Marylebone Cricket Club Issues Clarification Over Steve Smith Controversial Dismissal

The fifth and final Ashes Test between England and Australia witnessed a major controversy on Day 2 when Australian batter Steve Smith survived a close run-out call. England’s wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow seemed to have executed a successful run-out, but the decision favored Smith after referral to the third umpire, Nitin Menon.

The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) later clarified the non-dismissal based on the specific laws governing the breaking of the wicket. The incident created a heated debate among players and fans alike.

During the match, Jonny Bairstow collected the ball in time and seemingly dislodged the bails as Steve Smith desperately tried to reach inside the crease. The decision was referred to the third umpire, Nitin Menon, for further examination. After checking multiple angles, Menon’s decision went in favor of Smith. However, replays showed that Bairstow had removed one of the bails before gaining full control of the ball.

The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) clarified the non-dismissal in response to the confusion surrounding the decision. According to Law 29.1, the wicket is considered broken when at least one bail is completely removed from the top of the stumps or when one or more stumps are removed from the ground. As Bairstow removed one of the bails before fully gathering the ball, the wicket was not deemed broken, leading to Smith being given not out.

“Law 29.1 states: “The wicket is broken when at least one bail is completely removed from the top of the stumps, or one or more stumps is removed from the ground,” MCC posted in a tweet to clarify the decision made by Menon.

Initially, Steve Smith thought he might be out but was relieved when the decision went in his favor. He acknowledged that the second angle of the replay cast doubt on the situation. Smith, batting on 48 at the time, scored 71 runs, playing a crucial role in Australia’s innings, reaching 295 at the end of Day 2, securing a 12-run lead over England’s first-innings total of 283.

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When questioned about his knowledge of the rules, Steve Smith expressed uncertainty about the specifics of the laws regarding the bail coming out of the grooves. He emphasized the importance of following the umpire’s decision and was fortunate that the on-field umpire ruled him as not out.

“Don’t the bails have to come out off the stumps, out of the grooves or something as far as I know? But you’ve just got to go off the umpire and what he says, and fortunately for me, he said not out.” Smith replied.

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