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Mankading
image source: MensXP

Mankading was perhaps not the most used term of them all, which is when the 2019 IPL reminded us that it hadn’t actually gone out of fashion. Right?

The IPL, which is known for a world-class exhibition of cricket with the players from various parts of the world fighting it out to win the cash-rich tournament.

The Fourth match between Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab aroused a bigger controversy about a rare dismissal.

How did the entire scene of competitive cricket erupt into an episode of playing against the spirit of the game and the world-renowned (Ashwin) player turned into a trickster overnight?

Rajasthan Royals were in the driver’s seat as they were racing towards a win.

Punjab were in pressure to get more and more wickets.

Ashwin in his final over in the Fourth contest of the season pulled out the bails as Buttler who was in the non-striker’s end, left the crease as he was making his bowling stride.

Jos Buttler and Ashwin had a stiff argument over their take on such a dismissal, that provoked the on-field umpires to refer the 3rd Umpire’s decision, which pronounced Buttler Out. This Mankading incident that split the opinions even among experts.

Rajasthan later collapsed in the match as they fell short of 14 runs despite having a star-studded team.

As prime facie, saw during the incident, Ashwin stride till the crease was evidently showcasing that he was observing the batsman’s moving while the ball is released. Buttler was starting his run away from the crease even before the ball was is released from the bowler’s hand, he halted for a second and then quickly flashed the bails off. Ashwin also mentioned in the media briefing that it was instinctive to dismiss Buttler and he stuck to the rules of the game.

As per the ICC rules and regulations of Article – 41.16(Regarding the dismissal and non-strikers need to stay within the crease is specified or else he can be dismissed through a runout, only if bowler failed to dismiss him, the current delivery will be considered as a Dead-ball) It is the non-striker’s duty to stay within the crease until the ball is released to the batsman at the striker’s end.

These rules of the game should have been familiar to all international players by now. It also specifically didn’t specify that the batsman needs to be warned before actuating such a delivery. So, it’s within the ambit of the cricket arena. Is it not?

But at the nick of the movement, it also looked as if the bowler was waiting for the batsman to start his runoff from his end.

Buttler, it must be said, had to be cautious over his running stride. This is precisely when he had to be within the crease and in the permitted limit.

Ashwin at the heat of the moment continued his perusal for wickets, that stood as his priority. It was not the bowler who instigate the batsman to start his run towards the other end, so the batter has to owe the responsibility for his dismissal.

According to the basics of the game, if a batsman is even an inch far way from the crease, he is considered to be out while finishing a run. On the other hand, a bowler who crosses the crease even a small inch is made to bowl again (No-Ball). So, every inch will count in a peculiar game of Cricket and especially in a tight contest like that of T20 leagues.

International cricket has seen gentle experiences in the past before related to Mankading, but this incident stretched till a dismissal, that was a change in the current scenario.

It was the same non-striker Buttler who was dismissed by Srilanka when he erred and left the crease before the ball was released from the bowler’s end. He was initially given a warning, but in the following delivery, he was adjudged Out after the bowler initiated the run-out. Buttler has gone through a similar incidence in the International arena, but it is strange to see him in rage against the bowler. Professional cricketers are required to know the rules and the ambit of their action on the field, the soft-corner this IPL went to Buttler, Ashwin became a betrayer and went to an extent that it was also speculated as going against the spirit of the game.

The 1987 World-Cup saw Windies legendary bowler Courtney Walsh warning Saleem Jafar to stay inside the crease before the release of the ball.

Remember that incident?

That was Mankading over 2 decades back in time.

Mankading
image source: Scoop Whoop

Though it was not a verbal or violent warning, it’s purpose was to limit the batsman from taking an unfair advantage before the release of the ball.

Undoubtedly, it stood in the right spirit of the game. Although, one’s not sure what may have happened had the lanky Jamaican shaken the stumps at the non-striker’s end today?

This Mankading incident by no means resembles something that’s a measure of how unfair the game is played. Yet, provides a testimony to refine how much more this game has in store regarding the rules and regulations. At the same time, it also implicates how the game is played within the ambit of the rules that direct its governance.

Some debatable rules have to be discussed by the member countries in deliberation with the ICC being the guiding force, to get a lucid picture about them. Better clarity will bring a better understanding to this fun game called Cricket and probably then, this Mankading would be well understood. No?

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