Ian Chappell believes that Rohit Sharma shouldn’t have rescinded, but enforced, Mohammed Shami’s run out appeal against Dasun Shanaka, while also urging a change in the current law to allow bowlers to bring their arm over without releasing the ball and then run out the non-striker.

Towards the end of the first ODI of the three-match series between India and Sri Lanka, Mohammed Shami – in his bowling stride – whipped the bails off with non-striker Dasun Shanaka having wandered out of his crease. At that point, Shanaka was on 98 – but upon India captain Rohit’s intervention, continued to bat after India withdrew their appeal, going on to bring up his century.

The decision was met with mixed responses: some lauded his “sportsmanship”, while others suggested that the captain should have supported his own bowler’s legal method of dismissal.

“Run outs at the bowler’s end can and should be resolved easily,” Chappell wrote in his ESPNcricinfo column. “The original law was more than adequate and should never have been changed. It’s a reminder that there are generally two solutions to a problem – a simple one and a complicated one. Cricket is renowned for choosing the latter.”

Writing about R Ashwin’s “mankading” of Jos Buttler during IPL 2019, which significantly increased the spotlight on the method and the polarising opinion around it, Chappell said the India bowler “should have been applauded”, but instead was widely decried and even described as “‘contrary to the spirit of the game’ by the MCC”.

“How could it be against the spirit of the game when it’s legal according to cricket’s laws? Why is the bowler regularly admonished by the public and often booed for cheating when it is the batter who is trying to gain an advantage?”

“If a batter backs up as he should – watching the bowler’s hand with his bat in the crease and only leaving when the ball is actually delivered – he won’t be run out. In the process he may also gain some information that will help when he is at the striker’s end later, facing that same bowler.”

He added that the old law – which was updated in 2017 – should be reinstated. However, it is not clear what law Chappell is referring to, exactly. The law previously said that bowlers could attempt a run out only before entering their delivery stride. Since then, bowlers are able to run-out the non-striker up to the instant at which they “would be expected to deliver the ball”. An instance of this was seen in the BBL earlier this month, when Adam Zampa’s attempt to run out Tom Rogers was overruled by the umpires, with the MCC – in a clarification tweet – stating that the bowler is “*not* entitled to go all the way around in the bowling action and then run the non-striker out.” However, Chappell argues for run out attempts like Zampa’s to be allowed.

“Bowlers should be able to bring their arm over without releasing the ball and then break the stumps to effect a run out,” Chappell wrote. “This was correctly allowed under the old law. If batters were run out under that law, they would quickly learn to back up legally.”

On the Shanaka appeal, Chappell said, “In the Guwahati game against Sri Lanka, I’d have preferred if the India captain, Rohit Sharma, had enforced, rather than rescinded, the run-out appeal against his opposite number Dasun Shanaka. As I said to R Ashwin during India’s 2020-21 tour: “Keep mankading batsmen until they finally work out that what they are doing is illegal.”