England‘s Test captain Joe Root was the principal figure in Saturday’s Blast T20 match while he was captaining Yorkshire against Lancashire in Manchester as Yorkshire refused to run out batsman Steven Croft under rare circumstances.
Chasing a mediocre target of 129, Lancashire were placed to gun it down with 15 needed off 18 balls. However, a bizarre incident of that point has become the talk of the town.
left-hander Luke Wells hit bowler Matthew Waite’s delivery towards mid-off and set for a quick single. But non-striker Steven Croft, after running a few steps twisted his leg and collapsed mid-pitch, clutching his hamstring. The commentator wondered whether it was just a cramp or a hamstring, the former was proven afterward.
With Croft fallen in the middle of the pitch, Yorkshire had a clear chance to run him out. However, the fielders, the wicket-keeper, in particular, seemed reluctant to do so. Skipper Joe Root, too, who rushed near the pitch, denied to run the batsman out. The umpires called it a dead ball.
Joe Root has earned a lot of praise for his and his side’s sportsmanship to not run out an injured batsman.
What would you have done?
— Vitality Blast (@VitalityBlast) July 17, 2021
I am sure there will be many different opinions: Joe Root
Joe Root explained after the game his decision; he understands that some people will not be on the same page as he is.
“As a side we made a very difficult decision under pressure. It looked very serious at first glance. In many ways it was a relief it was nothing serious. I am sure there will be many different opinions. Many people would have handled it differently,” the skipper said.
Croft, who would remain unbeaten on 26 to see his side home, talked about the incident.
“I put the brakes on, they worked, and my legs just cramped up. I didn’t know where the ball had gone. They could have taken the bails off and credit to them that they didn’t,” Croft told Sky TV.
Former England batsman Mark Butcher, however, was “baffled ” as he didn’t concur with Joe Root’s act, and found his decision “completely bizarre” to not run out Croft.
“I can’t believe what I’ve just there, frankly, as a professional sportsman. I’m baffled by that, I really am. Croft changed his mind halfway through the run and decided to put the anchors on. And because of that, whether or not he’s got full spikes on, he slipped,” Butcher told Sky Sports.
“It’s not up to Yorkshire to decide if he’s got a problem or he’s broken his leg or his leg’s fallen off. Run him out and deal with it afterwards. I found the whole thing completely bizarre.”