MCC news July 17, 2014

Batsman's fault if mankaded - MCC


Stay in the crease, the MCC has once again reiterated to the batsmen, and avoid being mankaded. That missive was sent by the MCC's World Cricket Committee at the conclusion of its two-day meeting at Lord's when the panel said that it was "unequivocal in its belief" that the existing Law did not need any changes.

Mankading has long been a controversial topic and caused a lengthy debate in May when Sri Lanka's offspinner Sachithra Senanayake ran out Jos Buttler at Edgbaston for backing up too far after being warned initially. England captain Alastair Cook expressed disappointment at Senanayake's action when he said: "I was pretty disappointed with it to be honest with you. I hope I wouldn't do it."

The World Cricket Committee, which is headed by former England captain Mike Brearley and includes eminent ex-cricketers in Steve Waugh, Rahul Dravid, Andrew Strauss and Shaun Pollock, said that the Law concerning the running out the non-striker was clear and the dismissal was not against the Spirit of Cricket.

"The World Cricket Committee reviewed the Law relating to running out the non-striker, in light of the dismissal of Jos Buttler in May's ODI series between England and Sri Lanka. It was unequivocal in its belief that the Law, as written, does not require any alteration," the MCC release said.

A lot of the ambiguity stems from the difference between the ICC Playing Conditions and the MCC Laws: while the MCC states the run out attempt must come before the bowler enters his delivery stride, the ICC allow it to come any time before the bowler completes his "delivery swing".

However Strauss, Cook's predecessor, said it was wrong to put forth the Spirit of Cricket argument. "This is not a Spirit of Cricket issue. This is just law of the game issue," he told ESPNcricinfo.

Asked if the committee was concerned if their advice could be misunderstood by the bowlers at the grassroot and club levels, who could employ deliberate tricks to get mankading, Strauss stressed that Law was completely transparent.

"There is a very strong feeling in the committee, and certainly one I share, that the obvious way to counteract any threat of mankading is to keep yourself fin the crease," Strauss said. "That is part of the Laws of the game. If you are out of the crease when the bowler delivers the ball you are running the risk of getting out. So it is a genuine dismissal.

"And it is a very easy thing for the batsman to do: you just watch the bowler bowl and once he has delivered you leave the crease. I don't think batsmen can justify being out of the crease in that manner and feel that it is unfair that they are run out.

At Edgbaston, after Senanayake had run out Buttler, the umpires asked Angelo Mathews, the Sri Lanka captain, if he wanted to uphold the appeal. Mathews confirmed he wanted the appeal to stand and Strauss said it was unnecessary to give prior warning to the batsman.

"There is no obligation on the part of a bowler or a captain to give anyone a warning. It is up to a captain to decide whether he wants to uphold the appeal if the bowler does do it. Especially in this day and age of Twenty20 cricket batsmen look to back up as far as they can. This is an opportunity for the fielding side to say don't do that, stay in your crease and if you stay in your crease everything would be fine."

The committee statement added: "The unanimous view of the committee was that if the non-striker is out of his ground earlier than allowed in either the Laws of Cricket or the International Playing Conditions, then he can have no complaints should he be dismissed in this manner. Furthermore, the committee believes it was not against the Spirit of Cricket to uphold such an appeal, and urges batsmen to ensure they do not try to gain an unfair advantage by moving out of their crease before the appropriate time."

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on July 18, 2014, 16:05 GMT

    Laws are laws. Having a few steps' advantage can mean a few extra runs to a batsman that shouldn't be there in the first place. Good decision from MCC, and hope the professionals take notice.

  • Adam on July 18, 2014, 11:06 GMT

    Well when does the bowler "enter his delivery stride" exactly? Clearly a stride implies something to do with his feet, but when is the exact moment? The moment his back foot lands? the moment his front foot lands? How do you tell the difference between a delivery stride and a normal stride? What if the bowler is just stepping towards the stumps in an attempt to run out the batsman? How do you tell the difference?

    As for the ICC further muddying the waters with this ridiculous nonsense about completing "the delivery swing", which isn't even recognisable cricket terminology and could mean just about anything. Completely changing the rules of cricket and the way non-strikers have backed up for centuries on a whim? Shameful.

    There've been numerous mankads recently which were not legal and should have been called dead ball, however the lack of clarity in the rules has led to the umpires being unable to make a confident call.

  • Dummy4 on July 18, 2014, 9:11 GMT

    py0alb, what extra clarification could you possibly need? its as clear as day.

  • Bandula on July 18, 2014, 8:53 GMT

    The law is definitely clear in this regard. A warning to the batsman is never necessary if he is trying to get a quick run by staying out of the crease. Umpires have no duty to ask the Captain fielding captain if he wants to withhold the appeal. They should rule the player out and stand by the decision. Spirit of the game is if a player is ruled out and the other side clearly knows he is not out, calling back the player or walking out without waiting for umpire's decision if a player knows he is out. Otherwise stick by the rules. Most of those who play in the spirit of the game unfortunately do not walk out till given.

  • Tom on July 18, 2014, 8:41 GMT

    Posted by Hameen Markar on (July 17, 2014, 17:49 GMT) I hope Cooke will learn from this experience not to give into emotions soon after an incident. The same thing applies to his distorted and blinkered opinion about the Anderson / jadeja affair.. As England captain he should set an example and be a little more cautious with his remarks. Otherwise, he will soon lose credibility which is a lot worse than a temporary loss of form.

    So you are saying that Cook/Anderson are lying and Dhoni/Jadeja are telling the truth. What is your basis, apart from their nationality, for this opinion? If the ICC panel finds in Anderson's favour will you be saying Dhoni has lost credibilty?

  • Mohit on July 18, 2014, 6:50 GMT

    That mankading (let's call it "dismissed backing up" instead of mankading) has always been a legal dismissal was known and accepted for long(albeit controversially). What MCC needs to declare is that no warning needs to be given before mankading - at all. A bowler can run out a non striker out of his crease in the first instance itself, without giving a warning. This will go a long way in reducing this method of stealing run, compared to politely asking asking the runner to come back!

  • Cameron on July 18, 2014, 6:17 GMT

    Of course it is the batsman's fault, this is a no brainer.

  • g on July 18, 2014, 4:22 GMT

    They should add the rule which says umpires should not ask the fielding captain if he wants to withhold the they do for stumping? Umpires are the keepers of the law on the ground and they shouldn't make an impression that mankading is a bad thing. It is a legitimate part of the game and batsmen must stay in the crease or risk their simple as that.

  • ESPN on July 18, 2014, 3:35 GMT

    This article had me completely until right at the end when Strauss suggested that batsmen gained an "unfair advantage" by leaving their crease early. But there is absolutely no law saying a batsman can't be out if his crease when the ball is live. But there is a law that states that the fielding team can run him out if he is. The sooner we stop this whole "unfair" and "spirit of cricket" nonsense on this issue, the better. Follow the laws.

  • Dummy4 on July 18, 2014, 1:00 GMT

    I think the MCC committee did the right thing in making an explicit announcement to clarify for everyone's benefit and to stop this whole 'against the spirit' argument. Stay in your crease.

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