Home > Features >

Murali Kartik’s controversial action perfectly justified; time to relook at the rules

Murali Kartik © AFP
Murali Kartik has been criticised severely for ‘breaching the spirit of the game’ © AFP (File photo)

H Natarajan defends under-fire Murali Kartik and reasons out why the Mankading rule needs to be changed.

I have met Murali Kartik just once, but have interacted many times with him on phone, email and Whatsapp. To me, Kartik has always come across as intelligent, articulate and one who has a sense of fairness and balance in what he says and does. He is also very respectful.

Kartik has been under lot of fire for Mankading Bengal’s Sandipan Das in a Ranji Trophy game at New Delhi’s Jamia Milia Ground on Sunday. A lot of people have lampooned Kartik for ‘breaching the spirit of the game’. For me, the spirit of the game is always paramount, but in this case I fully support Kartik’s action. The reason is quite simple: Kartik had twice warned Das, but the batsman chose to ignore both warnings and continued to take unfair advantage. He asked for it.

Kartik is a fiercely-competitive cricketer — he had Mankaded a batsman in similar circumstances in a county game last year,  but he is not unfair. In my book, the Bengal team contravened the spirit of the game by refusing to shake hands with the Railways team after the game. Instead, they should have shown the displeasure, if not anger, against Das for frittering away his wicket in such a senseless manner.

If we are talking of rules, Kartik was more than a gentleman as the rules does not require him to warn the non-striker. But he gave not one, but two warnings.

Bengal coach Ashok Malhotra told the media at the end of the day’s play: “I can understand if you are playing one-day cricket where a batsman tries to steal a single. This is a four-day game and he was just an inch out. I am not talking about rules, but about spirit of the game.”

My counter to that is: Will Bengal not run out a batsman out if he is even one centimeter out even though he is not trying to take a single? Of course they will! Remember how Krishnamachari Srikkanth was run out on his debut against England when he casually left the sanctity of the crease?

The word “Mankaded” was coined during India’s tour of Australia. On December 13, 1947, during the second Test at Sydney, the great Vinoo Mankad ran out non-striker Bill Brown who was out of the crease before the bowler had delivered the ball. What is not known so widely is the fact that it was the second time Mankad had dismissed Brown in this fashion on the tour, having done it in an earlier match against an Australian XI. On that occasion he had warned Brown once before running him out.

Expectedly, many Aussies accused Mankad of lacking sportsman spirit, but there were some — including the legendary Don Bradman — who defended Mankad. In fact, Bill Brown reportedly said that he deserved what he got. This was revealed by Vinoo Mankad’s son Rahul in an exclusive video chat with CricketCountry.

Why should a batsman gain an unfair advantage? A bowler is penalised for no-ball even if he oversteps by a centimeter, a batsman is stumped/run out even if his foot is fractionally out of the crease. Are they given prior warnings? So why give the non-striker this special treatment? It makes no sense at all. I think the time has come for the rule about Mankading to be rewritten. Professionals should know what is right and what is wrong and do not need warnings. Had the rule been in place, the controversy would not have germinated in the first place.

(H Natarajan, formerly All India Deputy Sports Editor of the Indian Express and Senior Editor with Cricinfo/Wisden, is the Executive Editor of CricketCountry.com. A prolific writer, he has written for many of the biggest newspapers, magazines and websites all over the world. A great believer in the power of social media, he can be followed on Facebook athttp://www.facebook.com/H.Natarajan  and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/hnatarajan)

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (14:00 IST)   at Port Elizabeth

Sri Lanka tour of New Zealand, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (03:30 IST)   at Christchurch

India tour of Australia, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (05:00 IST)   at Melbourne

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Jan 2, 2015 (14:00 IST)   at Cape Town

Sri Lanka tour of New Zealand, 2014-15

Jan 3, 2015 (03:30 IST)   at Wellington

More

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 19, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

New Zealand won by 68 runs

India tour of Australia, 2014-15

Dec 17, 2014  at Woolloongabba, Brisbane

Australia won by 4 wkts

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 17, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

New Zealand won by 7 runs

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Dec 17, 2014  at Centurion

South Africa won by an innings and 220 runs

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Dec 16, 2014  at Colombo

Sri Lanka won by 87 runs

Photos

India vs Australia, 2nd Test at Brisbane

Videos

Ind vs Aus: Dhoni analyses the 4-wicket loss at Brisbane

Shahid Afridi, please do not take the innocence away from cricket

Murali Vijay’s 144 among most runs scored by an Indian on Day 1 of overseas Test

India’s collapse against Australia on 2nd Test at Brisbane: Did the visitors really bat badly on Day 4?

India vs Australia 2014-15, Brisbane: India marks out of 10

India vs Australia, 2nd Test at Brisbane: India’s tail tales

Australia India Interviews Moments in history Ricky Ponting

Alastair Cook says he would take time to overcome disappointment following World Cup sacking

India vs Australia 2014-15: Shane Watson must contribute with bat to justify he is an all-rounder, believes Darren Lehmann

India vs Australia 2014-15: Brad Haddin should score more runs, believes Darren Lehamnn

Matthew Hayden: It’s ludicrous Kevin Pietersen is not in the England squad

Ranji Trophy 2014-15: Karnataka lose seven on Day 1 against Railways

Pakistan Under-19 captain Saud Shakeel ticks all the right boxes

Shahid Afridi, please do not take the innocence away from cricket

India vs Australia 2014: Visitors would do well to back aggression up with performances

South Africa vs Pakistan 2014-15: Is Jason Holder a captain or a stooge?

Can Eoin Morgan change England’s limited-overs fortunes?

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

683 Posts | 6 Fans

Mitchell Johnson's 37 wickets against England in Ashes 2013-14

प्रसिद्ध कथक नृत्यांगना सितारा देवी नहीं रही

More broadband connections to boost GDP growth in Asia Pacific: GSMA

India is becoming our largest overseas market, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun says

Bigg Boss 8: Ali Quli Mirza, Renee Dhyani, Upen Patel, Praneet Bhatt, Sonali Raut – who should be evicted this week?

Revealed: The reason why Kishore Kumar’s biopic starring Ranbir Kapoor won’t feature Katrina Kaif!

अभिनेत्री प्रियंका चोपड़ा ने स्वच्छ भारत अभियान में हिस्सा लिया

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here