In one of the finest acts of sportsmanship in cricket in the past decade, Joe Root’s Yorkshire, on Saturday, refused to run Lancashire’s Steven Croft out after the batsman fell to the ground mid-pitch due to acute cramps. Ironically, however, Croft then went on to seal victory for Lancashire.
Cricket is known as the gentleman’s game for a reason, and on Saturday at Old Trafford, Joe Root’s Yorkshire produced a moment of sportsmanship that ended up breaking the internet. The said act of sportsmanship happened in the Vitality Blast match between Yorkshire and Lancashire in Manchester.
With Lancashire needing 15 runs to win off 18 balls, with 5 wickets in hand, Luke Wells smashed a Matthew Waite good-length delivery straight to mid-off, and put on his skates in search of a quick single. The fielder at mid-off, attempting a direct-hit, missed the stumps, but there was, however, a golden opportunity for Yorkshire to run the set Steven Croft out, as the batsman went to the ground mid-pitch. As soon as the two batters crossed, Croft went to ground clutching his legs, and at that point it looked like the batsman had sustained a horrific injury.
However, what followed next broke the internet as Yorkshire skipper Joe Root requested his teammates not to run Croft out. Realizing that running an injured batsman out would be unsportsmanlike, Yorkshire did not run Croft out, and instead allowed the ball to die. The Yorkshire players initially thought that the injury was serious, but, as it turned out, Croft was struck by a heavy wave of cramps that crippled him in the middle of the pitch.
Moments later, however, the ‘nice guys finish last’ phrase came to fruition as Croft overcame cramps and batted through to take Lancashire over the line.
Root later explained that he and his team took an important decision under pressure, and claimed that they are relieved that Croft did not sustain a serious injury.
“As a side we made a very difficult decision under pressure,” Root said.
“(Croft’s injury) looked very serious at first glance. In many ways it was a relief it was nothing serious. I am sure there will be many different opinions. Many people would have handled it differently.”