Australia v Sri Lanka, Commonwealth Bank Series, Hobart February 23, 2012

Jayawardene warns Thirimanne over backing-up too far


Sri Lanka's captain Mahela Jayawardene has warned the batsman Lahiru Thirimanne to keep a check on how far he backs up in Friday's match against Australia. However, Thirimanne might be free to indulge his habit of gaining ground after Australia's captain, Michael Clarke, said he did not believe it should be legal for a bowler to mankad a batsman.

Thirimanne was lucky to be given a reprieve in Tuesday's game against India, when he was mankaded by the spinner R Ashwin, who noticed Thirimanne was backing up a long way out of his crease. The India captain Virender Sehwag withdrew the appeal to avoid criticism over what has traditionally been seen as an unsportsmanlike method of dismissal.

However, Thirimanne did not appear to learn his lesson and continued to leave his crease before the bowler had entered his delivery stride, risking a run-out and gaining an advantage over the fielders by cutting down the distance required to complete a run. Jayawardene said he had discussed the issue with Thirimanne since Tuesday's game and he was confident there would be no repeats.

"I have [spoken to him]," Jayawardene said. "I think there was a bit of fault in him as well. He's a young lad and I'm sure he'll learn from that. We've spoken, definitely.

"I think he can take a start but it's just where he's leaving the crease is probably a bit unfair. He can probably hold himself a bit longer and then take a start, I don't think that's a problem. It's just him understanding exactly what he can do and what he can't do."

The ICC changed its playing conditions last year to allow a bowler to mankad a batsman any time before he had completed the usual delivery swing of his arm. Prior to that, the ICC rule stated that a bowler could only attempt to run out a batsman backing up at the non-striker's end if he did so before he had entered his delivery stride.

Clarke will have a difficult decision to make if Thirimanne continues to back up too far in Friday's match. "I hope he decides to stay in his crease," Clarke said. "I'm glad that nothing has come of it. It's a part of the game I don't like. I don't the mankad rule at all. I don't think you should be able to mankad.

"But in saying that, if somebody is going to be a long way outside their crease, you would hope that by warning them they would understand that the bowler or the fielding captain has asked the batsman to stay in his crease. If he continues to do that, it is in the rules that you can be out like that. But I hope we don't have to worry about it."

Asked if he would have withdrawn the appeal if he was in Sehwag's position, Clarke said: "I'll find out when I'm in that position. Hopefully I'm not."

Sri Lanka went on to win Tuesday's match against India and now have the opportunity to take top spot on the Commonwealth Bank Series points table if they can beat Australia in Hobart. They are coming off a tie and two consecutive victories and Jayawardene said the challenge would be not to fall away after a couple of strong performances.

"After the last couple of games we came back strongly into the tournament so the challenge is to try and be consistent, play the way we've been playing, and make sure we handle certain situations better than the opposition," he said. "We've been quite happy with the progress of the team."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on February 25, 2012, 8:04 GMT

    Sehwag & Tendulkar acted like Gentlemen. There is fault in Lahiru's behaviour, we admit. However, according to many Indian Fans, India might lose the way to the CB finals because of this incident and the behaviour of related Umpires.

  • Raja on February 25, 2012, 6:35 GMT

    Media wasted precious time of 3 captains by asking such silly questions..

  • Bob on February 24, 2012, 10:06 GMT

    As usual, this thread is full of conflicting comments, ideas and opinions. And as usual they are a mixture of those from people who know and care about the game, and those who prove by their inane remarks that they know very little about it. If as some are suggesting cricket is a gentlemens' game, then in my understanding of the term, it means quite simply, playing by the Laws and/or Rules. If you transgress, then you should expect to be punished. Whether or not you agree with it, this particular Rule was introduced for the express purpose of preventin the batsman from indulging in unfair play, In all other cases where the Rules or Laws are broken, there is no second chance given, why should this offence be any different. As my old sportsmaster once told me "Play by the rules or don't bother playing"

  • Senthil on February 24, 2012, 8:37 GMT

    Kapil did mankad Gary Kirsten which i remember even now !!! Is he not a sportsman or a Gentleman ??? Comeon Sehwag, you need some reasons ... Itz high time for Sehwag to play a Ranji Season ... or he has to skip IPL to play in English County to improve his batting... He has come a cropper since the last England tour... In simple, he should be given REST in indian terms !!!

  • Dummy4 on February 24, 2012, 7:37 GMT

    Jayawardene's comments: "Thirimanne was a BIT AT FAULT .." are you kidding me, man. Just because you are the captain, you can't just take up for any nonsense. That's hypocritical. And also, to say, "HE'S JUST A LAD.." come on, give me a break! This is a gentlemen's game. If you want others to behave like a gentlemen with you, then you behave one like yourself. You can't be exempt ...

    The umpires should not even consult the fielding team captain, the next time around. He should straight away give him out - that's what is called being fair.

    It's nonsense that mankading should not be legal by Clarke. He is still a pup in his behaviour. When a bowler can't undue advantage by a fraction and is no-balled, why should the batsmen be exempt from that rule?

  • Dummy4 on February 24, 2012, 7:23 GMT

    India withrew the appeal becuase it was unsportsmanlike act...what happened when u got Inzamam u remember that........Worst unsportsmanlike behavior ever.

  • Damon on February 24, 2012, 3:56 GMT

    It was good of the Indian leadership to withdraw the appeal. I'm not sure why the bowlers didn't keep a closer eye on Thirimanne thereafter, though. Having said that, however, I think there could be a case for a difference in leniency in respect to a Mankad attempt towards a batsman who is routinely leaving the crease before the ball is bowled, compared to the case where a bowler might run the batsman out by surprise when the batsman expects that the bowler will release the ball.

  • Dummy4 on February 24, 2012, 3:27 GMT

    So those who are shouting about the umpire not giving OUT are those who should be in the elite panel of umpires. After all you guys seem to come up with the most logical and practical suggestions after your substantial experience in playing the game in the international level. There is a very REAL line between supporting a team and blaming third parties for a very poor performance by your team. So please spare us your hollow comments and stop trying to pin the loss of your team to A solitary incident. A good team wins even though some decisions don't go their way. That's what defines the character of a team. THAT'S LIFE. So grow up!!!

  • Dummy4 on February 24, 2012, 3:07 GMT

    1. for people who are saying "we are against to Mankad rule" - just imagine if there is no such rule, and batsman starts walking 5 to 10 yards before ball is even bowled, will it make sense?

    2. while taking two run, if batsman short of his crease even by 1 millimetre, we consider it as short run. same rule should be applied if batsman leave the crease before ball is bowled. if 1 millimetre also counts while taking a run, how can non-stiker takes advantage by 1-2 yards?

    3. When ICC made a clear rule about mankad, umpired MUST straight away give it out. Consulting Veeru is wrong.

  • Dummy4 on February 24, 2012, 2:57 GMT

    This is only a storm in a tea cup but as far as Indians concerned its a Tsunami.

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