In the last few years, you must have heard this term — Mankading — a lot of times. Mankading or running out the non-striker is a way of legally dismissing a batter.
However, many experts and players don’t consider it a genuine way of dismissal and call it against the Spirit of Cricket. And many controversies have erupted due to Mankading, with one famous incident happening in the 2019 IPL.
So, what is Mankading? And how did it get its name?
Let’s delve into the controversial Mankading rule in cricket.
Mankading or Run Out at Non-Striker’s End
To put it simply, Mankading is an act of running out a non-striker before the bowler bowls the delivery. This dismissal can only happen when the batter leaves the crease early and the bowler takes the bails off before bowling the ball.
How Did the Dismissal Get the Name?
Although Mankading is not an official name, it was named after India’s former all-rounder, Vinoo Mankad. So the story dates back to 1947-48 when Mankad ran out Australia’s Bill Brown at the non-striking end, making it the first such dismissal in Test cricket.
Since then, the dismissal has been unofficially referred to as Mankading; however, the MCC Laws of Cricket or ICC don’t recognise the name in official documents.
To dismiss a batter in such a fashion, a few things need to be considered by the players as well as the umpires. So, let’s understand the MCC laws surrounding the Mankad dismissal.
According to MCC, a batter can be run out at the non-striker’s end when the bowler would normally release the ball from the hand and the batter is out of their ground or taking unfair advantage.
But this dismissal will be valid only if the bowler dislodges the bails before completing their delivery swing. If the bowler tries to dismiss the batter after completing the bowling action, then the dismissal won’t be considered.
So if the dismissal is legal according to the laws, then why is there so much fuss about it?
To Mankad or Not to Mankad
Even though the laws permit a bowler to dismiss a batter backing up too far, the rule finds itself in controversies more often than not.
During a match between the Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab in the 2019 IPL, Punjab’s then-captain R. Ashwin dismissed Rajastan’s Jos Buttler in a similar style, and the cricket world erupted in a debate. (You can watch the incident here.)
Many experts and players called this dismissal against the Spirit of Cricket and criticised Ashwin for unfair play, even though it was the batter who was guilty. On the other hand, a few ex-cricketers backed Ashwin’s action and termed it a fair dismissal.
But the unnecessary debate doesn’t make any sense when the law recognises such dismissal. And everyone should make peace with it and try to play by the laws.
Then why shouldn’t a batter be punished for leaving the crease too early? Couldn’t they just stand inside the crease until the bowl comes into play?
How much effort does a batter need to put in for this? Literally nothing!
It is that simple; however, the debate won’t stop anytime soon.