'There’s no question of ‘spirit of cricket’ here' - ex India player's brutal take on Bairstow dismissal

The England wicketkeeper-batter was given out stumped after his counterpart Alex Carey inflicted one onto the stumps while he needlessly meandered outside the crease. 
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The controversial Jonny Bairstow dismissal has gone places with the cricketing world standing in the divide over England wicketkeeper-batter's stumping on Day 5 of the Lord's Ashes 2023 Test. Bairstow was given out stumped after he ducked a bouncer and saw his Australian counterpart Alex Carey dislodge the sticks with a throw from behind. 

The right-hander needlessly meandered outside the crease while Carey, sensing a great opportunity, threw the ball at the stumps in one motion from collecting the ball and erupted in an appeal which was later verified by the TV umpire and match officials for a breakthrough as per the laws. 

The English cricket fraternity, however, has been contentiously and conveniently invoking the unwritten 'spirit of cricket' in the matter, with skipper Ben Stokes, coach Brendon McCullum, Bairstow, veteran speedster Stuart Broad and even MCC members, who were seen hurling boos and abuse at Australian players in the long room, taking a moral standing. 

All of that when the Australians merely subjected one of their players to the laws of the game, which dictate that a batter must not leave his ground until the ball is dead - which, in this case, it clearly wasn't since not only Carey picked up and threw the ball in one motion but also there were no gestures made by Bairstow to the Australians or even the umpires that he is about to step across. 

Mohammad Kaif's straightforward take on Bairstow dismissal 

Assuming that the ball is dead and expecting that he wouldn't be put through a stumping was a basic, rookie error from Bairstow, unexpected of a professional cricketer. But rather than accepting his mistake, the England camp has gone gung-ho against the Australians and questioned their moral ethos. 

For former India batter Mohammad Kaif, it's a case of England conveniently inclining towards the 'spirit of cricket' to hide their own flaw in the matter. Kaif said growing up in domestic cricket, he has found such run-outs/stumpings to be a common occurrence and that the batter is bound to be called out if he makes the basic error of wandering outside his crease while the ball is active. 

Also Read - 'Not one of them said: we should cancel that appeal' - Broad questions change in Aussie ethos post Cape Town saga

"There’s no question of ‘spirit of cricket’ here. It’s not rocket science. Bairstow was out of his crease and was thus run out. He had been doing it a few times and Alex Carey was aware of that. As a batsman, you have to be aware that you have to be in the crease if the ball goes to the wicketkeeper," Kaif said. 

"It’s elementary, something that I’ve seen from my club cricket days. A lot of times in the Ranji Trophy, you bat out of your crease to cut the swing and seam on a seaming track. However, you quickly go back into your crease once the ball reaches the wicketkeeper. If you don’t, you will be in danger of being run out. It has been happening from time immemorial," he added.