Ashwin sparked off a big controversy on March 25, 2019, when he mankaded Jos Buttler, the first to be dismissed in such a manner in the history of the Indian Premier League. The controversy surrounding “Mankading” is not brand-new. When Stuart Broad tweeted last month that he wasn’t sure if cricket was played by rules or by the spirit of the game, the cricketing community had yet another chance to engage in passionate discussions on the divisive topic. That effectively raised a few questions: Mankading: What is it? How did it come by that name? Is that a lawful way to get dismissed? What say the cricketing pundits about it? I’ll appreciate it if you do.
Mankading | R Aswin Incident
Butler was run out at the non-striker’s end by Kings XI Punjab captain R Ashwin who claimed the Royals opener had left his crease before he could even load up into delivering the sixth ball of the 13th over of Royals’ 185-run chase in Jaipur.
Ashwin immediately appealed for the wicket and the third umpire was called into play even as the Kings XI skipper and Buttler had a heated exchange mid-pitch. Eventually, Buttler was given out,
The batsman was going strong at 69 off 43 balls.
— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) March 25, 2019
The dismissal was sure to raise fresh debate over the spirit of the game as the off-spinner didn’t give the Englishman a prior warning. But Ashwin said he was completely within his rights to execute such a dismissal, which completely turned the match in Kings XI’s favor.
Deepti Sharma Mankading Incident
Little did Indian right-arm off-spinner Deepti Sharma know that her application of the rules of cricket would result in a nearly nationwide backlash from rival players, fans, the media, and even commentators when she stopped her delivery stride to run out England batter Charlie Dean at the non-end strikers in the third and final women’s ODI in London. The ODI served as both Jhulan Goswami‘s final game as a seamer and a crucial component in the Women’s Championship, which determines the spots available for the upcoming Women’s World Cup.-- Advertisement --
The backlash, whether it comes from male cricketers like Stuart Broad, James Anderson, and Sam Billings or English cricket media, focuses mostly on the conflict between the law and the “spirit of the game.”
As a result, the criticisms go beyond the letter of the law, and the discussion shifts to the philosophical ground. The bowler is advised to warn the batter if they have backed up too far and have left the non-crease strikers before the ball leaves the bowler’s hand, but this is not a mandatory action.
Contrary to what the game’s rules specify, the debate about the “spirit of the game” has focused on whether Sharma or her teammates told Dean about her offenses before the run-out. Three opinion pieces on Sharma’s run-out of Dean and the “spirit of the game” by writers Simon Heffer, Scyld Berry, and Nicholas Hoult were given their own full-page in The Daily Telegraph’s sports coverage.
Following Broad’s criticism of the method of dismissal, Hoult referred to the dismissal as “cricket’s most glaring example of underhanded gamesmanship” and bemoaned what he perceived to be “whataboutery” thrown at Broad.
Nevertheless, the most important information regarding the dismissal was revealed by American cricket journalist Peter Della Penna, who examined the entire ODI match replay and discovered 72 instances before the dismissal in which Dean was backing up outside the non-crease, the striker before the Indian bowlers had finished their delivery strides.
Alex Hales, the opening batsman for England, and Jason Gillespie, the head coach of Sussex, were just two of the English cricket team’s many supporters during the scrutiny. Anjum Chopra, a former Indian Women’s Cricketer, said that she didn’t understand the “confusion” around Sharma’s conduct given that she had the authority to fire Dean. If it weren’t for the laws of the game, both on-field and TV umpires would have ruled that the batsman wasn’t out, according to Chopra. She added,
“The ICC has made these laws and it has been derived from the UK itself,”
What is Mankading – A Run Out Rule in Cricket
As a bowler enters his delivery stride, the non-striking batsman usually ‘backs up’. This means he leaves his crease and walks towards the other end of the wicket so that it will take him less time to reach the other end if he and his batting partner choose to attempt a run. Sometimes a batsman, whilst backing up, leaves the popping crease before the bowler has delivered the ball. Where this has happened, the bowler may attempt to run the non-striking batsman out by the Laws of the game. This is what is called Mankading.
The International Cricket Council states that it is lawful for a bowler to stop mid-delivery to dismiss a non-striker who is backing up out of the crease, a practice known historically as “mankading” after Indian player Vinoo Mankad, but it is regarded as unsportsmanlike in most cultures.
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The Story behind
It was way back in 1947 when India toured Australia. Indian bowler Vinoo Mankad ran out Australian Bill Brown in the act of delivering the ball as Mankad held on to it and removed the bails with Brown well out of his crease.
This was the second time Mankad had dismissed Brown in this fashion on the tour, having already done it in an earlier match against an Australian XI. On that occasion, he had warned Brown once before running him out.
The then-Austrian captain, Sir Donald Bradman was quoted in his autobiography,
“For the life of me, I can’t understand why [the press] questioned his sportsmanship. The laws of cricket make it quite clear that the non-striker must keep within his ground until the ball has been delivered. If not, why is the provision there which enables the bowler to run him out? By backing up too far or too early, the non-striker is very obviously gaining an unfair advantage.”
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What does the rule say?
According to the various professional playing conditions, 42.11, “The bowler is permitted, before releasing the ball and provided he has not completed his usual delivery swing, to attempt to run out the non-striker.” The umpires shall deem the bowler to have completed his delivery swing once his bowling arm passes the normal point of ball release.
While the 41.16 law says, “If the non-striker is out of his/her ground from the moment the ball comes into play to the instant when the bowler would normally have been expected to release the ball, the bowler is permitted to attempt to run him/her out. Whether the attempt is successful or not, the ball shall not count as one in the over. If the bowler fails in an attempt to run out the non-striker, the umpire shall call and signal Dead ball as soon as possible.”
On April 1 2019, the MCC (Marylebone Cricket Club) slightly rephrased Law 41.16 again, replacing “the bowler is permitted to run [the non-striker] out” with “the non-striker is liable to be run out.”
Law modification in 2017
Under the previous rule, bowlers could attempt a run out only before entering their delivery stride. After the rule change, bowlers are allowed to run out the batsman at the non-striker’s end up to the instant at which they “would be expected to deliver the ball”.
“… the Law emphasizes the importance of the non-striker remaining in his/her ground until the ball is released, which is felt to be important. With TV now potentially ruling that a batsman has made his/her ground by millimeters, it seems wrong to allow them a head-start of sometimes several feet in setting off”, Law 41.16 reads.
Mankading incidents in the past
Peter Kirsten in the 1992 India vs South Africa “Friendship Series”, had made a habit of backing up before the delivery. He was warned twice in the first game but did not drop the habit. So, Kapil Dev ‘Mankaded’ him.
In July 2014, The World Cricket Council, an independent consultative body of former international captains and umpires, unanimously expressed support for Srilanka’s actions and a lack of sympathy with the batsman. They were commenting in the light of an incident where Jos Buttler, of England, was run out by Sachithra Senanayake of Sri Lanka.
Did this happen earlier?
Yes, in 2014 srilanka tour of England the victim was same. @josbuttler. But #suchitra_senanayeka gave warning. Then he got out jos.@ashwinravi99 should learn some spirit of cricket from him???.. #VIVOIPL2019 #mankading#RRvKXIP #IPL2019 #engvssl #ipl pic.twitter.com/LCz2CnkQVs
— Akash Ranjan Sahoo (@arsahoo17) March 25, 2019
In 2012, R Ashwin had ‘Mankaded’ Sri Lankan batsman Lahiru Thirimanne after warning him. But the then captain Sehwag decided against it.
The rule again came into the controversial light when In March 2019; Buttler has been dismissed in the same way by Ravichandran Ashwin in the 2019 Indian Premier League. In 2022, Mankading again in the picture when Deepti Sharma mankaded England batter Charlie Dean at the non-end strikers in the third and final women’s ODI in London.
What Ashwin has to say
“No real argument on that and it was pretty instinctive. I didn’t even load and he just left the crease. We ended on the right side of the coin, but I definitely think that those are game-changing moments and batsmen need to be wary of it,”
Reacting to the incident, Rajasthan Royals coach Paddy Upton said the team will leave it to the fans to judge Ashwin. Upton said,
“Ashwin’s actions represent him. When I looked into the eyes of his teammates, I’m not sure they represented his teammates. I think we will leave it up to the IPL fans to decide if that’s the kind of thing they want to see. We’ll leave it up to the cricket world to judge R Ashwin’s actions tonight. For us, we are here to play cricket and entertain fans, be good role models for people who love the game,”
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Deepak Chahar’s attempt at Mankad
After the third Twenty20 International between South Africa and India, Deepak Chahar has been in the spotlight. Deepak Chahar has gained popularity among internet users as a result of his contentious catch drop by Mohammed Siraj or his warning against mankading. Even though India lost the match, there were several thrilling moments in the third T20I. In the sixteenth over, Tristan Stubbs was leaving the crease on the non-end striker and Chahar attempted to run him out. With a warning and despite still being too far away to reach the stumps, Chahar continued. In the meantime, opinions on mankading were once more split across the internet.
After Deepti Sharma mankading incident, the topic of mankading was brought up by bringing in Ravichandran Ashwin through memes. Ashwin took to his official Twitter handle and wrote, ‘Why the hell are you trending Ashwin? Tonight is about another bowling hero Deepti Sharma’.
Why the hell are you trending Ashwin? Tonight is about another bowling hero @Deepti_Sharma06 🤩👏
— Ashwin 🇮🇳 (@ashwinravi99) September 24, 2022
A batter from Sri Lanka was taken off guard when Ashwin engaged in another “mankading” incident in 2012. The International Cricket Council (ICC) modified its regulations following the 2019 IPL incident, declaring mankading to be a lawful dismissal—well outside the bounds of the game’s spirit.