Commonwealth Bank Series 2011-12 February 25, 2012

Dhoni says umpires should take Mankading call

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MS Dhoni has said it is unfair to put the onus on the fielding captain when an appeal for mankading is made, as it was against Lahiru Thirimanne during India's match against Sri Lanka on Tuesday. R Ashwin had spotted Thirimanne leave the crease well before the ball was bowled, he ran him out, and then appealed. The umpires asked Virender Sehwag, the captain then because Dhoni wasn't playing that game, if he wanted to go ahead with the appeal, and fearing criticism Sehwag withdrew the appeal.

Dhoni questioned the existence of the rule if the captain has to be asked every time. "I feel that [unfair] is what it [the act of asking the captain] is," Dhoni said. "Either there should be rules or there shouldn't be rules. Why are you asking the captain? Why are you putting him in a position? But I think the right thing was done. Because the captain was asked, we withdrew the appeal."

Dhoni said the right thing was done because India wanted to give Thirimanne the benefit of the doubt because these rules keep changing, and it is possible that players are not abreast with all the changes. "Because what happens is too many rules are getting changed," Dhoni said. "Often what's important is to give the batsman a fair chance, like a warning, saying, 'Okay, please don't do it.'"

Sehwag, though, said that Ashwin had warned Thirimanne. "A proper warning always is, you get him out and then it's a proper warning," Dhoni said. "Nobody listens to you until you do it."

However, Dhoni showed a much better understanding of the rule than the other two captains involved in the triangular. Mahela Jayawardene said he wouldn't even have removed the bails because he wants to keep the game "nice and clean". Michael Clarke said he didn't even like mankading, before saying only persistent backing-up would force him to contemplate it after proper warning. "I'm glad that nothing has come of it," Clarke said. "It's a part of the game I don't like. I don't like the mankad rule at all. I don't think you should be able to mankad."

Dhoni, though, said he understood the rule was changed last year to keep the batsman in their crease, to prevent that unfair advantage of a head-start even before a ball is bowled. Dhoni said if any party could be accused of unfair play in this case, it was the batsman, and not the fielding side, as the convention of spirit of cricket would dictate.

"It was important to appeal," Dhoni said. "The reason being it's in the law that the batsman can't go out. Often it is put on the opposition captain. For example, on Virender Sehwag. Saying, you know, it's wrong. If it's part of the rule, it's not wrong. Of course to take the decision or not the decision is something different.

"Eventually if you are saying somebody was cheating - if I may use the word cheating, you can use some other word - 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 it goes to short fine or point or short third, he is in a better position to complete the run. I think it was a good decision. At the end that he was not taken out by our skipper."

Edited by Siddarth Ravindran

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • CricketFanInLosAngles on February 27, 2012, 22:11 GMT

    Thirimanne was clearly at fault. Even after the incident, he was shown on TV many times as leaving the crease way ahead of the ball release. He had total disregard to rules. Until someone from his team came during a break and told him to do otherwise.

  • dummy4fb on February 26, 2012, 15:11 GMT

    Happy to see "India is Out".

  • dummy4fb on February 26, 2012, 15:08 GMT

    Dhoni is doing rubbish. He is ruining his career by his silly talks. Less talk, more work.

  • dummy4fb on February 26, 2012, 13:02 GMT

    Same belief... Why double standards?? When it comes to Asia or esp. India? Mr. Umpires??

  • willsrustynuts on February 26, 2012, 12:51 GMT

    This kind of thing is ruining the game for the fan. I am tired of people being run out because the bat is upside down and not grounded even though they are 2 feet behind the line. I am tired of wicket keepers stumping batsmen because super slow mo showed that they had their foot in the air for a milisecond or pad bat calls when the ball brushes the pad a microsecond before hitting the bat (thanks again to slow mo). Cricket is simple. Bat. Ball. Stumps. Bowlers and fielders versus batsmen. If I want to play with technology I will get the Xbox out.

    Kind of agree with Dhoni here. The umpires should rule. However, the bowler should still warn the batsman and the umpire should make a note.

  • dummy4fb on February 26, 2012, 11:54 GMT

    one way to completely go about this confusion, whether to mankade or not, is to change the rule entirely. If the batsman at the non-striker's end backs-up and leaves the crease before the ball is released/delivered by the bowler, 1 run must be deducted from the batting team's score if runs are scored on that particular delivery, just like the short-run rule. This rule will also be justified since the batsman at the non-striker's end was never in the crease at the time of delivery.

  • santanuXI on February 26, 2012, 11:19 GMT

    Well written Karthik Nanjappan- but obviously cricinfo and its international readers' interpretation of spirit of cricket is something through which they can indulge on their favourite passtime "India bashing". I hope sportswriters having some respect for cricket history (don't have much expectation from cricinfo in that regard) stop using the word Mankading- its an insult to the great allrounder (and here the so called 'victims' are actually cheating).

  • nilb on February 26, 2012, 6:11 GMT

    If this goes on, we'll see fast bowlers practising hitting the non-strickers wicket when releasing the ball. Come on, Shewag and Tendulkar did the MOST NOBLE thing by taking back the appeal. If Dhoni goes on with this he's only damaging his reputation.

  • gdalvi on February 26, 2012, 6:06 GMT

    By same logic, I think every batsman should also get 1 warning for putting his leg before wicket or for handling the ball. Why is it only fair to warn someone for stealing a run, which if he is short of crease on other side, he would be given out?

  • nilb on February 26, 2012, 5:59 GMT

    @ami77 Oh. please get real!! that's the reason India lost the match? It's a shame that Ashwin even appealed.. everyone knows he didn't warn.

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