'Air' Jordan's bouncing bat run-out explained | cricket.com.au

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Chris Jordan

'Air' Jordan's bouncing bat run-out explained

MCC considered Law change last year but no action meant Aussie umpire Simon Fry got the decision spot on

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England's World Cup campaign stuttered and stalled from the start, but a controversial run-out decision in the dying stages of a tense showdown with Bangladesh was one more nail in the coffin of their troubled tournament.

Chris Jordan dived to reach his ground after aborting an attempt at a single in the 46th over, and appeared to have reached safety as Bangladesh allrounder Shakib Al Hasan threw down the stumps.

However, closer inspection showed the velocity of his dive caused his bat to 'bounce' after reaching his ground.

Simon Fry, the Australian tasked with third umpire duties in his home town of Adelaide, studied the vision from both sides of the wicket before ruling Jordan's bat was indeed airborne at the pivotal moment when Shakib's throw broke the stumps.

The final two wickets fell in quick succession with Chris Woakes stranded on 42 not out and England out the World Cup exit door before the pool stages had even been completed. Bangladesh's 15-run victory will see them (baring a shock Sri Lanka loss to Scotland) play India in a quarter-final at the MCG on March 20.

To blame England's defeat and World Cup exit on this moment may be spurious, but it certainly didn’t help the cause. Jordan's dismissal caused much headshaking and consternation among the England camp and their supporters, but it was nothing they hadn't seen before. 

The Marylebone Cricket Club, the guardian of the Laws of cricket based at Lord's, had the chance to clarify situations like Jordan's more than 12 months ago after an identical situation arose in a T20 match between Australia and England.

In January 2014, England's now captain Eoin Morgan was the victim in a similar dismissal during a KFC T20 INTL Series match at the MCG. 

Morgan's run out last summer

Then, Brad Hodge threw down the stumps in a handy piece of work from the covers, his direct hit coming as Morgan dived for his ground.

The situation was nearly identical to Jordan's World Cup wicket – Morgan's bat was grounded as it crossed the popping crease but the momentum of his dive cause the bat to bounce at the moment the stumps were broken.

Fry was on third umpire duties during that match as well, and was lauded

Channel Nine commentators called for the rule to be changed at the time, prompting MCC Laws Manager Fraser Stewart to speak out.

Law 29 (Batsman out of his ground) was amended in 2010, changed so that a batsman running through the crease cannot be given out after making his ground if his feet are airborne in the running motion when the stumps are broken.

"The batsman has to have some part of his person behind the popping crease and it has to be grounded," Stewart told Lords.org

"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."

Stewart was talking about Morgan's dismissal, but the same sentiment applies today to Jordan's wicket.

Chris Jordan

The moment // Getty Images

Stewart added the MCC "could do something" about a change to Law 29 to eliminate the 'bouncing bat' issue but "won't rush into it".

"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 wicketkeeper 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," added Stewart.

"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."

It's cold comfort to Jordan and the eliminated England camp but, unlucky and unfair as it may seem, under Law 29, umpire Fry was correct in the out decision on both occasions.