India all-rounder Hardik Pandya believes all the fuss around a bowler running-out a non-striker in cricket must stop. Speaking on the ICC Review Podcast before the start of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022, the 29-year-old said “to hell with the spirit of the game.”

This mode of dismissal gained a lot of attention in recent weeks after Deepti Sharma ran out Charlie Dean at the non-striker’s end and handed India a historic 3-0 clean sweep in the ODI series in England.

Deepti Sharma’s run out of Charlie Dean in Lord’s ODI: Why all the fuss (again)?

The ICC has termed these kind of dismissals as ‘run out’ and removed them from the ‘unfair play’ section of its rule book. The ICC’s playing condition rule changes came into effect from October 1.

There have been some sharp opinions shared on both sides of the argument regarding this mode of dismissal. Pandya believes the rules must be followed, it’s as simple as that.

“We need to stop making a fuss about this (running out at non-striker’s end). It is a rule, as simple as that. To hell with the spirit of the game,” said Pandya.

“If it is there, remove the rule, as simple as that. The ones who have problem, good for them, that is fine. Personally, I have no problem with it (running out for backing up far at the non-striker’s end). If I am walking out (of the crease) and someone runs me out, that is my mistake. He (bowler who runs him out) is using the rule to his advantage, that is fine, that’s not a big deal.”

Pandya, who contributed with both bat and ball in India’s thrilling win against Pakistan in their T20 World Cup opener, also shared his views on matchups in cricket and said he doesn’t pay much attention to it in the shortest format.

“Match-ups, honestly, they are over-rated. I don’t mind saying that. In Test and ODI cricket, it might work but I don’t believe it in T20 cricket. Yes, I haven’t won a World Cup but I’ve won different tournaments and have never worried about match-ups,” said Pandya.

He added: “For me match-ups do not work. Where I bat and the situations I get into, I don’t generally get the option of match-ups. It’s more of people who are batting at top-3 or top-4 who kind of get the chance to see all the bowlers bowling.

“For me specially, it is just the situation. There are times when a bowler whom I want to take on is bowling but if the situation does not demand I don’t take the risk because it is going to harm my team. I am never okay with that.”