Run out

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Run out is a method of dismissal in cricket, governed by Law 38 of the Laws of Cricket. [1]


A run out usually occurs when the batsmen are attempting to run between the wickets, and the fielding team succeed in getting the ball to one wicket before a batsman has crossed the crease line near the wicket. The run the batsmen were attempting to score does not count.

Michael Clarke avoids being run out during the Third Test against South Africa at the SCG in January 2009. Pm cricket shots09 5729.jpg
Michael Clarke avoids being run out during the Third Test against South Africa at the SCG in January 2009.


A batsman is out run out if at any time while the ball is in play no part of his bat or person is grounded behind the popping crease and his wicket is fairly put down by the opposing side.

A batsman may be dismissed run out whether or not a run is being attempted, even if the delivery is a no-ball (i.e. not a fair delivery). There are a number of exceptions to this:

  1. A batsman is not run out if he or his bat had been grounded behind the popping crease, but he subsequently leaves it to avoid injury, when the wicket is put down.
  2. A batsman is not run out if the ball has not been touched by a fielder, after the bowler has delivered the ball, before the wicket is put down. (This means that the non-striker is not out if a ball hit by the striker puts down the non-striker's wicket, provided the ball did not touch any member of the fielding side before doing so.)
  3. A batsman is not given out run out if he can be given out Stumped.

The batsman can be judged run out when he is closest to the end where the wicket has been put down by the opposition. The runs completed before a Run out are still scored by the batsman and his team.

The bowler does not get credit for the wicket. The fielder who gathers the ball and either puts down the wicket or makes the ball available for another player to do so is considered the "primary" fielder. Any others who touch the ball, including a player who ultimately puts down the wicket having not been the player to initially gather the ball, are considered "assistant" fielders and are also credited with a run out in statistics. [2]


In Tests, run out is the fourth most common dismissal method, behind caught, bowled and lbw, accounting for 1 in 29 dismissals.[ citation needed ] In One Day Internationals and T20Is, when more risks are taken with running (and fewer defensive shots played), it is the third most common, moving ahead of lbw and accounting for 1 in 8 dismissals.[ citation needed ]

Run out with runners

If a batsman has a runner owing to injury/illness, there is the danger of being run out owing to confusion between the three (or four in very rare circumstances) batsmen/runners on the field, all of whom must be safe in their crease when the wicket is broken and also at the correct end of the wicket. For example, a batsman with a runner should always be behind the crease at the striker's end when in strike and whilst the ball is live. If he leaves his crease a fielder is allowed to break the stumps at the striker's end to run him out – even if he is safely behind the crease at the bowler's end.

Run out not attempting a run

As stated above, if he is out of his crease and the wicket is put down by a fielder, a batsman can be run out even when not attempting a run. There is a trickle of such dismissals even in Test Cricket.

The case has most often occurred when the ball hits the bat or pad, and therefore goes to a close fielder rather than the wicket keeper (direct action by the keeper would make the batsman liable to be out stumped instead), and the striker has left his ground to play the ball, or over-balances afterwards, and may for a moment not even realise the fielder has the ball. The fielder may throw down or otherwise break the wicket, or the keeper may receive the throw and put the wicket down.

Some examples are notable for the sharp reactions of the close fielder, whilst some involve lack of due attention by the batsman, and approach the humorous. In a Test in Cape Town in 1995, captured on television and widely shared on social media, Shane Thomson of New Zealand played forward and posed elegantly, but just outside his crease. After a long pause, South African captain Hansie Cronje walked in from short cover, picked up the ball and broke the stumps with an underarm throw. Cronje seemed unsure whether this was within the spirit of the game (the fielding side could have chosen not to appeal, in which case the batsman is never out), but was easily reassured by all concerned. [3]

Run out when the batsmen considers the ball dead

One issue that occurs more often in lesser, junior and indoor cricket is that, in a quiet moment after a ball has been played, the batsman may intentionally leave his crease not attempting a run, for example to talk to the non-striker or to pat the pitch. He can do this because of the customary understanding with the fielding team that the ball is considered dead at that time. If that understanding breaks down a fielder might put down the wicket. As ever, the fielding team must appeal for any dismissal to occur, and the fielding captain will withdraw the appeal if he views it to be unwarranted by the spirit of the game, which will depend on judgement of custom, practice and circumstance. But if an appeal is made, the umpire must give the batsman out unless he considers that a dead ball pertained.

Such a clash of custom, or act of pure gamesmanship, occurred in the most notable Test match of all,[ peacock prose ] England vs Australia, Oval 1882, and was carried out by W.G. Grace, who contrived to run out Sammy Jones thus, supposedly riling the Australian bowler Fred Spofforth to achieve the bowling performance that won the match and caused the mock cremation that became the Ashes.

Running out a batsman "backing up"

As a bowler enters his delivery stride, the non-striking batsman usually 'backs up'. This means he leaves his popping crease and walks towards the other end of the wicket so that it will take him less time to reach the other end if he and his batting partner choose to attempt a run.

Sometimes a batsman, whilst backing up, leaves the popping crease before the bowler has actually delivered the ball. Where this has happened, the bowler may attempt to run the non-striking batsman out in accordance with the Laws of Cricket. If he fails, and the batsman has remained within the crease, the delivery is called a dead ball.

Some observers feel that dismissing a batsman in this way is against the spirit of the game, but others believe that the Laws and regulations exist to be used and that, as the run out backing up is expressly within the professional regulations, it is legitimate and sporting to exercise the provision, [4] with some drawing analogies to baseball's pickoff. [5] [6]

According to the former convention, a generous bowler may warn a batsman to stay in his crease rather than to take his wicket, but this is not required by the Laws of Cricket nor the MCC guidance notes on the Spirit of Cricket. When the run out has happened in first-class cricket, it has on occasion provoked debate. [7] Such dismissals have always occurred and continue to divide opinion. [8] [9]

One of the earliest recorded examples of running out a batsman "backing up" came in a match between Eton and Harrow in 1850, when Harrow's Charles Austen-Leigh was run out "backing up" by Eton bowler William Prest. [10]

Vinoo Mankad

The most famous example of this method of dismissal involved the Indian bowler Vinoo Mankad. It occurred during India's tour of Australia on 13 December 1947 in the second Test at Sydney. Mankad ran out Bill Brown when, in the act of delivering the ball, he held on to it and removed the bails with Brown well out of his crease. This was the second time Mankad had dismissed Brown in this fashion on the tour, having already done it in an earlier match against an Australian XI. [11] On that occasion he had warned Brown once before running him out. The Australian press accused Mankad of being unsportsmanlike, although some Australians, including Don Bradman, the Australian captain at the time, defended Mankad's actions. Since this incident, a batsman dismissed in this fashion is (informally) said to have been "Mankaded".

News report of Bill Brown's runout Mankading.gif
News report of Bill Brown's runout

Modern interpretations of run out of non-striker

In all matches played under the Laws of Cricket with no augmented playing conditions, the bowler may, after he has started his run up, but before he would normally have been expected to release the ball, attempt to run out a non-striker who has strayed outside his crease, with no warning mentioned. If the fielding side appeal the umpire will give the batsman out run out Under Law 41.16. [12] The previous Laws were more restrictive as to when a bowler could attempt this, but they still allowed an attempt up until a bowler entered his delivery stride, which differed from the international game.

The 2011 ICC Playing Conditions for Test matches, [13] One Day Internationals [14] and Twenty20 Internationals [15] had relaxed the rules on Mankading making it more likely in the International game and other forms of professional cricket including the Indian Premier League (IPL). [16]

According to the various professional playing conditions, 42.11, "The bowler is permitted, before releasing the ball and provided he has not completed his usual delivery swing, to attempt to run out the non-striker." The umpires shall deem the bowler to have completed his delivery swing once his bowling arm passes the normal point of ball release. [17]

In July 2014, England's Jos Buttler was run out by Sri Lanka's Sachithra Senanayake. The World Cricket Council, an independent consultative body of former international captains and umpires, unanimously expressed support of Sri Lanka's actions and a lack of sympathy with the batsman. [18] In March 2019, Buttler was dismissed in the same way by Ravichandran Ashwin in the 2019 Indian Premier League. [19] [20] Following the incident, the MCC said that this particular 'Mankading' was not in the "spirit of the game". [21]

The Spirit of Cricket, which is a preamble to the Laws, lists a series of behaviours considered by the cricket community to be unsporting or contrary to the spirit of the game, but dismissing the backing-up non-striker is not mentioned.

Related Research Articles

The Laws of Cricket is a code which specifies the rules of the game of cricket worldwide. The earliest known code was drafted in 1744 and, since 1788, it has been owned and maintained by its custodian, the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) in London. There are currently 42 Laws which outline all aspects of how the game is to be played. MCC has re-coded the Laws six times, the seventh and latest code being released in October 2017. The 2nd edition of the 2017 Code came into force on 1 April 2019. The first six codes prior to 2017 were all subject to interim revisions and so exist in more than one version.

Wicket-keeper Fielding position in cricket

The wicket-keeper in the sport of cricket is the player on the fielding side who stands behind the wicket or stumps being watchful of the batsman and ready to take a catch, stump the batsman out and run out a batsman when occasion arises. The wicket-keeper is the only member of the fielding side permitted to wear gloves and external leg guards. The role of the keeper is governed by Law 27 of the Laws of Cricket.

Wicket One of the two sets of three stumps and two bails at either end of a cricket pitch

In cricket, the term wicket has several meanings:

Glossary of cricket terms

This is a general glossary of the terminology used in the sport of cricket. Where words in a sentence are also defined elsewhere in this article, they appear in italics. Certain aspects of cricket terminology are explained in more detail in cricket statistics and the naming of fielding positions is explained at fielding (cricket).

In cricket, a no-ball is an illegal delivery to a batsman. It is also the Extra run awarded to the batting team as a consequence. For most cricket games, especially amateur the definition of all forms of no-ball is from the MCC Laws of Cricket.

In the sport of cricket, the crease is a certain area demarcated by white lines painted or chalked on the field of play, and pursuant to the rules of cricket they help determine legal play in different ways for the fielding and batting side. They define the area within which the batsmen and bowlers operate. The term crease may refer to any of the lines themselves, particularly the popping crease, or to the region that they demark. Law 7 of the Laws of Cricket governs the size and position of the crease markings, and defines the actual line as the back edge of the width of the marked line on the grass, i.e., the edge nearest to the wicket at that end.

Extra (cricket) Cricket term

In cricket, an extra is a run scored by, or awarded to, a batting team which is not credited to any individual batsman. They are the runs scored by methods other than striking the ball with the bat.

Dismissal (cricket)

In cricket, a dismissal occurs when a batsman's period of batting is brought to an end by the opposing team. It is also known as the batsman being out, the batting side losing a wicket, and the fielding side taking a wicket. The ball becomes dead, and the dismissed batsman must leave the field of play permanently for the rest of their team's innings, and is replaced by a teammate. A team's innings ends if 10 of the 11 team members are dismissed—as players bat in pairs, when only one person is undismissed it is not possible for the team to bat any longer. This is known as bowling out the batting team, who are said to be all out.

Run (cricket) Unit of scoring in cricket

In cricket, a run is the unit of scoring. The team with the most runs wins in many versions of the game, and always draws at worst, except for some results decided by the DLS method, which is used in limited overs games where the two teams have had different opportunities to score runs.

Comparison of baseball and cricket

Cricket and Baseball are the best-known members of a family of related bat-and-ball games. Both have fields that are 400 feet (120 m) or more in diameter, offensive players who can hit a thrown ball out of the field and run between safe areas to score runs (points), and have a major game format lasting about 3 hours.

Handled the ball Former method of dismissing a batsman in cricket

Handled the ball was formerly one of the methods of dismissing a batsman in the sport of cricket, but was integrated into the Law on obstructing the field when the Laws of Cricket were rewritten in 2017. It dictated that either batsman can be given out if they intentionally touch the ball with a hand that is not holding their bat. An exception was given if the batsman handled the ball to avoid injury. It was governed by Law 33 of the 2000 Edition of the Laws, and was a rare way for a batsman to be dismissed: in the history of cricket, there have been 61 instances in first-class matches and 5 occasions in List A games. In most cases this occurred when a batsman thought that the ball was going to hit their wicket, and knocked it away from the stumps with their hand.

Obstructing the field is one of the ten methods of dismissing a batsman in the sport of cricket. Either batsman can be given out if he wilfully attempts to obstruct or distract the fielding side by word or action. It is Law 37 of the Laws of cricket, and is a rare way for a batsman to be dismissed; in the history of cricket, there has been only one instance in Test matches, six occasions in One Day International (ODI) games, and only one instance in Twenty20 International matches. There have also been seven instances in Test cricket, and two in ODIs, where a batsman has been dismissed handled the ball, a mode of dismissal now folded into obstructing the field.

Hit the ball twice, or "double-hit", is a method of dismissal in the sport of cricket. Its occurrence in modern cricket is exceptionally rare.

Bowled Term in cricket

In cricket, the term bowled has several meanings. First, is the act of propelling the ball towards the wicket defended by a batsman.


Caught is a method of dismissing a batsman in cricket. A batsman is caught if the batsman hits the ball, from a legitimate delivery, with the bat, and the ball is caught by the bowler or a fielder before it hits the ground.

Hit wicket is a method of dismissal in the sport of cricket. This method of dismissal is governed by Law 35 of the Laws of Cricket. The striker is out "hit wicket" if, after the bowler has entered his delivery stride and while the ball is in play, his wicket is put down by his bat or his person. The striker may do this whilst preparing to receive or receiving a delivery or in setting off for his first run after playing the delivery. In simple language, if the striking batsman knocks the bails off the stumps or uproots the stumps, while attempting to hit the ball or take off for a run, he is out hit wicket.

Law 41 of the Laws of Cricket covers unfair play. This law has developed and expanded over time as various incidents of real life unfair play have been legislated against.

Vinoo Mankad Indian cricketer

Mulvantrai Himmatlal "Vinoo" Mankadpronunciation  was an Indian cricketer who appeared in 44 Test matches for India between 1946 and 1959. He was best known for his world record setting opening partnership of 413 runs with Pankaj Roy in 1956, a record that stood for 52 years, and for running out a batsman "backing up" at the non-striker's end. Mankading in cricket is named after him. In June 2021, he was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.

Stumped Dismissing batsman in Cricket.

Stumped is a method of dismissing a batsman in cricket, which involves the wicket-keeper putting down the wicket while the batsman is out of his ground.. The action of stumping can only be performed by a wicket-keeper, and can only occur from a legitimate delivery, while the batsman is not attempting a run; it is a special case of a run out.

Cricket Bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players

Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a field at the centre of which is a 22-yard (20-metre) pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising two bails balanced on three stumps. The batting side scores runs by striking the ball bowled at the wicket with the bat, while the bowling and fielding side tries to prevent this and dismiss each batter. Means of dismissal include being bowled, when the ball hits the stumps and dislodges the bails, and by the fielding side either catching the ball after it is hit by the bat and before it hits the ground, or hitting a wicket with the ball before a batter can cross the crease in front of the wicket. When ten batters have been dismissed, the innings ends and the teams swap roles. The game is adjudicated by two umpires, aided by a third umpire and match referee in international matches.


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