Expecting the unexpected is quite the norm when Andre Russell is in the thick of things on a cricket field. Be it his unimaginable prowess with the the bat in hand that even carries a mis-hit over the ropes quite comfortably or his abilities to choke a batter in slog overs with the perfect blend of toe-crushing yorkers and nose-high bouncers, Russell ranks high in T20 cricket’s MVP (Most Valuable Player) list.
But what transpired on Friday (22 January) in a Bangladesh Premier League match was bizarre even by Russell’s standards. And, what made matters more intriguing was that it was not Russell who was providing the spectacle. It was the fielder — Mahedi Hasan — or shall we say the stumps at both ends or maybe the credit goes to some unnatural force above. We can keep the debate for later, let’s get back to the events.
In the opening match of BPL 2022 between Minister Group Dhaka and Khulna Tigers, Russell was run out in perhaps the most bizarre manner. The West Indies all-rounder, after hitting a six off the previous ball, tapped the next one from Thisara Perer towards the off side and set off for a single.
Hasan, standing at short thirdman collected the ball cleanly and had a shy at the striker’s end where Mahmudullah was scampering to reach home. Hasan did manage to hit the stumps but the veteran Bangladesh all-rounder was safe.
Watch the video here:
WHAT A BIZARRE RUN OUT! 😱
— FanCode (@FanCode) January 21, 2022
In an astonishing turn of events, the ball ricocheted off the stumps at the striker’s end and ended up hitting the stumps at the non-striker’s end without anyone’s intervention.
Russell, who had no idea whatsoever about the supernatural events — how else would one describe it? — that was sending the ball at his end, was short of his crease.
The videos of the run out went viral on social media with prominent former India cricketers like Wasim Jaffer adding that he has never seen such an event take place on a cricket field before.
— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) January 22, 2022
The reason why that was not called a dead ball and Russell was adjudged run out was because the laws clearly mention that a ball can only be considered ‘dead’ if… 1. It has finally rested on the keeper’s or the bowler’s hands, 2. A boundary (six or a four) has been scored, 3. It has resulted in a batter’s dismissal.
In this case, none of the above mentioned events materialised. The fact that Mahmudullah was not out meant the ball was not dead even after hitting the stumps and it was well within the rules to give Russell out as he was short of his crease when the stumps at his end were broken.
Russell, quite understandably, could not believe his luck and stood there for quite some time in disbelief before finally making his way back to the pavilion.
Dhaka posted 183 for six batting first. In reply, Khulna chased it down with five wickets in hand.