'To hell with the spirit of the game' - Hardik Pandya's bold statement on running non-striker out

'If I am out of my crease, and someone runs me out, it is fine,' said Pandya.

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Hardik Pandya in third ODI against England.
Hardik Pandya in third ODI against England.(Photo Source: Twitter/BCCI)

September 24, 2022- That is when India all-rounder Deepti Sharma ran Charlie Dean out at the non-striker’s end, which led to India clinching a historic 3-0 ODI series win against England at Lord’s. But that was not it. The discussion of 'should the bowler run out the batter at the non-striker’s end', and the debate around the Spirit of Cricket has been going on since that day.

Thanks to Deepti Sharma, she gave rise to a hot topic that has been talked about for over a month now. Since the Sharma-Dean run-out row, many experts and pundits have spoken about it, and cricketers have also shared their opinion if they would do it or not. The latest to join the discussion was India all-rounder Hardik Pandya, who said that he does not have a problem with it.

“We need to stop making a fuss about this running out the non-striker. It is a rule, as simple as that. To hell with the spirit of the game, if it is there, it is there. If you have a problem with that, good for you. Personally, I have no problem with it. If I am out of my crease, and someone runs me out, it is fine. It is my mistake,” said Pandya on The ICC Review Podcast.

Matchups don't work for me, they are over-rated: Pandya

Matchups have become a crucial component in planning, choosing teams, and impromptu decisions in modern-day cricket. To make a bigger impact on the game, bowlers are frequently matched up against hitters that they have a good record against, and vice versa. Speaking of the same, Pandya outlined the reasons why, in the game's shortest format, he believes these match-ups are over-rated.

“Matchups don't work for me, see where I bat and the situation I get into, I do not get the option of matchups. You see matchups are more for the people who are batting in the Top 3 or 4. For me, it is just the situation. There have been times, when I would like to take on a bowler, but if the situation does not demand it, I do not take that risk as it is going to harm my team,” said Pandya.

“I am never okay with that. Matchups, it is over-rated. I do not mind saying it, in T20 cricket, it is over-rated. In ODIs and Tests, it might work but in T20s, I do not believe it. Yes, I have not won a World Cup, but I have won other tournaments and I do not think I have ever worried about matchups,” he further stated.

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