Coach calls for change to 'unfair' run-out law

Neil Wagner's unusual, but correctly adjudicated, run-out prompted New Zealand's coach to call for a rule change

Cricket's lawmakers have been urged to step in by New Zealand coach Mike Hesson following a bizarre run-out of Neil Wagner in the second Test against Bangladesh.

Hesson was left shaking his head after third umpire Marais Erasmus correctly deemed an airborne Wagner was out in the Black Caps' first-innings in Christchurch.

Quick Single: Kiwis rise up Test rankings after Christchurch win

Wagner had grounded his bat to complete a second run well before wicketkeeper Nurul Hasan, in a clever bit of fielding, parried the ball onto the stumps from close range.

However, the ball struck the stumps and dislodged the bails as Wagner's bat left the ground, having become stuck in turf beyond the crease line.

And because his feet hadn’t made contact with safe ground, he was deemed out. Had it been his feet, or any other part of his actual person, making initial contact rather than his bat, it would have been not out.

Wagner had grounded his bat but was airborne when Hasan's flick hit the stumps // Fox Sports
Wagner was airborne when Hasan's flick hit the stumps // Fox Sports

But Hesson sees no reason for the bat having different status to feet.

"It's obviously been around for a long time but it seems a little bit unfair," he said.

"When your bat bounces over the line once you've made your ground, that's not really what the run-out's all about.

"I personally think it needs a bit of tinkering."

It’s not the first time the law has come under scrutiny in recent times.

During the 2015 ODI World Cup, England’s Chris Jordan Chris Jordan dived to reach his ground after aborting an attempt at a single, and appeared to have reached safety as Bangladesh allrounder Shakib Al Hasan threw down the stumps. 

March 2015: Jordan departs in controversial fashion

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

A similar dismissal occurred during a T20 International in 2014 between Australia and England, with Eoin Morgan initially making his ground following a direct-hit run out, only to have his bat bounce up at the moment the stumps were broken. 

January '14: Did Morgan make his ground?

Law 29 (Batsman out of his ground) of the Marylebone Cricket Club’s Laws of Cricket 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.

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

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

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". 

Quick Single: 'Air' Jordan's bouncing bat explained

"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," Stewart said. 

"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."

All of which would have been little comfort to Wagner, with Sky Television commentators suggesting he was left fuming after his dismissal.

The left-armer took it out on the tourists, claiming 3-44 in a fiery second-innings spell as the Kiwis powered to a nine-wicket win with a day to spare.