“There’s no question of spirit of cricket…” Mohammed Kaif Defends Bairstow’s Dismissal

Former India batter Mohammed Kaif has weighed in on the contentious dismissal of Jonny Bairstow during the Lord’s Test, stating that the dismissal was fair and dismissing the ensuing debate on the ‘Spirit of Cricket’ as redundant. Bairstow was stumped by Alex Carey after venturing out of the crease with the ball still in play, leading to a divided opinion among the England camp and pundits. Kaif believes that the batsman is responsible for being aware of their positioning after the delivery and the dismissal resulting from Bairstow’s actions.

Bairstow’s dismissal during the Lord’s Test proved a crucial turning point as England’s innings ended shortly after, leaving Ben Stokes with limited support. Despite Stokes’s dazzling century, Australia emerged victorious by 43 runs, extending their lead to 2-0 in the series. The dismissal sparked controversy and heated Lord’s atmosphere, including a verbal altercation during the lunch break.

Mohammed Kaif, sharing his perspective on the matter, emphasized that there was no question of the ‘spirit of cricket’ in Bairstow’s dismissal. He highlighted the importance of the batsman being aware of their position and returning to the crease once the ball reaches the wicketkeeper. Kaif drew from his experience in club cricket and the Ranji Trophy, where batsmen often bat out of their crease on seaming tracks but quickly return to avoid running out.

Mohammed Kaif said, “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. Alex Carey knew that he had been doing it a few times. As a batsman, you must know that you must be in the crease if the ball goes to the wicketkeeper.”

Kaif dismissed the ongoing debate on the ‘Spirit of Cricket,’ considering the dismissal as a straightforward case of the batsman leaving the crease and getting run out. He emphasized that awareness of one’s positioning and promptly returning to the crease is a fundamental aspect of the game, which has been understood and practiced for a long time.

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Kaif continued: “It’s elementary, something I’ve seen from my club cricket days. In the Ranji Trophy, you often bat out of your crease to cut the swing and seam on a seaming track. However, once the ball reaches the wicketkeeper, you quickly return to your crease. If you don’t, you will be in danger of being run out. It has been happening from time immemorial.”

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