World T20 2016 March 8, 2016

Mankad debate reopens ahead of World T20


File photo - R Ashwin gives Steven Smith a warning after attempting to mankad him in the IPL © AFP

The ICC match referee Andy Pycroft has reportedly told the Oman team management that the other teams playing the first round of the World T20 in Dharamsala had agreed not to mankad batsmen. Oman, however, stuck to their stance of wanting to mankad, only budging to agree to give the batsman a warning.

Mankading - the run-out of a non-striker backing up before the ball is delivered - has become more common in a highly competitive environment and is a hotly debated subject because it is considered not to be within the spirit of the game, though it is a legal form of dismissal.

In fact, ESPNcricinfo has learned that before the Asia Cup qualifying round, the Asian Cricket Council met with the four Associate teams and instructed them not to mankad. Oman's Aamir Kaleem, however, mankaded Hong Kong's Mark Chapman in the tournament. That dismissal came shortly after West Indies Under-19 bowler Keemo Paul had mankaded the last Zimbabwe wicket to win a knockout match in the World Cup in Bangladesh.

The view of the other teams in Dharamsala regarding mankading - as conveyed by Pycroft to Oman - rung true during Ireland pre-match press conference. When asked if they had discussed Oman's stance on the mankad, Ireland captain William Porterfielsd made it clear that it was not how he wanted to play cricket.

"That is not something that we will be doing," Porterfield said. "That is not something I necessarily agree with. To each their own, I guess. If they feel it is a genuine way of taking a wicket, it is up to them, how they want to play the game. It is not for me [to judge them]. We will make sure we stand the ground. We have just got to accept that is the way they will go about it, if they do about it that way."

Sultan Ahmed, the Oman captain, said he did not see why a bowler should not run out a batsman who is taking unfair advantage. "If they don't want us to mankad, why is it in the rules then?" he asked. "We saw in the under-19 World Cup that West Indies manakded, and went on to win the cup."

When asked what he made of the debate around the spirit of cricket, Ahmed asked the batsmen to follow the spirit too. "It is not us who are in breach of the spirit," he said. "It is the batsmen who is violating the spirit by stealing yards even before the bowler has bowled. It is almost cheating."

It is interesting that the ICC felt it necessary to bring up mankading on the eve of the World Twenty20. One of the match referee's jobs is to anticipate and tackle trouble before it occurs, but what exactly is the trouble in this case is ambiguous. As the game gets increasingly professional and the stakes higher, especially for these teams: only one out of four goes through to the main draw, it is time the ICC formalised its view as opposed to holding unofficial meetings before the start of a tournament.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • jay on March 9, 2016, 23:55 GMT

    the non striker should be asked to run around the stumps at the bowlers end once before he/she starts to run. There will no longer be a need for mankading.

  •   Gareth Strachan on March 9, 2016, 16:51 GMT

    I think it's possible to Mankad within the spirit of the game, as it is a legal form of dismissal, IF the bowler has already warned the non-striker batsman that he's already out of his ground before the bowler's reached the crease. The batsman should not be allowed to gain a head-start, but the bowler should warn him first (and, say, that warning be officially recorded by the umpires). If the batsman subsequently attempts to gain a head-start, then a bowler is allowed to Mankad him. Simple as. If a bowler Mankads without warning then that should not be allowed (but how that is policed is anyone's guess -- 5 run penalty to the bowling team?). In reality, the batsman should stop trying to gain this advantage, which means giving the bowlers the power to do so properly, and that is all.

  • Jim on March 9, 2016, 15:27 GMT

    Mankading is only considered controversial because there has been a general concensus that it is not a part of the game. If the ICC just stood up and said that Mankading is ok, then any debate will be finished. As long as the players know in advance, then they can't complain. That, after all, is what the warning is supposed to do - make the batsman aware. Why not just give a general warning to everybody before the tournament starts, and make it part of the game?

  • Yoginder on March 9, 2016, 15:11 GMT

    The ICC should modify the rules like, If the batsman(Non Striker) is out of the crease before the ball is delivered then the Runs taken will be counted as one short. Once such a rule comes in we could see non-striker not backing out of his too much fearing for one short and also bringing to an end the problem of Mankading...

  • Cricinfouser on March 9, 2016, 14:46 GMT

    I don't see what's all the fuss about ... if its in the rules how can it be unfair / unsportsmanship ??

  • sameer on March 9, 2016, 14:28 GMT

    You have to admire ICC / its officials for the way it works. Instead of making definitive laws or even just sticking by the laws it put in place by saying "it is not an issue at all, umpires should stop forcing fielding teams into a awkward corner by asking them if they want to withdraw the appeal", they go behind our back, talk to captains in closed room meetings and pass instructions regarding rules of the game!! This is like the time when captains were asked if they wanted to use floodlights if light was poor on a test match day. What next? Bring both captains together and ask if they want to field 13 players? Maybe bring in boundary by 10 more meters? This is not about mankading, it is about the way the game is being run.

  • suresh kumar on March 9, 2016, 14:07 GMT

    what makes few (so called) legends thinks mankading is un-sport in cricket..conservative old school mindset

  • S on March 9, 2016, 10:43 GMT

    If the non-striker is allowed to move out of his crease before the ball is bowled, then the bowler should also be handed the advantage, ie, to overstep by the same distance. We need to bring football's offside rules into cricket!

  • g on March 9, 2016, 6:47 GMT

    Let me understand this, a match referee asking teams not to follow what's in the rule book?? If these officials feel something is wrong with a rule they should ask ICC to change the rule. No business talking to teams on this. Why is ICC sitting quiet on this? In fact i feel the umpires have no right to ask a captain if he wants to take back the appeal. Do they do that for stumpings? To all those who talk about spirit of cricket, if a batsman playing against a spinner plays a fwd defense and slips and falls over outside the crease - should be keeper stump him or feel morally obligated and do nothing? If a batsman, aiming for 2 runs, slips while taking the turn and falls short at the other end, should the fielding team consider the time lost in that slippage and keep quiet? There is no end to such scenarios. Stick to the laws. if you think something is not in the right spirit, then change the laws.

  • Rahul on March 9, 2016, 4:58 GMT

    ICC Match refree's and Cricket councils are advising teams to not adhere to the rules of the game? Is this for real? If I am a Oman team captain I ll advice my non strikers to go and stand half way down the pitch before bowler starts to bowl. Then let the Match officials come to me and argue about it. A bowler is declined the wicket if he oversteps the creeze by a millimeter because if you allow the bowler to overstep then they might as well start bowling form 18 or 16 yards instead of 22. Then why is it against the spirit of the game to run out a batsmen when he is trying to gain unfair advantage? Why bowler is not entitled to gain a legitimate wicket against a batsmen trying to gain unfair advantage. We have seen load of non sense and lack of common sense from boards and ICC officials in the past but this incident has just pushed the bar quite high. Abusing the opposition is ok, knowing you have nicked the ball but if umpire fails to give you out is ok but Mankading is not! wow!

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