MCC Laws Manager Fraser Stewart has clarified Law 29 (Batsman out of his ground) after Eoin Morgan was run out during the second t20 between England and Australia.
Morgan was dismissed when diving for his ground in Melbourne. The Irish-born batsman had reached the popping crease but his bat had bounced at the moment the stumps were struck, and he was ruled out by the third umpire Simon Fry.
Stewart confirmed that third umpire Fry was correct in giving Morgan out - but the argument was raised that the Law is currently unfair and should be changed.
He said: "The batsman has to have some part of his person behind the popping crease and it has to be grounded.
"When the ball hit the stumps his bat was over the popping crease, but crucially was airborne, and as such the third umpire correctly, under the Laws, gave him out."
"A bat that bounces is a bit unlucky for the batsman but it’s one of those things."
A bat that bounces is a bit unlucky for the batsman but it’s one of those things
MCC made a change to Law 29 four years ago, which Stewart explained: "The only concession is an alteration made in 2010, as when a batsman is running there will be a time when both feet are airborne."
"We've said that if he is running in the same direction having already grounded his feet behind the crease, but is shown on TV replays to be airborne, then he is ruled in".
TV commentators at the game argued that the Law should be changed, and Stewart addressed those calls: "Commentators said it should change to be like being in the back garden when you have to shout ‘in’ – it’s workable on some levels, such as when the batsman is diving, but more difficult if he is turning or going back for a second run."
"It’s also difficult in a stumping situation, if a foot is just behind the popping crease and lifts up for a split second when the wicket-keeper takes the bails off he is out – it’s a parallel situation to the diving situation, as the bat is in, then out, then back in again – just like the foot for a stumping."
"Changing the Law is not something we’ll disregard out of hand. We will look at it and think about whether the Law needs to be altered. We could do something but we won’t rush into it."
"It’s easy when these situations happen to just look at the individual scenario and we have to look at other Laws as well. With stumpings, we can’t legally say he was in because his foot had been in, so that’s the sort of thing we have to bear in mind."