hit the stumps, either.
But even if he did, Markram was not out clearly. The batter also swiped his foot at least twice before leaving the crease. So, in this case, the umpire deemed the ball dead by the time Rizwan targeted the sticks.
There was ample time between collection and throw by Rizwan. Markram had waited in the crease before getting a confirmation that the ball was dead, unlike Bairstow, who just scratched once and strolled out.
In Markram’s instance, the fielding side and both batters at the wicket ceased to regard the ball as in play. Hence, Pakistan didn’t appeal as convincingly, and the umpire didn’t take the matter to the TV administrator, either. Markram checked all the rules before leaving his crease, and the bowling team also knew it.