Hong Kong v Oman, Asia Cup 2016, Fatullah February 19, 2016

HK coach fuming at 'cowardly' Oman-kad

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File photo - Oman's Aamir Kaleem was the center of attention after belting out a successful appeal to mankad Mark Chapman © Peter Della Penna

An innings of 122 off 60 balls by Hong Kong No. 3 Babar Hayat - the fourth highest score in T20Is and the best by an Associate player - would normally have been the biggest talking point on most days, but it was Oman left-arm spinner Aamir Kaleem who provided that by mankading star batsman Mark Chapman prior to delivering the final ball of the ninth over of the Hong Kong chase. Oman went on to win the game by five runs in an eventful Asia Cup debut for the Persian Gulf state.

At the end of an action-packed and immensely tight game that went to the final over, the two sides took opposing views on the mankad. Kaleem said he had seen both batsmen leaving their crease too early more than once and decided to run them out if they attempted to do so again. But Hong Kong coach Simon Cook said mankading without any warning was a "cowardly act".

"Yes it's in the laws but I think it goes against the spirit of the game when you're not at least giving a warning," Cook said. "Ultimately it's a cowardly way out really, if you're battling against one another, man against man, out in the middle and you choose to go down that route to get a wicket and win the game, it's not really in the spirit of cricket."

First, Oman made excellent use of a batting track to post 180 but it began looking light when Hayat took charge in pursuit of the target. The match had been in the balance when the incident took place.

Oman had just picked up their second wicket in the previous over, but Hong Kong had put on 77 runs and needed 104 more from the remaining 67 balls with Hayat set on 57. It was then that Kaleem got into his delivery stride, pulled out, turned on his heel and under-armed a throw at the non-strikers' end to catch Chapman out of his ground.

Chapman waved his hands in disbelief for a moment, but walked off once the on-field umpire upheld Kaleem's appeal. Everything was legal as per ICC regulation 42.15 which says, "The bowler is permitted, before releasing the ball and provided he has not completed his usual delivery swing, to deliberately attempt to run out the non-striker."

There is no ICC regulation demanding courtesy a courtesy warning, referenced by Cook, but it has been common practice for a bowler to warn the non-striker who is straying out of his crease. Kaleem argued that it is the batsman's job to know better than to make such errors.

"No, I didn't [warn Chapman]," he said. "As a batsman, if I am non-striker, I know if I leave the crease before the delivery, bowler can do the same thing. I had just noticed two or three times that both batsmen - Babar was also doing it - so I just thought if they did the same thing, I would do this.

Kaleem also brought up the example of West Indies U-19 seamer Keemo Paul's actions in their victorious campaign at the Under-19 World Cup. In a must-win group stage match, Paul mankaded the last man standing Richard Ngarava for Zimbabwe as he ran up for the first ball of the 50th over with the opposition needing three runs and sealed West Indies' progress into the quarter-finals.

"We have all seen it happen in the Under-19 World Cup so it is not a wrong thing. It is under the rules. If the batsman goes before the ball has been released, any bowler can do this. So I did this."

It wasn't Kaleem's first mankad either.

"Five or six months ago, when we were in Nepal playing against Malaysia, their batsman was also doing the same thing. Our coaches have told us if they are doing the same thing [and backing up prematurely], go ahead and run the batsman out."

Alagappan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Juro_Dyger on February 22, 2016, 21:54 GMT

    Yes, batsmen should be warned, but not by the bowler. The umpire should warn them that they are playing INTERNATIONAL CRICKET and that they are old enough to know the RULES OF THE BLOODY GAME!!!

    Seriously, I would love to see the mankad used as often as the bowlers can get wickets from it. It is only this act of using the mankad that will diminish the stigma of a perfectly legal form of dismissal.

  • DesiCricketfan on February 22, 2016, 15:46 GMT

    How to stop Mankading? If a run out is referred to the third umpire and batsman is saved by a inch or mm, third umpire should also see whether the batsman was in the crease or not during bowling stride, if a batsman is found out of the crease more than a mm, he should be given out as the batsman took unfair advantage. This will teach batsman a lesson to stay in the crease and don't get mankaded. This is the solution to avoid crazy talks.

  • DesiCricketfan on February 21, 2016, 23:31 GMT

    Why are we even arguing about this, this is the law and people should abide by the law. Anyone who knows about cricket should not even comment on these kind of articles. If the coach needs some kind of classes on the laws of cricket send him to me.

  • yorkshire-86 on February 21, 2016, 17:42 GMT

    To score a run, the batsmen needs to his the ball then both he and the non striker are supposed to run 22 yards before the fielding team can run them out. Not one man runs 22 yards the other only needs to run 15. That is unfair and against the spirit of the game. Stealing yards = stealing runs. as for @alihassan2 saying there was no controversy before the rule was changed - that is because of the rise of T20, where every ball counts and being able to steal a free run when the batsmen misses the ball and it goes to the keeper, or when the batsmen hits it straight to a backward fielder, is a huge advantage. Before T20 took off you would never ever see batsmen running singles to backward point, the keeper, or square leg unless it was the last ball 1 to win. Now it happens from ball 1, since the non striker only needs to run 15 yards not 22. That's why more mankads happen, not because of the law change.

  • Subra on February 21, 2016, 14:18 GMT

    But the batsmen repeatedly stealing a few feet to avoid getting run out is OK, If t he batsmen can steal runs (without warning) - why can't the bowlers run out the batsmen who is stealing. The HK coach is invoking the spirit of cricket - but his batsmen are not playing according to his precepts by STEALING runs! Why is the spirit of cricket invoked only when the bowler runs out the batsman - but not when the batsman get an unfair advantage of a few feet when backing uo. The bowler is no-balled even if he is millimetres away - NO WARNING is given to the bowler - BUT the batsman can steal with impunity!

  • Tlotoxl on February 21, 2016, 13:12 GMT

    Donknight, completely agree, if you don't want to be mankaded then make sure you are behind the crease, simple. If you try to gain an unfair advantage then you can hardly complain by being run out.

  • bruciewalker on February 20, 2016, 23:31 GMT

    In this day an age, a bowler can lose a wicket or even a whole match if replays show that he has even marginally overstepped. If that happens in a crunch match, would the batting side decline the free hit and return the penalty runs?

  • DonnKnight on February 20, 2016, 23:17 GMT

    Why are we in the cricket always squabbling about what's plainly in the rules? Look, if a bowler oversteps you don't get the umpire saying "careful chap, the next time I'll get you." In fact a reprieved batsman is glad, or we're glad for the extra run or free hit. A wicket keeper doesn't warn a batsman before stumping. You take a chance backing up to far. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Does a batter complain in baseball, about being out trying to steal a base? Finally bowlers have realized they have something else in their arsenal. It happens, move on.

  • alihassan2 on February 20, 2016, 17:20 GMT

    ICC should just eliminate this. It just came into law recently and there were no controversies before this was reinstated and players went around their merry way. For me, if the batsman can't run before the bowl is bowled, how can he be adjudged run out? Stupid inclusion! Mankad does not equal run out!

  • xylo on February 20, 2016, 15:08 GMT

    It isn't cowardly. You have seen it happen as recent as in the U-19 world cup. Shouldn't you coach your batsmen to not leave the crease until the ball has been delivered?

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