Mankading in Cricket is one of the most controversial and debated topics in the history of the game. Typically a mode of dismissal by the fielding side, Mankading has always been famous for all the wrong reasons. Though it is a Legal mode of dismissal according to the rules of the game, cricketing experts always criticize and agonize over it as a shameful mode of dismissal.
What is Mankading in Cricket?
Mankading in Cricket refers to an act or mode of dismissing a non-striker batter wherein a bowler while in his bowling action, dislodges the bails/stumps before bowling a legal delivery, thus running the batsman out.
Mankading comes into the picture when a non-striker batsman takes an illegitimate start to take a run and reach the other end before the delivery is bowled by the bowler. If the bowler finds the non-striker batsman out of the crease before bowling his delivery, he can dismiss the batsman by dislodging the stumps with the ball in his hand.
History of Mankading
The History of Mankading dates back to 1947-48 when India and Australia were indulged in a riveting Test match. Interestingly, Vinoo Mankad, an Indian all-rounder first tried and inflicted the dismissal during the red-ball game against Australia. This was the first instance of such a dismissal in International Cricket. Since then, the mode of dismissal is popularly known as Mankading, named after Vinoo Mankad.
Although Mankading was previously attempted in many first-class games, Vinoo Mankad became the first cricketer to dismiss a non-striker batsman by the controversial method in International cricket. Mankad ran out Australia’s Bill Brown. Notably, the International Cricket Council (ICC) nor the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) do not officially recognize the method of dismissal as Mankading.
Mankading was then attempted many years later by West Indies pacer Charlie Griffith. Griffith was heavily criticized after inflicting the dismissal. Such incidents were very uncommon and Griffith witnessed heavy backlash after the match.
Former Indian World Cup-winning skipper Kapil Dev became the second Indian pacer to have practised the Mankading mode of dismissal in International Cricket. Kapil Dev dismissed South Africa’s Peter Kirsten in an ODI fixture during India’s tour to South Africa in 1992. Kirsten took a leapfrog start from the non-striker’s end and was out of the crease which led Dev to dismiss him by a Mankading attempt.
Mankading: Rules and Regulations
The MCC nor the ICC officially recognize the rule as Mankading. Law 38 of the MCC Constitution officiates the Mankading rule as:
“It is completely unfair for the batters to attempt to steal a run while the bowler is in his run-up. Unless the bowler tries to run out either batter, the umpire shall call and signal it as a Dead ball as soon as the batters cross in such an attempt and inform the leg umpire of the reason for this action.”
Though the rules are not against the spirit of the game, there is no justification for challenging the regulation in favour of the dismissal.
The entire cricketing fraternity has always been against the Mankading dismissal attempted by the bowlers. Cricketing experts suggest that such incidents uphold the spirit of the game and tarnish the image of the sport. Whenever Mankading incidents are witnessed, they are termed as shameful by the experts, fans as well as the media.
The Mankading does not violate the rules of the game but many experts are of the suggestion that the fielding side should also be penalized if an unfair advantage of the regulation takes place or a failed attempt is observed. Most recently, English all-rounder Ben Stokes had advised that the fielding side should be given a 6-run penalty in case of a failed attempt or an unfair advantage.
While independent views will continue to flow in for and against the motion, the MCC and ICC will likely discuss and ascertain the future of Mankading in cricket.
Many controversies have surfaced in recent times where Mankading was practised by prominent athletes in International as well as Franchise cricket. England cricketer Jos Buttler had fallen prey to the dismissal a couple of times. He was run out by Sri Lankan spinner Sachitra Senanayake at Edgbaston in 2014.
Let’s have a look at the most controversial Mankading dismissals in recent times:
1. Ravichandran Ashwin (Punjab Kings, IPL 2019)
Ace Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin had come under scanner after his alleged Mankading incident to dismiss Rajasthan Royals batsman Jos Buttler at the Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2019. Ashwin featured for Punjab Kings and dismissed set batsman Jos Buttler who was in fine touch by Mankading. This wicket truly changed the picture of the match as Rajasthan was heading towards a comfortable victory backed on the solid innings of Buttler. However, Punjab went on to win the match as Ashwin was severely criticized for Mankading.
2. Deepti Sharma (India vs England, 2022)
Indian Women’s team off-spinner Deepti Sharma also witnessed severe backlash after she Mankaded England’s Charlotte Dean at the third and final ODI of the series at Lord’s Stadium. Charlotte was leading England to a perfect 3-0 whitewash until Deepti came in to bowl the 43rd over and dismissed her by inflicting a Mankad. Sitting on the winning seat, England lost the match as Deepti’s stint changed the results of the game and triggered a sharp controversy.
3. Harshal Patel (RCB vs LSG, IPL 2023)
Indian pacer Harshal Patel invoked the most recent controversy pertaining to Mankading in the ongoing edition of the IPL 2023. RCB’s third pool-stage fixture against Lucknow Super Giants went to a last-ball thriller where KL Rahul & co. required 1 run of 1 ball. Harshal Patel attempted Mankad to run out Ravi Bishnoi at the non-striker’s end but failed in his attempt. Patel tried to run out after his follow-through action and the umpire called it a Dead bowl. Harshal’s action triggered another controversy as cricketing experts blamed Patel for trying a Mankad at such a crucial stage of the game.
The Mankading rule should definitely be revised and shall be fair on the side of both the batting as well as the fielding. Till then, the debate on its existence and mechanism will always be questioned and controversies will continue to flow.