Glenn Maxwell was the hero of the Australian team after the World Cup match against Afghanistan at the established Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Tuesday, 7 November. After giving a reasonable target of 292 runs, this legendary all-rounder played a record-breaking innings of 201* runs. Australia were left behind at 91/7 and avoided defeat against the Hashmatullah Shahidi-led side. With possibly his greatest ODI innings ever, Maxwell helped Australia seal their place in the semi-finals of the competition.
Despite facing physical challenges, Maxwell persevered to lead Australia’s innings. He experienced back pain and cramps throughout the game, to the point where he was not even able to stand. Nevertheless, he stood and single-handedly carried Australia on his shoulders.
The brilliant innings he played were almost entirely on one leg. Maxwell was often shown lying on the ground due to his inability to control his body position. However, even during treatment, he was so exhausted from the cramps that he was unable to run. However, the 35-year-old made it a one-man show with explosive fours and sixes, with skipper Pat Cummins taking charge of his end.
There were questions about why he decided not to run after suffering severe cramps. Notably, he decided not to run out because the rule (providing a runner for an injured batsman) no longer exists and has been overruled by the ICC. The ICC stopped this practice because the runners could potentially create obstructions in the field.
Notably, many other batsmen have previously taken runners as per their conditions but Maxwell did not get a chance to do so against Afghanistan. In the 2003 World Cup, Virender Sehwag took advantage of running back Sachin Tendulkar during his historic 98-run innings against Pakistan. Similarly, Suresh Raina ran for VVS Laxman before his screamer against Pragyan Ojha in the Mohali Test in 2009. Gautam Gambhir stood in for Sehwag during Sehwag’s 175-run innings against Bangladesh in the 2011 World Cup, while Yuvraj replaced MS Dhoni in the match against Bangladesh in 2019.