CRICKET: Watching the action at the Gabba on Saturday afternoon, I became aware of a glaring inconsistency in the laws of the game.
I speak of the dismissals of Pakistan's Rahat Ali and Australia's Nic Maddinson.
But Rahat was run out and Maddinson was caught at deep fine leg, so what gives?
Rahat was unluckily given out after his bat bobbled over the crease, meaning when the bails were removed from a direct David Warner hit his bat was in the air, despite being six inches or more past the line.
Maddinson, meanwhile, was caught by Babar Azam off the bowling of Wahab Riaz. Replays showed Wahab's foot was fractionally behind the line, although not grounded, which under the rules of the game is acceptable and not a no-ball.
So we have a batsman being given out for his bat being in the air over the line, yet a bowler does not need to follow the same rule.
It hardly seems to follow the idea of giving the batsman the benefit of the doubt.
Fortunately I don't think either dismissal will prove decisive in the course of this Test.
My gripe is not with the bowling rule, it is with the lack of common sense over the grounding of bats.
If a batsman has grounded his bat over the line and is still attempting to keep it grounded, it should be good enough.
What if a batsman's willow gets caught in a foot mark or some other divot and drops their bat in the process of sliding in?
Or, worse still, what if a batsman jogs through the crease but has both feet off the ground when the bails come off? Should they be given out, even though they in theory could be five or 10 metres past the crease?
Youngsters should still be taught to slide their bat in, and I am not advocating some American football-style interpretation where seemingly just having anything over the line is okay.
What is needed is some common sense in interpreting the laws of the game, which were written more than a century ago and don't take into account the laws of physics ... or slow-motion replays.
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