Cricket regulations that could do with a tweak

What's wrong with mankading?

The laws allow it, so why should umpires ask the fielding captain to reconsider appeals for such run-outs?

Brydon Coverdale

February 10, 2013

Comments: 102 | Text size: A | A

Virender Sehwag withdrew R Ashwin's appeal for a run-out against Lahiru Thirimanne, who was backing up too far at the non-striker's end before the bowler delivered the ball, India v Sri Lanka, CB Series, Brisbane, February 21, 2012
The rule book considers mankading legit, so the spirit of cricket doesn't need to come into the picture © Getty Images
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Remember that time when Kevin Pietersen danced down the pitch to Shane Warne and was stumped, and the umpire asked Ricky Ponting to withdraw the appeal? Of course you don't, because it didn't happen, and the very idea of it happening is absurd. Why, then, do umpires continue to pressure fielding captains to reconsider appeals for the so-called Mankad dismissal, the act of a bowler running out a non-striker who is backing up?

How are the situations any different, really? In both cases the batsman is attempting to gain advantage, in one by reaching the pitch of the ball and negating spin, in the other by reducing the distance he must cover to complete a run. A wicketkeeper who stumps a batsman is lauded for his sharp work, yet an eagle-eyed bowler who mankads is usually condemned as unsporting.

In 2011, the ICC made it easier for bowlers to effect such a dismissal. Previously the bowler had to take the bails off before entering his delivery stride. This is still the case under the MCC's Laws of Cricket, but the ICC adapted its playing conditions to allow the act "before releasing the ball and provided he has not completed his usual delivery swing". It was a clear and deliberate move to keep batsmen accountable.

But umpires have undermined the regulation by victimising bowlers who are only trying to stop batsmen sneaking an advantage. Consider these two recent examples.

Last February in an ODI at the SCG, Lahiru Thirimanne continually left his crease far too early. R Ashwin warned Thirimanne and when the batsman kept doing it, Ashwin ran him out. Instead of raising his finger, the umpire, Paul Reiffel, consulted his square-leg colleague and asked India's captain, Virender Sehwag, if he wanted to go through with the appeal.

In doing so, Reiffel implicitly suggested Ashwin's act of removing the bail was underhanded. It told the crowd India were borderline cheats, made Thirimanne think his behaviour was okay, and placed undue pressure on Sehwag, who ended up withdrawing a legitimate appeal. Thirimanne batted on, continued to back up unfairly, scored 62 and set up a Sri Lankan victory.

Later in 2012, Surrey's Murali Kartik mankaded Somerset's Alex Barrow during a County Championship match. Like Ashwin, Kartik had warned the batsman, though he wasn't compelled to do so. Still, the umpire, Peter Hartley, wasn't happy. He asked the fielding captain, Gareth Batty, three times if he would withdraw the appeal. Rightly, Batty refused, and later Surrey were booed off the field.

Reiffel and Hartley should simply have raised a finger, as they would for any other run-out, but instead they added to the ill-feeling by suggesting the bowler was in the wrong. The ICC's playing condition 42.11 explicitly states that a mankad is fair. An additional clause should be added to state that an umpire must not consult the fielding captain before making his decision, unless the conversation is instigated by the captain.

Certainly a mankad is no less fair than when a striker's straight drive rockets through the bowler's hands and hits the stumps with the non-striker out of his ground. Of course, umpires rightly treat that as they do a regulation run-out. Just as they should with the mankad.

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

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Posted by srikanths on (June 9, 2014, 5:40 GMT)

Agree with the author. Can't understand as to why no one thinks of the unfairness of batsman backing and getting an advantage. In the cases pointed out , the bowlers have followed the convention and warned the batsmen before resorting to a run out. Why should the umpires ask if the law permits something. Law does permit only because that is the way cricket has to be played.The batsman backing is patently unfair and nothing but taking advantage of the public perception of what is right and what is the right convention. The umpires rechecking with the captain is even worse since , as the author points out it almost legitimises the victimhood feeling of the batsman.

Posted by   on (June 5, 2014, 23:49 GMT)

A good article regarding Mankading.. I agree to it fully..

Posted by santanuXI on (June 5, 2014, 17:07 GMT)

A batsman is allowed to steal runs by backing up too far but when the bowler run him out he is considered a cheat...hypocrisy of the highest order. The term "Mankaded" is in fact an insult to that great allrounder...batsmen have all the advantage in this so called gentleman's game, even if the batsmen themselves bend the rule. LOL

Posted by Kulaputra on (June 5, 2014, 16:46 GMT)

I am a batsman and I believe it is perfectly all right when you leave the crease and a smart bowler picks you off. The so called warning to promote "spirit" of the game is totally absurd and should be done away with. Batsman is expected to know where he is and in the quest of a quick single, if a risk is taken, it may not come off. Fake balls are genuine weapons in the bowler's armory.

I get enough protection - abdomen, leg and thigh guards, helmets, armbands etc. do not need protection here.

All batsmen who crib - get on with the game. You are not a endangered species.

Posted by   on (June 5, 2014, 12:00 GMT)

If the bowler warns the non-striker and the non-striker repeatedly ignores it, he is violating the spirit of the game and disrespecting the opponents.

Posted by   on (June 5, 2014, 11:05 GMT)

We shoud learn from baseball on this. Pitchers so often throw the ball to 1st/2nd/3rd base when runners are trying to steal a run. There too, they are trying to take advantage by gaining a headstart and pitchers are well within their rights to try to run them out by throwing the ball.

Posted by   on (June 5, 2014, 9:00 GMT)

in thirimannes case, after he warned, he continue to doing that, by the time commentarers thought that he was very young sometimes he didn't know the what rules say.. but after that over, sri Lankan dessing room said a man out there with the glous and, said them don't leave the crease before bowled. after that he never leave the crease.That how he proceed to 62 in that preticlar match.. writter of this artical should have get better idea of what happen.

Posted by Barking_Mad on (June 5, 2014, 8:58 GMT)

Excellent piece. No one seems to be bothered about the amount of runs batsmen have stolen for being out of their ground early - so why now get in a flap when one is pulled up for it?

Posted by Cricketfan11111 on (June 5, 2014, 7:32 GMT)

Like the debate on Finn knocking the bails off on his delivery stride, debate on Mankading is taking an interesting turn. Umpires used to call the Finn-ball a dead ball before ICC intervened and made it a no-ball. Same thing will happen with Mankading as well. It is a legitimate run out. No need to give warning. No need to consult the captain. When the fielding teams appeals umpire should raise the finger. And it is a dead ball.

Posted by Rowayton on (February 12, 2013, 4:24 GMT)

I reckon Mankading is fine; but I think that sometimes as an umpire you can play dumb and give a captain time to reconsider. Example - I was umpiring a fairly ill tempered game. Batsman batting out of his crease hit the ball back to the bowler a couple of times - each time the bowler not only threatened but threw the ball back in the general direction of the stumps. The second throw was a bit close to the batsman and he hit the ball away (this, incidentally, was in a fairly good standard of cricket). Fielding side appealed for obstructing the field. Umpire (me) said to the fielding captain, 'Sorry I didn't hear what they said. What was it?' Captain said, 'no they didn't say anything'. Actually, I'm still not sure what the right decision would have been if I'd had to make it. Any takers?

Posted by Mad_Hamish on (February 12, 2013, 2:26 GMT)

something being legal isn't the same as it being sporting. I don't have an issue with the umpires asking the fielding captain if they want to withdraw the appeal for a Mankad runout. As the captain is responsible for ensuring that the game is played in the correct spirit under the laws of the game it's fair enough that he should be asked on a Mankad because rightly or wrongly there is a feeling that it's sharp practice (I don't see how anyone can possibly complain after a warning and especially if it's a big backup I'm o.k. with not issuing a warning) I will point out that the requirement that it was only a recent law change that restricted when the bowler could mankad. Somebeing being legal isn't the same as it being right to do, again up until fairly recently there was nothing illegal about bowling a beamer (full toss at the head). The only rule it could have fallen under was about intimidatory bowling. However bowling beamers has always been considered to be wrong.

Posted by   on (February 11, 2013, 23:08 GMT)

If the runner leaves the crease early they should be run out, the laws of cricket make it explicit that this action is achieving an unfair advantage and that the bowler is within their rights to attempt a run out. Warnings are neither necessary nor desirable.

Posted by Utpal-Jadia on (February 11, 2013, 21:55 GMT)

It should be considered as OUT...

However, I was wondering how should the wicket be recorded -- in particular, which ball of the over this wicket fell ?

If this happens on the very first ball of the innings, will it be considered as 0/1 at 0.0 over. Just curious to know...

Posted by enjoycricket1 on (February 11, 2013, 20:54 GMT)

One rule that I would change is that if the fielding side hit the wicket they cannot be penalised with over-runs when going for a run-out. I think it is the fielding side should not be punished for a good bit of fielding. Sure if they miss the wicket then over-runs are allowed.

Posted by BnH1985Fan on (February 11, 2013, 18:55 GMT)

As someone who has lived for over 25 years in North America, i can't help draw parallels between baseball and cricket. Both games involve the use of a pitcher / bowler, a batter / batsman, and fielders. But while baseball is a pitcher-centric game, with almost all advantages going to the pitcher, cricket is diametrically opposite, with most advantages stacked against the bowler. There is suggestion from readers that 'mankading' ought to be skill where the bowler fakes the move to get the non-striker out. I feel if it is within the laws, then the bowler ought to use it to help his team (the runout does not help the bowler but does help the team). As a further parallel, if a pitcher fakes the delivery in baseball, the umpire calls it a balk and the runners advance. It is a relative rarity in the game, but, does happen every now and then.

One thing we should not do is give even more advantages to the batsman. It is quite boring to see a game go on for 5 days with no outs!

Posted by creekeetman on (February 11, 2013, 18:21 GMT)

agree with the majority of posters here... nothing wrong if a batsman is run out while backing up to far, no warning needed, no need to ask the captain anything... just out. there's nothing unsportsman like with that. what i consider unsportsman like is brendon mccullum's run out of murali, after murali had left his crease to congratulate the other batsman who had just scored a century.

Posted by cricket-india on (February 11, 2013, 18:16 GMT)

agree 100% with the writer; and while on the topic of rules i'd change, here's one - the definition of a wide. somehow a ball that's too wide for a batsman to reach in an odi isn't considered too wide in a test. this inconsistency leads to misuse of this provision by test bowlers. while i agree it's a 'test' of a batsman's patience also, this loophole has deprived us of exciting results in a few tests. sample the nz vs aus test where nz were 275-odd for 6 down chasing 284, i think, in the 4th innings for an outright win. with just 1 over to go before the game would be called a draw and faced with a rampant chris cairns at the crease, mcgrath bowled wide of the crease and ensured cairns couldn't reach the ball while not being called for wides himself. the test ended in a dra though nz should have been deserving winners. so we need a consistent definiton of a wide irrespective of the format of the game. if we can define a no-ball consistently, we can define a wide consistently as well.

Posted by   on (February 11, 2013, 15:41 GMT)

@chittappi: you said >> Sometimes, runners do it out of instinct and not deliberately; so they should be reminded.

Sometimes, batters swish outside the offstump (myriad Indian batsmen), or hook (Ponting?) out of instinct. They miss the ball accidentally when they get bowled, not intentionally. Why not give them a warning when they are dismissed as well?

How about bowlers overstepping or spraying the ball wide? They don't do it on intention? Why no-balls and Free-hits on top?

Posted by   on (February 11, 2013, 12:56 GMT)

If non-striker can cross the line before ball is bowled, then allow bowlers to over step as well? That line is there for a reason. Bowlers should deliver the ball within it and batsman should stay there till ball is bowled as the ICC laws state. Infact a straight drive hitting the stumps is far more unlucky and against the spirit as non striker didnt even take any undue advantage!

Posted by   on (February 11, 2013, 9:28 GMT)

Hey Brydon, Ashwin didn't warne Thirimanna at all. If so, still nobody heard his 'warning'.

Posted by   on (February 11, 2013, 9:14 GMT)

I think the solution is easy. A statement from the ICC that every batsman should, from this point onwards, consider themselves warned.

Posted by SAFan11 on (February 11, 2013, 8:54 GMT)

Just read an article where it was once considered unsporting to hit the ball on the leg side unless the bowler had bowled it left of your legs in error. This utterly ridiculous convention should have disappeared with that one a hundred years ago. No warnings just run him out.

Posted by Chittappi on (February 11, 2013, 7:06 GMT)

I don't have a problem with the run-out if a warning has been given to the runner. Sometimes, runners do it out of instinct and not deliberately; so they should be reminded. But once the warning has been delivered (probably through the umpire), there should be no reason why the bowler cannot exercise his right to keep the runner from taking undue advantage. How much more can we make cricket a batsman-friendly game?

Posted by   on (February 11, 2013, 6:40 GMT)

Very sensible observation, yet Cricket needs to retains these odd quirks, if only for the sake of 'tradition'. After all, the non-striker is not 'on strike': he is not the bowlers' target. English, Indian, Caribbean, Australian; that is the game we love.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (February 11, 2013, 5:56 GMT)

@Kevin Jones on (February 11, 2013, 5:02 GMT), you're quite right that the warning is traditional but, in these days of professionalism, I don't really see that such traditions have any place. That's not to say that all traditions go out the window but, as has been suggested, there's no warning for any other type of dismissal and every batsman knows the rule so there's no reason not to simply abide by it.

Posted by   on (February 11, 2013, 5:02 GMT)

Tradition dictates that a warning be given. I believe it is acceptable for the umpires to defer to the captain if NO WARNING had been given, however, once the batsman has been warned, he either desists or risks the run out.

This is especially true in limited over events where gaining an advantage in running between the wickets may mean the difference between victory and defeat.

Posted by trex1981 on (February 11, 2013, 2:22 GMT)

If you don't want to get 'Mankaded', don't leave the crease at the non-strikers end before the bowler delivers the ball...

Posted by jmcilhinney on (February 11, 2013, 0:47 GMT)

@BoundaryPark on (February 10, 2013, 15:38 GMT), the batsman has a responsibility to watch the bowler and only leave his crease when he knows that the ball has been released. You're implying that running a batsman out in this manner is wrong because the batsman doesn't watch the bowler but it should be the other way around, i.e. the batsman has to watch the bowler because running him out in this manner is allowed. Anything else is giving the batsman a freebie. It's not like the non-striker has a lot to think about so staying in his crease until the ball is bowled is not a big ask.

Posted by   on (February 11, 2013, 0:29 GMT)

a couple of other rules - 1. every time a ball hits a batsman and the ball is likely to hit the stumps he should be out. none of this where did the ball pitch/ was it infront of the stumps. 2. score of 8 runs when ball goes into stand on full

Posted by   on (February 11, 2013, 0:25 GMT)

I agree with Brydon - except why do they need to be warned?

Posted by D.V.C. on (February 10, 2013, 23:54 GMT)

@ninn: Law 22.2 tells us that the over starts when the bowler begins his run in to bowl (or if he doesn't have a run up when he begins his delivery action). The ball is live at that point.

If you would like an analogy from another sport, then consider baseball. Runners on base can be run out before the ball is pitched to the batter.

Say the ball after the mankadding is a 2. The score book is marked as W,2 same as it is for any other run out except the W comes first.

Posted by   on (February 10, 2013, 23:50 GMT)

...and perhaps to allow the umpire discretion to disallow runs and/or call one short if the batsman transgresses.

Posted by   on (February 10, 2013, 23:48 GMT)

The present ICC law states that the non-striker must remain in his crease (i.e. have some part of his person or bat grounded there) until the bowler lands his back foot in his delivery stride. This to my mind gives the non-striker too much of a flying start (and many of them ignore the law anyway), as witness the number of byes run to the keeper in the closing stages of recent ODI/T20 innings. The current ECB regulation (which, for domestic purposes, overrules the international law, and under which Alex Barrow was run out), on the other hand is ambiguously worded and gives unc-=scrupulous bowlers such as Kartik the opportunity for sharp practice, as pointed out by Martin Briggs and jw76 among others. To my mind the ideal solution would be to keep the planting of the back foot as the cut-off point, but to require the non-striker to stay behind the popping crease, rather than the batting crease, until that point is reached.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (February 10, 2013, 22:46 GMT)

A batsman knows when he's left his crease and is backing up too far. The ICC ammeneded the law to effect change and nothing actually changed. It needs to be enforced by the umpires. We'll see more run outs as a result in ODI's, which will be good for the fairness of the game. Bastmen will have to take greater risks, and why not - they almost invariably have the benefit of flat, well covered pitches to play on; bowlers have a much greater workload. Umpire enforcement is needed to balance out the injustice of a batsman gaining ground before a ball has been released.

Posted by   on (February 10, 2013, 22:44 GMT)

Yes yes yes! I completely agree. We have this notion that it is completely unsporting for the bowler to Mankad, but no such moral outrage about batsmen sneaking a head start on a run. In the days of slow paced Test cricket maybe that was okay, but with limited overs cricket there are those times when the non-striker knows they will be running pretty much no matter what, so taking that head start can be done will next to no risk. The rules of the game have changed to reflect that reality, but not the expectations of players and fans.

To further the point @Chris_P makes about indoor cricket, it also has some common sense rules to prevent bowlers continually making unsuccessful Mankading attempts to slow the game down. These are simple and they work.

Posted by   on (February 10, 2013, 22:35 GMT)

Its actually not cheating in any way or form. I saw the Thirimanne dismal and couldn't believe Sehwag withdrew the appeal. The batsmen was bang out of order and even though Ashwin warned him he continued to cheat by gain an unfair advantage and shorting the distance needed to score a run. Ashwin shouldn't need to remind the batsmen they're own job and the laws of the game thats the umpires job. Umpires are so weak nowadays and no surprise giving how they are being constantly undermined with DRS now in the game. I blame the umpires. If Sehwag didn't withdrew the appeal people would think India did something wrong when in reality it was completely out of line from Thirimanne. What's unsportsmanlike is Thirimanne not having the decency to own up to his shorting of the rules and that he was in the wrong.

Posted by robelgordo on (February 10, 2013, 21:26 GMT)

I agree 100% - you see batsmen 1m past the crease at delivery point all the time. It's like trying to steal a base in baseball, if you get caught you should be out. The batsmen get enough advantages without enforcing this rule.

Funny that the two umpires pressuring are both ex-bowlers, suggests it might take some time to change views if you can't get the bowlers on side!

Posted by Chris_P on (February 10, 2013, 20:55 GMT)

For those who play indoor cricket, when it first started, there were a stack of dismissals in this manner (for those who don't know the game, a pair of batsmen bat for 4 overs, & get runs(points) & lose 5 runs for every dismissal, a very fast game over in about an hour with constant running. After a few years, the "Mankading" has almost disappeared. Why? Unlike cricket, there was no expectation to warn first then dismiss, you were always on the lookout for wickets. Presently we see too many cases of creeping by batsmen. It is part of the rules, use it.

Posted by   on (February 10, 2013, 20:26 GMT)

The rule should be applied by the Umpires. Why be so gentlemanly to someone who is seeking an unfair advantage? RAISE THE FINGER MR.UMPIRE , THE BATTER IS OUT!!!

Posted by ygkd on (February 10, 2013, 20:20 GMT)

I don't understand the need to warn the batsman. The line is there. The ball leaves the bowler's hand. What more does a batsman need? Googlies were once considered un-gentlemanly. Anyway, cricket is not a gentleman's game. Have a look at what's been going on in Australia lately. Some of the attitudes of local players on display towards various West Indians has had little to do with gentlemanly conduct. That's what upsets me. If a batsman is run out because he backed up too far, so what? I've never understood the problem with it - well, not at least since I grew up and realised that in athletics, swimming, horse-racing, football, hockey, motor-racing and plenty else besides, if you pass a line too early you get penalised.

Posted by mps400 on (February 10, 2013, 20:07 GMT)

An article that should have been writing decades ago, but one which is even more meaningful as shorter versions of the game are in the ascendancy. The laws of cricket are clear in terms of the crease. If you as a batsman are out of your crease and the bails are dislodged - via a stumping or a run out - you are out. The fact that many bowlers even go to the trouble of issuing a warning appears to fix the rules in favor of the batting side which, it must be emphasized, is gaining an advantage by stepping out of the crease. Why does a batsman do that if not to gain the advantage to steal a run, avoid being run out? Ridiculous that anyone would even defend the umpires who add insult by suggesting that fielding side take a tamer position so that batsman can continue with their shenanigans.

Take this to its absurd limit where we must decide how far a batsman must back up before it is "fair" to run him out. Oh wait, we have a simple rule on that, based on the crease. Enforce it!

Posted by ninn on (February 10, 2013, 19:41 GMT)

The significant difference is that the ball has not been bowled so it is not in play. Where would a scorer place the run out? would you then have a 5 ball over? I agree non striker should be held back but the mankad doesn't feel right.

How about the empire call any runs one short instead.

Posted by   on (February 10, 2013, 19:06 GMT)

Absolutely agree with the thrust of this article. It is not the role of an umpire to influence whether an appeal is made. They must only adjudicate on them. The ICC should mandate this explicitly to eliminate umpire bias which is unfairly altering matches where weak captains capitulate. All power to alert bowlers and woe to arrogant non strikers!

Posted by vladtepes on (February 10, 2013, 18:22 GMT)

does the wicketkeeper warn a batsman who repeatedly dances down the wicket to block or drive? why, then, does a bowler have to warn a batsman who ventures out of his crease too early? did the batsman not read the rules regarding dismissal by run-out?

Posted by   on (February 10, 2013, 17:58 GMT)

as long as they have been warned, i really don't see the problem if they continue to do it they should lose their wicket

Posted by   on (February 10, 2013, 17:38 GMT)

The cheaters are what's wrong with 'Mankading' [itself a derogatory term that I would prefer not to use]. No non-striker has any business leaving the crease. Anyone caught so does NOT deserve a warning. Any non-striker caught leaving the crease before the ball is delivered is indeed that - a cheater, no better than the bottle-top scratchers of the ball. They belong back in the pavilion, not on the pitch.

Posted by doors666 on (February 10, 2013, 16:22 GMT)

I dont understand what is the problem with mankading and why should the umpire ask the fielding captain at all. If mankading is objectionable, you might as well allow the non striker to stand half way through the pitch and start his run from there.... atrocious.

What will an umpire do if the non striker stands 2 feet out of the crease to start with. is he going to object?

Posted by DavidLloyd on (February 10, 2013, 15:38 GMT)

I think what is being forgotten here is context. I can only speak about the Barrow-Kartik incident and, in that case at least, umpire Hartley was quite right to ask the fielding captain whether he wanted the appeal to stand - and Gareth Batty was quite within his rights, of course, to say 'yes, I do'. The reason I mention context is because Barrow was not in any way trying to steal a run (Somerset were under real pressure at the time and survival was the name of their game). He was merely ambling in with the bowler, in the not unreasonable expectation that the ball would be delivered, and his momentum (such as it was) meant he was out of his ground when Kartik chose not to bowl. Barrow was not 'cheating' or attempting to gain an advantage. He made an error and, on a different day in different circumstances, I doubt the appeal would have been made, never mind supported by Batty. At least under the current system, Kartik and Batty were given time to reconsider the appeal.

Posted by   on (February 10, 2013, 15:38 GMT)

There should absolutely be no warning to a batsman who is trying to gain an unfair advantage by backing up too far. A comparison should be made to baseball, for all who are familiar with this game. A player on base who tries to steal an additional base while on base can be thrown out, without warning if the pitcher (as compared with cricket's bowler) catches him off his base. Of course, the pitcher cannot deceive the base runner by going into his delivery action and then picking off the attempting stealer; he will be called a "balk" and the lead runner awarded an additional base as penalty. Cricket should wake up and create a level playing field. That "gentleman" image thing is pure balderdash. Also, I think that a penalty (of no ball) should be instituted for those bowlers who disturb the stumps during their run-ups and also those who abort their delivery without any legitimate reason.

Posted by   on (February 10, 2013, 15:21 GMT)

I'm totally in favor of running the batsman out if he is clearly trying to gain an unfair advantage by backing. I've never understood that when the batsman is cheating in this way and the bowler runs him out in accordance with the rules then somehow the bowler has committed a sin. Also the umpires should never ask the players to withdraw a legal appeal, the only exception would be where deception was involved e.g. if a bowler deliberately tricks the batsman out of his ground.

Posted by   on (February 10, 2013, 15:07 GMT)

I am sorry, but this is awful. This is what cricket has come to. Sounds sneaky and underhand to me; remember Redpath run out by Griffith in 68. created a real furore. There might be logic, but cricket is more than that, its supposed to be a noble game.

Posted by rienzied on (February 10, 2013, 14:50 GMT)

If warned, then it's within the spirit. The non-striker is trying to gain am unfair advantage and that is not within the spirit of the game!

Posted by NikhilNair on (February 10, 2013, 14:40 GMT)

Rules are fine. If batsman risks his/her wicket, it makes perfect sense to run them out. The problem is the people and their mindsets.

Posted by JohnnyRook on (February 10, 2013, 14:33 GMT)

@Chetan Asher. Good idea. Also fielder shouldn't catch the bowl if batsman top edged the ball by mistake. If he does catch it, umpire should check with fielding captain if he wants to take it back. Then we can have a perfect gentlemen's game assuming players are wearing a suit and a tie :)

Posted by JohnnyRook on (February 10, 2013, 14:26 GMT)

@PhaniBhaskar24. Do you mean, non striker strolling out of the crease before ball is delivered is professionalism. And why is batsman moving before ball is delivered unprofessional. In that case bowler using the width of the crease would also be unprofessional.

Posted by   on (February 10, 2013, 14:20 GMT)

Agree with Mike Leach and much of the principles of the argument and article. I believe Peter Hartley was in error at the time because Kartik clearly completed his full bowling action, had to physically turn round, had to physically walk back to the stumps and then complete the 'run out'. I remarked at the time that, notwithstanding the ECB (from the ICC) regulations, it was far too late in the bowling process for Kartik to effect an attempted run out. As an umpire, I can empathise with them that on such rare occasions they may wish, unobtrusively, to ascertain the fielding captain's wish to proceed with the appeal, and I would do the same. I think in these two cases, the crowd's ire was raised by umpires taking an over-cautious approach and it backfired. A couple of other points are raised- firstly that f-c and ListA regulations are generally an irritant, muddying the waters for all levels below them by amending the Laws, and secondly posters, they are the game's LAWS, not Rules!!

Posted by   on (February 10, 2013, 14:04 GMT)

The article fails to mention that the Kartik/Barrow incident was in a match where ICC regulations do not apply (all domestic English cricket is played under the MCC's laws and their own independent regulations).

Posted by   on (February 10, 2013, 13:27 GMT)

Law 37 - Runout clearly mentions about running the batsmen out if he is trying to steal a run even before the ball is delivered. It is within the Laws of the game, It should be fair.

Posted by Sulaimaan91 on (February 10, 2013, 13:26 GMT)

Mankading is legal and so it should be but one prior warning should be given to the batsman but once its done the fielding captain shouldnt be consulted, the umpire should rule him out. Disagree with two points in this article, the first one regarding Thirimanne being given a warning, no he wasnt, 'a warning is given through the umpires' and not player-player which is what Ashwin claimed to have done even though there was no evidence of even a player-player warning being given. Secondly, the Murali Karthik incident, as has already been pointed out he dismissed the batsman after going through his complete bowling action.

Posted by   on (February 10, 2013, 12:59 GMT)

I am reposting my comments without the link to the video in the hope that that was the reason for its rejection. I agree in principle with much of this article, but it's a pity that, like some other high-profile commentators, the writer didn't take the trouble to view the video of the Kartik/Barrow incident before pronouncing on the rights and wrongs of it. If he had, he'd have seen Kartik pretend to bowl, dupe the batsman into leaving his crease after the delivery was (apparently) completed), and then walk back to the stumps and take the bails off - a far cry from anything described in the article.

Posted by   on (February 10, 2013, 12:23 GMT)

this is one of the few most idiotic laws of cricket, there has to be clear cut policy in that non-striker shouldn't be allowed to leave the crease & there has to be no provision of warning by bowler !

Posted by   on (February 10, 2013, 11:50 GMT)

I think batsmen should also be required to warn the bowler for bowling half-volleys / full-tosses before hitting the ball to get runs. After all, just as a batsman by mistake might step out of his ground, the bowler also might have bowled a half-volley / full-toss by mistake. If a batsman hits the first bad ball from a bowler for runs, the umpires should be required to ask the batsman if he actually wants the runs - he is as guilty of hitting a bowler without warning, just as a bowler is guilty of running out a batsman who tried to CHEAT by taking a slight unfair start, thereby needing to run less after the ball comes into the game.

Posted by David_Bofinger on (February 10, 2013, 11:47 GMT)

The dismissal was completely legitimate, but I can understand where Reiffel was coming from. Mankading is, rightly or wrongly, a controversial business that leads to bad feeling and a Mankad against the fielding captain's wishes might be something to avoid. Checking with the captain that he wants to go ahead was Reiffel inventing a new procedure, but it wasn't obviously a bad idea. I'm puzzled why Sehwag retracted - Thirimanne had gone beyond the letter of the law in providing a warning so I would have expected Sehwag to back Thirimanne up. But I wasn't there and Sehwag may have had a good reason for letting Ashwin out of gaol.

Posted by   on (February 10, 2013, 11:43 GMT)

Mankading is absolutely fair, it is clearly stated as a method of dismissal in the rule book. Anyone who wants to argue that it isn't sportsman-like needs to wake up and realize that a rule is a rule!

Now, as much as it is fair, I am slightly against it. As a bowler is getting into his stride, the last thing he wants to be looking out for is a batsman backing up unfairly. This will only ruin the bowlers rhythm and game plan as to where he wants to bowl etc. Basically, it is a distraction the runner can capitalize on by distracting the bowler, hence the whole "Mankad" dismissal being there to support the fielding team is just an illusion. I can totally picture myself toying with the bowler by backing up a fair bit, only to slide back in, sort of like the baseballers do when they are trying to steal a base, totally usable to upset the bowlers rhythm.

Posted by Hardy1 on (February 10, 2013, 11:37 GMT)

Clearly we're all in agreement here & yet the umpires & the batsmen who do this seem to think that it's acceptable for some reason. It's downright cheating & then worse, accusing the other team of cheating when the offender is rightly punished. The wicket keeper comparison is a good one, not to mention if you're gonna let the batsman have a yard or so, why not 2, 3, 4 yards too? Why not just forget running altogether & give the batsman a run everytime he hits the ball? Even if the non-striker is being careless & lets himself wander outside his crease by accident he shoud still be given out; if he's doing it on purpose he should not only be out but be charged a percentage of his match fee for what is essentially nothing but cheating.

Posted by PhaniBhaskar24 on (February 10, 2013, 11:27 GMT)

Cricket is known for professionalism. we are all talking of one side of coin, bowler removing the bails when non-striker is outside the crease as un-professionalism.... batsmen moving before the ball is delivered & is also called as Un-professionalism in this article. The other side is, If a batsmen is unprofessional & hence bowler is legimated to be un-professional? These acts should be consider as " code of conduct" in terms of batsmen un-professionalism only & should be banned for next 2 matches.. This way, professionalism stands....

Posted by   on (February 10, 2013, 10:59 GMT)

I quite agree. The other thing I don't understand is the kerfuffle caused when Trott hit Jadeja's delivery for four after it slipped out of the bowlers hand and rolled along the floor.

You're out your ground your out, you bowl a bad ball it gets hit for four. No issues on any of that with me!

Posted by jw76 on (February 10, 2013, 10:46 GMT)

Mankading is a beast that can easily get out of control. It can be abused by bowlers just as much as batsmen. I was umpiring in a school match (square leg for this particular over), and the bowler clearly warned the batsman (who was dopey rather than trying to take advantage) against backing up. Later in the same over, I clearly saw the bowler running up to the crease, eyeing the batsman as he did so, deliberately slow down his run-up, hang back until the batsman had wandered over the crease, and then whip the bails off and appeal. It was a clear case of entrapment and I was disgusted. So I think the traditional convention is best - a very clear warning to the batsman first time, and then to my mind a Mankad is acceptable - but only if it is done in good faith and not engineered by the devious bowler. I think anything else is too open to abuse by one side or the other.

Posted by TheRisingTeam on (February 10, 2013, 10:36 GMT)

The name itself doesn't approve of it :)

Posted by   on (February 10, 2013, 10:20 GMT)

It is extremely unfair on the legacy of the late Vinoo Mankad and his family to have the term Mankad associated with this form of dismissal.

Most people are not aware of the circumstances and warning Mankad had afforded Bill Brown before he was dismissed in this manner.

To consider it as underhanded or unsporting is quite ridiculous as it is the batsman who is trying to claim an unfair advantage.

It is even more ludicrous if the bowler warns the batsman to desist (like Mankad did)

Posted by Ropsh on (February 10, 2013, 9:51 GMT)

Until issues such as the complete guesswork that underlies HawkEye's predictive path (as indicted by their continual refusal to show the confidence intervals of their prediction) continue to go unchanged, then issues such as this are of tertiary or even quarternary importance.

Fix the important things first.

Posted by nursery_ender on (February 10, 2013, 9:34 GMT)

Stup1d: "If they do not know whether the batsman is out and then the fielding captain decides to retain the appeal, then what does the umpire do?"

If they don't know they give him not out, and don't even ask the captain. If you don't know the Laws (not rules) of the game, don't comment on them: it just makes your name look less ironic than you intended.

Posted by   on (February 10, 2013, 9:05 GMT)

Let's change the name of this dismissal from 'Mankaded' to 'Browned' - after all it was Bill Brown who was at fault. Vinoo Mankad's fine all round legacy should not be associated with a controversy that he didn't start.

Posted by   on (February 10, 2013, 8:35 GMT)

Can't agree more!. The game is too much in favor of the batsman these days, and the umpires shouldn't play along with any further unfair advantage for the batters.

Posted by WalkingWicket11 on (February 10, 2013, 8:25 GMT)

Why does any player need to be warned about getting run out or kicking stumps or anything else? If you don't know the rules of the game, don't play, especially at international level.

Posted by WalkingWicket11 on (February 10, 2013, 8:20 GMT)

@Sam Ward That's the most ridiculous theory on mankading I have ever heard. Why do umpires have a problem with it even in cases where the non-striker is out of the ground even after the appeal has been made? Also, according to your theory, what purpose does it serve to ask the fielding captain what to do? If they do not know whether the batsman is out and then the fielding captain decides to retain the appeal, then what does the umpire do?

Posted by Chris_P on (February 10, 2013, 8:14 GMT)

Looks like, for once, we are all in agreement. I reckon the use of the term "Mankad" is great. I am sure he would like the honour of having a cricket term named after him.

Posted by   on (February 10, 2013, 8:12 GMT)

The umpire asking the fielding captain is ridiculous. Once the appeal has been made, the _umpire_ should decide whether the batsman is out or not. Why not extend the same to other forms of dismissal? Should batsmen be given a warning if bowled or caught at first slip, and should fielding captain reconsider the appeal? Also, if mankading is against the spirit of the game, why not let the non-striker stand half-way down the pitch before the bowler starts his run-up? The mediocre umpire has set up a very bad precedent.

Posted by cyborg909 on (February 10, 2013, 8:11 GMT)

Blame lies solely on umpires, they should simply raise the finger. Increasingly umpires relying on someone else to do their job. Checking no balls after a wkt being another example.

Posted by ravi2047 on (February 10, 2013, 8:10 GMT)

It is not fair to withdraw the appeal and give the batsman another in a game which is already termed as batsman friendly. A withdrawal of appeal simply means the fielding team has to take an extra wicket which is not fair.

Posted by JBSA on (February 10, 2013, 8:04 GMT)

If umpires ask to give warnings and ask the fielding captain to rethink on the out given, then ask them to consider this too. When a bowler bowls a foot-over No Ball for the first time in the innings, give him a warning and the next time onwards ask the Batting captain to reconsider

Posted by Fourworldcups on (February 10, 2013, 7:56 GMT)

Some good comments here. As mentioned by someone below, if you altered the rules to allow the umpire to call the non-striker for a short run whenever they've left the crease before the bowler releases then it would probably solve this.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (February 10, 2013, 7:49 GMT)

I have to agree with everyone else who's posted. If the batsman is trying to gain an advantage then the bowler has every right to run him out, and it is just a run out as far as I'm concerned. The case of Thirimanne was particularly disgraceful because he was warned and legitimately run out and yet continued to flout the rule. That is effectively cheating as far as I'm concerned because he knew that India weren't going to run him out so he took advantage of their good sportsmanship to gain an advantage. I also agree that umpires need to be directed to not question an appeal for this type of run out because, as suggested, it implies that the bowler has done something wrong. As for why Surrey were booed off the field, it's the ugly side of human nature. We're all prepared to accept things from our own team that we wouldn't from the opposition. The fact that Karthik is ex-Somerset and the umpire's actions would have the fans annoyance and helped push it to unjustified anger.

Posted by   on (February 10, 2013, 7:48 GMT)

The reason the umpires don't like mankading is that they are not looking at the position of the non-striking batsman. They don't know if it's out or not without the benefit of television replays.

Therefore they try to discourage it.

Posted by bubbsea on (February 10, 2013, 7:39 GMT)

This Rules I'd Change series is great, each one a commonsense change.

Posted by   on (February 10, 2013, 7:01 GMT)

Seeing the comments on this and other forums, the public view seems to be massively in favor of Mankaded being quite fair and just way of running out a batsman. But at the same time, wonder what prompted those ppl at the ground who jeered the Surrey team and the umpires who ask the captain to take back their appeal. Hopefully better sense would prevail and everyone would see this as a legitimate form of dismissal.

Posted by Chris_Howard on (February 10, 2013, 6:37 GMT)

Simple solution. Allow either umpire to call a runner for a "short run" if he leaves the crease before the ball is bowled. You'd never see a need for a Mankad again.

Posted by bluefunk on (February 10, 2013, 6:34 GMT)

I don't know if it is a virtue or a vice, but from my past few years of cricket watching, I have noticed that SL in particular have shown a marked tendency to take the rules to their very limits - Thirimanne backing up, or Randiv bowling a wide to Sehwag on 99 with 1 run to win the game, or Mahela giving the captaincy to Sanga to escape an over-rate ban and still being the effective captain (this of course was replicated by Warney in the BBL recently). In a wider historical sense, I wonder if the roots lie in the 15-degree rule being introduced largely to legitimise Murali's bowling action... call it streetsmart cricket or what you will, and maybe these principles are out of date in the modern professional game, but it still isn't cricket in my book, as the phrase has been conventionally understood.

Posted by JohnnyRook on (February 10, 2013, 6:08 GMT)

I think its origin must have been when cricket was still a super ameteur game and people used to play it for fun more than to win. Batsman who was found to be backing up was not exactly trying to gain an advantage. He was just taking a casual stroll. In this scenario it might be considered unsportsman to run him out. However things have changed now. Non-striker uses up every inch of the crease to have an extra run. By the time batsman hits the ball, non-striker is 3 steps forward. In such scenario, it is perfectly fair to run him out. It is ridiculous for the umpires to ask captains to reconsider the appeal.

Posted by The_impartialobserver on (February 10, 2013, 6:08 GMT)

Finally!! Someone writes about this issue. I totally agree with the writer and I as an avid and long time cricket observer had already thought about all the points suggested in this article. You stole the words out of my mouth. A lot of people talk about the spirit of the game....What is this spirit of the game........ This spirit of the game doesn't get tarnished when batsmen don't leave even after edging the ball, when bowlers appeal at everything and accept wrong decisions as well, when wicketkeepers appeal for anything down the leg side to avoid getting a wide. But the spirit surely does get tarnished when a non-striker is rn out for backing up too much when it is the batsman who should be penalized for trying to gain an unfair advantage.

Posted by   on (February 10, 2013, 4:40 GMT)

@Rev0408 - why should there be a warning. Nobody warns the batsman that next time he is caught out of his crease they'll appeal the wicket! He knows the laws of the game!

Posted by Rocketman1 on (February 10, 2013, 4:11 GMT)

Cricket has been the 'gentlemen's game' and played in the 'spirit of the game' and I really can't think of any other sport that allow your opponent a warning or second chance after legitimately claiming an advantage. The enforcement of this rule needs to be a bit more clear cut instead of slapping the wrists of the bowler for doing what he's supposed to do.

Posted by Rev0408 on (February 10, 2013, 4:04 GMT)

I have no problem with Mankading, but it is nice to see a warning from the bowler to the batsman in the first instance. If the batsman continues to offend, no sympathy!

Posted by kharidra on (February 10, 2013, 4:03 GMT)

The run out situations have been many. On one occasion the ball is in play but batsman walks off assuming last ball of the day has been bowled, walks out of the crease and the fielder assumes he needs to field and return to keeper or bowler or break the stumps. On another occasion the fielder saves the ball rolling over the boundary line and gathers himself and the ball and returns to wicket keeper. Meanwhile the batsman assuming that the last ball before tea has been bowled walks off and the stumps are broken. Then there are situations where the bowlers elongate the distance run by the batsman by getting in the way of a straight line and the little deviation is enough for the batsman to be run out.This getting in the way is genuine or gamesmanship. Likewise non strikers getting in the way of bowlers to prevent taking a return catch or prevent fielding possibility. More like these along with mankading and the bowler finger touch dismissal that need view points from a cricketing spirit.

Posted by   on (February 10, 2013, 4:03 GMT)

Yes and even the customary warning issued to the batsman should not be needed. There is a rule in place, play within it!

Posted by CarDroid on (February 10, 2013, 3:50 GMT)

First up, can we just stop calling it "Mankading" and start just call it "run out"?

Posted by   on (February 10, 2013, 3:49 GMT)

Exactly! Sportsman spirit is when you do not claim catches that you know you've grassed. Sportsman spirit is that you walk when you know you've edged it. But not running out is foolish, not sports man spirit.

I'm a big fan of Mankading. Why should batsman be allowed to run 2 extra yards without the pressure of being run out. Ideally the batsman should run once the bowler delivers the ball. So if he runs before and the bowler is alert, why not run him out!! There shouldn't be requirement for warnings too.

Posted by balajik1968 on (February 10, 2013, 3:21 GMT)

Bingo. If this whole thing is about some notion of sporting spirit, is'nt the non-striker cheating by taking a head start. The game is already heavily skewed towards the batsman, why give them another unfair advantage. I think it is time to tell the umpires to just give their decision, instead of trying to favour the offender.

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Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.

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