Laws Explainer: Why Markram wasn’t given out after leaving his ground

The world of cricket witnessed a bizarre incident during the 2019 Cricket World Cup match between South Africa and Pakistan. Aiden Markram, the South African opener, was seen leaving his crease well before the ball was bowled, leaving many perplexed. While some believed it was a clear case of running out, the umpires remained unmoved, leading to widespread confusion. In this comprehensive analysis, we delve into the intricacies of cricket rules to unravel the mystery behind Markram’s non-dismissal.

Ensuring fair play and upholding the sport’s integrity are the Laws of Cricket, a thorough and intricate collection of laws. These laws, meticulously crafted over centuries, encompass every aspect of the game, from the bowler’s delivery to the batsman’s stance. However, despite their detailed nature, there are instances where the application of these laws becomes ambiguous, leading to heated debates and controversies. One such incident occurred during the 2019 Cricket World Cup match between South Africa and Pakistan, where Aiden Markram, the South African opener, left his crease well before the ball was bowled. While some believed it was a clear case of running out, the umpires remained unmoved, leaving many perplexed. In this in-depth exploration, we unravel the complexities of cricket rules and examine the factors that contributed to Markram’s non-dismissal.

Understanding the Law of Running Out

To fully comprehend why Markram wasn’t given out, it is essential to understand the Law of Running Out. According to Law 41.16 of the Laws of Cricket, a batsman is considered out if he is out of his crease when the wicket is broken by the bowler in completing the action of delivering the ball. In simpler terms, if the batsman steps out of the crease before the ball is bowled and the bowler subsequently dismisses the other batsman by hitting the wicket, the out-of-crease batsman is considered run out.

The Significance of the Ball Being ‘Dead’

The crucial factor in Markram’s non-dismissal lies in the concept of the ball being ‘dead’. When the bowler’s arm comes to rest after tossing the ball, according to Law 36, the ball is dead. Because it was thought to have lodged in the wicketkeeper’s gloves, Markram’s ball was deemed dead. The option of running Markram out was effectively eliminated, even though this assumption turned out to be erroneous.

The Role of Appeals in Dismissals

Another critical aspect to consider is the role of appeals in dismissals. According to Law 32.2, the fielding side must appeal to the umpire for a dismissal to be considered valid. In Markram’s case, the Pakistan fielders did not appeal for running out, implying that they did not believe the ball was dead and considered Markram to be still in play. This lack of appeal further solidified Markram’s non-dismissal.


The incident involving Aiden Markram highlights the intricate nature of cricket rules and the importance of precise interpretation. While Markram’s actions may have appeared as a clear violation of the Law of Running Out, the assumption of the ball being dead and the lack of an appeal from the fielding side rendered his departure invalid. This incident serves as a reminder that cricket’s rules are not merely rigid guidelines but rather dynamic tools that must be applied judiciously, considering the context and nuances of each situation.

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