Unamused Dhoni asks on-field umpires to take decision on 'Mankading'

Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni said on Saturday that on-field umpires should take a call on Mankading, and the decision shouldn’t be left to the captain of the fielding side. 

In the match against Sri Lanka in Brisbane, R Ashwin had caught Lahiru Thirimanne backing up too far, and the offie appealed to on-field umpire Paul Reiffel after running the batsman out.

But instead of giving the batsman out according to the amended rules (Law 42 of the Laws Of Cricket), Reiffel chose to consult with stand-in Indian skipper Virender Sehwag, and the Delhiite decided to call Thirimanne back. Sehwag later said he acted so in fear of criticism of offending the Spirit of the game.

However, Dhoni categorically said if a rule was in place, then it should be pursued properly. “Either there should be rules or there shouldn’t be rules. Why are you asking the (fielding) captain? Why are you putting him in a position? But I think the right thing was done, and because the captain was asked, we withdrew the appeal,” Dhoni said. 

But Dhoni said it was important to follow the rules irrespective of the outcome, and the Indians did the right thing in Brisbane. 

“It was important to appeal because it’s in the law that the batsman can’t go out. But often, the opposition captain is put under pressure; for example Sehwag. Eventually if you are saying somebody was cheating – if I may use the word cheating – in this case, then the batsman getting out is the one who is cheating, because he is not allowed to do that. 

“So, I think it was a fair thing to do. You can’t always have the batsman going so far ahead because he can complete the run if the ball goes to short fine-leg or point or short third-man.”  

Further explaining the rationale behind withdrawing the appeal, Dhoni said, “What happens is too many rules are getting changed. What’s important is to give the batsman a fair chance, like a warning, and say, ‘Okay, please don’t do it again’. Nobody listens to you until you do it.” 


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