Here is why Glenn Maxwell didn’t opt for a runner despite struggling against Afghanistan

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Glenn Maxwell was the hero of the Australian team during the side’s World Cup clash versus Afghanistan at the iconic Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on November 7, Tuesday. The ace all-rounder delivered a record-shattering innings of 201* while chasing a reasonable target of 292. Australia were down at 91/7 and went on to steal victory from the jaws of defeat against the Hashmatullah Shahidi-led side. With arguably the greatest ODI innings ever, Maxwell helped Australia to guarantee their berth in the semifinal of this competition.

Despite the physical challenges he was facing, Maxwell stood firm to spearhead Australia’s innings.  He experienced back pain and cramps throughout the game, to the point where there was a moment when he was unable to stand. Still, he remained unwavering and single-handedly carried Australia on his shoulders.

Many of the shots he hit and sixes he smashed were almost entirely on one leg. Maxwell was frequently shown lying on the ground due to his body’s inability to handle the situation. Nonetheless, even after getting treatment, he was so exhausted from cramps that he was unable to run. However, the 35-year-old made it a one-man show with blazing fours and sixes, with captain Pat Cummins holding his end.

There were questions about why, in the face of severe cramping, he chose not to run. Notably, he did not opt for a runner because the rule (providing a runner for an injured batter) doesn’t exist now and has been ruled out by the ICC. ICC discontinued the practice as runners possibly obstructed the field.

In particular, a lot of other batters have previously taken up runners as per their situations but Maxwell didn’t have the chance to do so against Afghanistan. In the 2003 World Cup, Virender Sehwag ran for Sachin Tendulkar during his historic 98 runs against Pakistan. Similarly, Suresh Raina ran for VVS Laxman prior to the latter’s enraged scream against Pragyan Ojha in the Mohali Test in 2009. Gautam Gambhir ran for Sehwag during the latter’s 175 against Bangladesh in the 2011 World Cup while Yuvraj replaced MS Dhoni in the match against Bangladesh in 2019.

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