“Why not take it out of the hands of interpretation, and make it black-and-white?” Starc told The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald. “Every time the batter leaves the crease before the front foot lands, dock them a run. There’s no grey area then.
“And in T20 cricket where runs are so handy at the back end and games can be decided by one, two, three runs all the time, if all of a sudden you get docked 20 runs because a batter’s leaving early, you’re going to stop doing it, aren’t you?
“It’s harder to do down the levels of cricket, but particularly in international cricket, there are always going to be cameras square-on for the front foot and for the run-outs. So, why not? And if it either makes the batters think about it – or stops it occurring – isn’t that a good thing?”
Starc said that umpires adjudicating on the penalty for the batting side would spare bowlers from toying with the idea of going through with such dismissals.
“Then there’s no stigma,” Starc said. “It’s taken away from the decision to have to run someone out or think about it. If it’s blatant, it is a different story, but I feel like that is at least completely black-and-white.”
Starc also revealed that before the recent incident involving Buttler, he had to warn many New Zealand batters during the ODI series between the two sides earlier this year.
“I’ve warned batters plenty of times, [Buttler] is not the first occasion,” Starc said. “I warned probably seven Kiwi batters in those ODI games in the top end – some were two metres outside their crease. As I said to Jos, I could never see myself doing it [running a non-striker out], but it doesn’t mean that you should then feel free to leave your crease early.”
After Deepti’s decision to run Dean out, the MCC has proactively pushed to destigmatise the form of dismissal by tweaking its law books and stressing on its legitimacy. While some bowlers choose to warn non-strikers before actually breaking the stumps, a bowler is lawfully not required to do so.
“The bowler is always painted as the villain, but it is a legitimate way to dismiss someone, and it is the non-striker who is stealing the ground,” Fraser Stewart, the MCC Laws Manager, had told the Times in March 2022. “It is legitimate, it is a run-out and therefore it should live in the run-out section of the laws.”