Ashwin’s ‘Mankad’ act and after

The bowler faced criticism for ‘ungentlemanly’ behaviour after he ‘ran out Jos Buttler in an IPL match, but his supporters say the law permits it.
Last Updated 27 March 2019, 21:07 IST

The 12th season of the Indian Premier League has got off to a start with a controversy: Kings XI captain Ravichandran Ashwin dismissed Rajasthan Royals’ batsman Jos Buttler by ‘Mankading’ him. Royals lost the match by 14 runs.

Mankading is a method of running out a batsman with the bowler stumping him at the non-striker’s end, taking advantage of the batsman leaving the crease before the bowler has completed his delivery stride.

Batsmen at the non-striker’s end, especially in limited-overs cricket, back up (or leave the crease) to run faster when the striker calls for a run.

Ashwin saw Buttler had left the crease to get ready to run.

He paused during the action and removed the bails, leaving Buttler shocked and angry.

The third umpire was called into play, Buttler was given out (for 69), and Twitterati erupted in outrage, dismay and defence.

Here are some reactions we saw...

Shane Warne


So disappointed in @ashwinravi99 as a Captain & as a person. All captains sign the #IPL wall & agree to play in the spirit of the game. RA had no intention of delivering the ball - so it should have been called a dead ball. Over to u BCCI - this not a good look for the #IPL

Dale Steyn


He ain’t winning any spirit of cricket awards is old ashwin.

Michael Vaughan


If @josbuttler had been warned well that’s fine ... if he hasn’t and it’s the first time I think @ashwinravi99 is completely out of order ... watch how often this happens from now on!

Mazher Arshad


All for Mankading but what Ashwin has done is wrong. He paused and waited for Buttler to leave crease which goes against the spirit of the game. Dickwella in 2017 was fined for a similar stumping attempt. He waited for batsman to leave the crease before breaking stumps.

Harsha Bhogle


Lots of drama on the Buttler run-out. He was livid but the law and the advisory on it is clear. The bowler is within his right to run a player out at the non-striker’s end if he is out of his crease.

Raunak Kapoor


Issue on whether Buttler was actually trying to gain an undue advantage is irrelevant to the Mankad debate IMO. Even if Ashwin was looking to get him out, even deceive him, if it’s within the laws, he is entitled to. If it’s such a blasphemy, then push for its removal.

Abhishek Mukherjee


If a ball comes at you and you decide to not catch it, that’s stupidity, not gallantry. Similarly, Mankading. If you find the batsman out of his crease, run him out. The fault is his, not yours. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Ramesh Srivats


No, Ashwin didn’t cross the line. Buttler did.

Mankading explained
It is not against the rule...

Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), which takes care of the laws of cricket, states a “bowler is permitted to attempt a run out” when the non-striker leaves his ground early.

The revamped Law 41.6 says the onus is on the striker to remain within his crease until the bowler has released the ball. Otherwise it is seen as the batsman trying to gain an unfair advantage. The bowler isn’t required to warn the batsman either. Whether the attempt is successful or not, the ball doesn’t count as one in the over.

Is it against the spirit of the game?

Some people say Ashwin’s little pause exceeded the “expected time of the release of the ball” as stated in the law.

There have been instances where bowlers have refrained from using this method.

In the 1987 World Cup match between Pakistan and West Indies, Courtney Walsh ran in to bowl and pulled up without delivering.

Salim Jaffar, at the non-striker’s end, was well out of his crease. However, Walsh refused to run Salim Jaffar out and went back to bowl again. Though West Indies lost the game, Walsh was feted for his gentlemanly action.

How did the term come about?

The term was coined by the Australian press during India’s tour of Australia in 1947-48. It was named after Indian opener and slow left-arm bowler Vinoo Mankad, who paused during his delivery stride and stumped Bill Brown on the non-striker’s end during the second Test. The entire Australian press was outraged, though the legendary Don Bradman supported him.

Bengaluru no fan of Mankading

Arun Varma PK, MNC professional “Cricket is called a gentleman’s game because of some unwritten moral codes. According to the rule what Ashwin did is absolutely correct, but it is indeed against the spirit of the game. He could have given a warning first and then Mankaded Buttler on repeat offence.”

Vivek Arjun, tech lead at Cognizant “As a fan of cricket, I feel what Ashwin did was well within the bizarre rules of cricket, but if one wanted to be a ‘gentleman’ in the game of gentlemen, it wasn’t a good decision. Surely Ashwin is not at fault but the act seemed cowardly at that moment. He opted for the easier way to get a batsman out; if this is followed often then what’s the fun and why play cricket?”

(Published 27 March 2019, 13:51 IST)

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