The International Cricket Council have attempted to defuse the controversy stemming from England's Champions Trophy clash with South Africa by reiterating that players can only request runners for injuries or illness.
Proteas captain Graeme Smith was angered late in his side's 22-run defeat at Centurion on Sunday night when his request to have AB de Villiers run for him was declined by umpires Steve Davis and Tony Hill.
England captain Andrew Strauss was also set against it and later said: "My personal view is you shouldn't get a runner for cramps full stop."
In a frank contrast of views on the matter, Smith claimed: "From my perspective it seemed a little bit inconsistent.
"Players have got runners for cramp in the past and there needs to be a level of consistency there."
Technically, however, they should not be granted for anything other than physical injury, either internal or by an external blow, or poor health.
An ICC spokesman explained: "He asked for a runner and the umpires took the view that cramp is a symptom of fatigue.
"Being tired does not qualify batsmen for a runner under the laws of the game.
"That is the way it will be interpreted by the umpires for the rest of the tournament."