“Can’t have it both ways chaps!” ran a Fox Sports headline. “Damning footage exposes Poms’ great Ashes hypocrisy.”
The footage shows Jonny Bairstow, the wicketkeeper, trying to run out Marnus Labuschagne, pretty similar to the way Alex Carew would run him out on the final day of the Lord’s Test.
— Sam Djodan (@samdjodan) July 2, 2023
Labuschagne had shouldered arms, and Bairstow gathered the ball and immediately under-armed a throw at the striker’s end, misses the stumps. Labuschagne was inside the crease then. Carey, who had spotted Barstow leaving the crease too soon, also would immediately under-arm a ball and find the stumps.
There is a slight difference, however. In Bairstow’s case, he had ducked under the bouncer, scratched his back foot inside the crease – in cricketing terms, usually seen as the last act of a batsman either tapping the bat inside or the foot-scratching- before he leaves the crease. They usually either look at the square-leg umpire or the opposition fielders behind the stumps or leave after the umpire’s call of ‘over’ that signifies play is no longer active, and batsmen can leave their crease. Labuschagne hadn’t done anything similar; but neither did he leave the crease.
But though the main umpire Ahsan Raza was reaching out to his pocket to take out the bowler’s cap, and the square-leg umpire Chris Gaffaney had begun to walk towards the stumps, there was no call of ‘over’ yet from the umpires. So the ball was still in play, and it was legally out.