Cricket’s big debate: Is Mankading right or wrong?

Mankading, the act of a bowler running out the non-striker before delivering the ball, does not elicit a desirable reaction from the cricket community.

As Mitchell Starc warned Adil Rashid for leaving the crease at the non-striker’s end before the pacer could deliver the ball and chose not to ‘Mankad’ him (run him out at the bowler’s end), one of cricket’s favourite debates was brought back to the fore.

The term was first coined when India’s Vinoo Mankad ran out Bill Brown in a game between Australia and India at Sydney in 1947-48 as the non-striker was leaving the crease too early. On the name of the bowler Vinoo Mankad, who became the first cricketer to run-out a batsman at the non-striker’s end, the term Mankading came into usage.

Before we dive into both sides of the debate, it would be wise to highlight that many believe the term to be wrongly phrased. Their logic is that it was Bill Brown who was trying to take undue advantage despite the bowler having warned him several times and hence, the act should be called Browning and not Mankading.

That aside, the deciding factor in this entire row is the clash between the rules of cricket and the spirit of the cricket. As per the idiomatic spirit of cricket, the mode of dismissal is considered unrighteous and generally leads to several frowned eyebrows.

The MCC law, though, clearly states:

“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.”

In conclusion, it is understandable why some things do not elicit a desirable reaction. But, to state the facts, why should a batsman be allowed even an extra inch which may turn out to be the difference between him getting run out at the striker’s end or not? It is actually the pursuit of gaining undue advantage by the non-striker which is against the spirit of the game.

If the law states that the batsman is supposed to watch the ball come out of the bowler’s hand before leaving the crease at the non-striker’s end, what’s all the fuss about when a bowler tries to run him out?

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