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Cook run out - what the Laws say

Cook run out - what the Laws say

Alastair Cook was run out in unfortunate circumstances in the third Test at Eden Gardens against India, but did the umpires make the right decision?

Cook took evasive action at the non-striker's end as Virat Kohli threw the ball from square-leg towards the England skipper's end.

As he should have been, Cook was backing-up a couple of metres down the pitch at the non-striker's end, alert to the possibility of his partner Kevin Pietersen calling him through for a single.

Cook was leaning towards his crease in order to tap his bat down and make his ground, but just inches before touching home, he took evasive action as the throw came in. Kohli's throw was accurate and as it hit the stumps, Cook realised his mistake and departed for a magnificent 190 - the first time he has ever been run out in a first-class match.

The Laws do contain a section designed to protect a batsman from being out if he is attempting to avoid injury.

Law 38.2 (Batsman not Run out) reads: Notwithstanding 1 above, a batsman is not out Run out if (a) he has been within his ground and has subsequently left it to avoid injury, when the wicket is put down.

However, in the Cook case, the key part of the Law lies in the first few words, he has been. Cook had not returned to his crease before taking evasive action, and the umpires could not therefore enact Law 38.2.

It was good, alert umpiring but tough luck on Cook, who looked rightly peeved at his lapse in judgement. As any club cricketer will tell you, there's nothing worse than being run out in the 190s...

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