Home > Features > Moments in history >

Vinoo Mankad etches his name in cricketing dictionary

Vinoo Mankad etches his name in cricketing dictionary

Vinoo Mankad (left) who ran out Bill Brown at the non-striker’s end for backing up too far on December 13, 1947 to see the birth of the word in the cricket lexicon © Getty Images

On December 13, 1947, Vinoo Mankad etched his name in the lexicon of cricket by getting a mode of dismissal named after him. Arunabha Sengupta recalls the day when he caused a furore by running out Bill Brown for backing up too far before the ball was bowled.

It all started during the tour match played a month earlier – the very one in which Don Bradman  scored his 100th First-class century.

After the celebrations of Bradman’s feat had died down, Indians toted up 304 in the second essay, leaving the Australian XI 251 to get in 150 minutes to win the match.

The strong batting line-up did make an attempt. And in his haste, opener Bill Brown started dashing out of the crease at the non-striker’s end even as the bowler went through his action of bowling the ball.
Vinoo Mankad was in the midst of a fantastic spell. He warned Brown once. And when the batsman repeated the offence, the left-arm spinner stopped in his tracks and removed the bails.

Brown curtly dismissed press questions: “The whole thing happened on the field, and it is finished and done with.”

Mankad’s explanation was more technical. He said that when the batsman advanced, “My reflective vision becomes affected and my bowling concentration suffers”.

Mankad picked up eight for 84, and India won the match by 47 runs, one of their two victories on the tour.
It was when the incident was repeated during the second Test at Sydney that things became heated enough to forge Mankad into a questionable verb.

India had fought back from a spot of bother on a rain affected pitch on the second day, recovering marginally from 95 for six, and finishing at 188. Gogumal Kishenchand and Dattu Phadkar had added 70 for the seventh wicket.

Now, as Arthur Morris and Bill Brown opened the innings for Australia, Mankad was brought into the attack soon enough. Brown, not much wiser from his dismissal in the earlier match, again moved down the pitch a shade too quickly. This time Mankad did not give him a warning. The Australian opener found himself run out for backing up too far, and could not control his frustration. He flung his bat down before walking off in a huff.

Australia ended the day on 28 for one and as persistent rain drenched the wicket and rendered it virtually unplayable, the home side collapsed to 107 all out when play resumed on the fifth day. As more rain fell, the Test ended in a draw.

However, the incident between Mankad and Brown triggered furious debates on trams and trains and ferry boats. The newspaper offices were hit by an avalanche of letters. While the action questioned by many, some stood firmly behind the Indian bowler. One missive pointedly asked: “Would Brown have done this sort of thing against the Englishmen? I’ll guarantee he wouldn’t, because he knew he wouldn’t have got away with it. Knowing the sportsmanship of this Indian team he imposes on it . . . The only bad sportsmanship was shown by the batsman.”

Former players were also divided in their opinions. Some thought Mankad had not acted in the spirit of the game, and others found nothing objectionable in the conduct of the Indian spinner.

Vic Richardson supported Mankad while Jack Fingleton did not.

Former English Test player and tour journalist, Kumar Shri Duleepsinhji, voiced that it left a bad taste. Outspoken leg-spinner Bill O’Reilly, however, had the highest regard for Mankad as a spinner and had no problems with his actions. O’Reilly noted that  although not required by law, Mankad had warned Brown previously of his “sour view” of “stolen singles”, satisfying the game’s ethical rules, and therefore was “quite entitled to do what he did, and . . . showed plenty of strength of character.”

The mode of dismissal soon entered the unofficial lexicon of cricket and is referred to as ‘Mankaded’ even today.

Don Bradman himself could not comment publicly at that time, but later wrote in his autobiography Farewell to Cricket : “For the life of me, I can’t understand why [the press] questioned his sportsmanship.”The great man said that he himself made it a point to stand in the crease until he could see the ball in flight.

It was one of the rare issues on which “Tiger” O’Reilly and The Don saw eye to eye. When asked on air whether he would have ever done a “Mankad”. O’Reilly’s answer was immediate, “It would never happen when I was bowling because the batsman at my end was never anxious to get down to the other end.”

(Arunabha Sengupta s a cricket historian and Chief Cricket Writer at CricketCountry. He writes about the history and the romance of the game, punctuated often by opinions about modern day cricket, while his post-graduate degree in statistics peeps through in occasional analytical pieces. The author of three novels, he can be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/senantix)

India tour of England 2014

Aug 30, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Nottingham

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 30, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Dambulla

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 31, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

India tour of England 2014

Sep 2, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Birmingham

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Sep 2, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

More

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 29, 2014  at Harare

South Africa won by 61 runs

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 27, 2014  at Harare

South Africa won by 7 wkts

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Aug 27, 2014  at Basseterre, St Kitts

No result

India tour of England 2014

Aug 27, 2014  at Cardiff

India won by 133 runs

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 26, 2014  at Hambantota

Sri Lanka won by 77 runs

Photos

Aaron Finch's record 156 vs England in T20I

Videos

Alastair Cook looks ahead to 3rd ODI at Nottingham

Zimbabwe vs South Africa Live Cricket Score, 3rd ODI at Harare: South Africa win by 61 runs

England, take ODIs seriously if you want to win

Hiralal Gaekwad: the southpaw who lost out to Vinoo Mankad

Lord Ganesha XI: Eleven cricketers who were named after the elephant God

Suresh Raina’s new avatar on India’s tour of England 2014

Australia Australia and South Africa in Zimbabwe 2014 England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Pakistan South Africa Sri Lanka Sri Lanka vs Pakistan Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 2014 Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Triangular Series 2014

Suresh Raina feels Murali Vijay, Sanju Samson, and Ambati Rayudu are options to open

Rajinikanth finds a fan in Ross Taylor!

Prosper Utseya’s hat-trick in vain as South Africa clinch 61 run victory against Zimbabwe in 3rd ODI

India tour of England 2014: Alex Hales wants to play Test cricket

Aditya Verma: Will oppose N Srinivasan or BCCI if AGM is delayed

Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 3rd ODI at Dambulla: Pakistan’s likely XI

Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 3rd ODI at Dambulla: Sri Lanka’s likely XI

Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 3rd ODI at Dambulla: Key clashes

Statistical review of most centuries scored in a single day in ODIs

India enjoy an Emphatic victory against England in the 1st ODI — just like the first Test

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

666 Posts | 6 Fans

12 runs in one ball

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Watch Stephen Hawkins endorse the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 3rd ODI at Hambantota: Key clashes

Apple iWatch won’t ship until next year: Report

Canada Welcomes 150,000 New Citizens In 2014

Ganesh Chaturthi 2014: Gurmeet Choudhary and Debina Bonnerjee celebrate Ganeshotsav with the team of Khamoshiyan – view pics!

Patti Tripathi: From News Director to Entrepreneur to Women’s Empowerment

NGOs pursue education for all

Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 3rd ODI at Dambulla: Key clashes

Apple iPhone 6 photos with full casing leaked ahead of September 9 launch

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here