"Retiring out" is not against the spirit of the game
by Bipin Dani

Scorecard:West Indies Board President's XI v Indians
Event:India in West Indies 2016

DateLine: 10th July 2016


Mumbai, July 10 : Not one or two, but the three top Indian batsmen (K.L.Rahul (50), Shikhar Dhawan (51) and Cheteshwar Pujara (34) "retired out" on the first day of the 2-day practice match against West Indies Cricket Board President's XI at Warner Park, St. Kitts on Saturday.


"I don't know what was the logic of these batsmen or the captain (Virat Kohli) but it is not against the spirit of the game", Arvind Pujara, the initial coach and father of Cheteshwar Pujara, speaking exclusively from Rajkot, said on Sunday.


"They may have their own tactics. Being a coach for my son, I never had opportunity to discuss such move with him in the past. As a coach, my job was to teach him the basics of the game. The coach of the current generation apply their own tactics in the match", he added.


Though it (retiring out) is not against the violation of laws, this occasionally happens in friendly or practice matches but the first instance at the international level was recorded in the Test which was played in 2001, when Sri Lanka's two batsmen-Marvan Atapattu (201) and Mahela Jayawardene (150)-decided to retire out.


"For the first time in 1,561 Tests, the words "retired out" appeared on a scorecard. Reaction was strong: some in the Sri Lankan press claimed Test cricket had been demeaned", Wisden Almanack had noted then.


Rudi Koertzen, who was umpiring in this Test had "not expected" the two men retiring out. "I was a bit surprised and never expected", speaking from South Africa, he said.


"But the laws of the game never prohibit the batsmen to retire at any time and if it is in the interest of the team it is always good. The retiring batsmen giving chance to the other team members to bat is a good decision. It is not against the spirit of the game", he said.


"I had heard that few (former) Australians (players) then wanted to penalize the batting side by five runs for each such dismissal but nothing of that short came for official communication thereafter".


"It is always better to be retired out than being out deliberately and thus allowing bowler to claim the credit of the wicket", the 67-year-old umpire signed off.


(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
Copyright © 2016 Bipin Dani)