Sachithra Senanayake gets Jos Buttler out Mankading after warning him once the previous ball. Picture Courtesy: Youtube
Sachithra Senanayake Mankads Jos Buttler after warning him once previous ball. Picture Courtesy: Youtube

Mankading a term that has evoked many controversies ever since its inclusion in international cricket. Classified by many as a cunning move from a bowler, Mankading amassed after its name a lot of accusations in regard to the mysterious ‘Spirit of Cricket’, which differentiates it with the other conventional types of getting a player dismissed. While it was a generic act derived from the first incident that took place, Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) has now proposed a revision to the rules implemented to modify it. These modifications, though, involve a lot more technicality now, which seem to go in favour of the bowler. READ: MCC proposes change in controversial ‘Mankad’ dismissal

The old statement by MCC for getting a batsman at the non-striker’s run-out reads: The bowler is permitted, before entering his delivery stride, to attempt to run out the non-striker. Whether the attempt is successful or not, the ball shall not count as one of the over.

If the bowler fails in an attempt to run out the non-striker, the umpire shall call and signal Dead ball as soon as possible.

The law comes with a lot of criteria to be fulfilled, and the first and foremost being the bowler cannot enter his bowling stride. That is, he cannot get to his arm-action or even start the swing. When a ball is supposed to be bowled, quite naturally, the focus of every player remains on the bowler and with the bowler not taking his stride leaves the batsman at the non-striker’s with a minimal reaction time. This has to be the highlight of the law, while the rest of it is obvious. READ: Five instances of Mankading in Test cricket

Example: Here is how Kapil Dev got Peter Kirsten out Mankading. The first image shows Kapil taking his run up while he observes Kirsten out of his ground:

Kapil Dev taking his run-up. Photo Courtesy: Youtube
Kapil Dev taking his run-up. Photo Courtesy: Youtube

And he gets him out the next second, without proceeding to his stride further:

Kapil Dev 'Mankading' Peter Kirsten. Picture Courtesy: Youtube
Kapil Dev ‘Mankading’ Peter Kirsten. Picture Courtesy: Youtube

Now, let us have a look at the new rule proposed by MCC: The bowler is permitted, before releasing the ball and provided he has not completed his usual delivery swing, to attempt to run out the non-striker.

This hints a huge change as to how Mankading used to take place till date. The biggest change being if the rule is to be implemented the bowler will be given further more chance to get the batsman out. For an instance, Morne Morkel, even from the following position of his action, can get the batsman at non-striker’s end out:

Morne Morkel with the ball unreleased and the stride not having completed his stride. Picture Courtesy: Youtube
Morne Morkel with the ball unreleased and the stride not having completed his stride. Picture Courtesy: Youtube

Let us consider a particular case: a situation where the team needs 2 runs off the last ball to win. Quite naturally, the non-striker’s will be up to run as soon as the ball is hit, to increase the chances of getting the required runs while saving as much time as possible for the second run by completing the first one quickly. According to the previous law, the non-striker could move out of his ground right after the bowler took his run-up. But with the new rule, he needs to stay inside the crease till the ball is released by the bowler.

Possible effects of the rule:

1. This newly implemented law will back another MCC rule that states that a non-striker must stay at the bowler’s end and in his ground till the time the ball is released. But there being no prominent rule to call the batsman out or giving a penalty, it was not being able to be followed most of the time. With the new rule, the batsman at non-striker’s end will have to be even more alert to not step out until the the ball is released, because the bowler then will be allowed to retract from whatever position of his bowling stride he may be in.

2. But this possibly may result in a monotonous end to every game, with the bowler trying to Mankad every time there is a pressure situation such as one mentioned above. Rather than bowling the ball, knowing the pressure building upon the batsmen, the bowler will tend not to take risk and try to end the game with Mankading.

3. Again, the phrase in his usual delivery swing is bound to confuse. The action of each and every bowler being exclusive, it will be tough for the umpires to decide if the bowler will actually have completed his swing or not.

With the pros and cons, it now lies upon MCC to take the final call if the rule will go through the proposed change and if that turns out to serve the purpose it is meant for.

(Paulami Chakraborty, a singer, dancer, artist, and photographer, loves the madness of cricket and writes about the game. She can be followed on Twitter at @Polotwitts)