by Tara Hebbar
The most recent series between the England and Indian women ended with a bang, but also sparked yet another debate on the Mankading (running out the non-striker batter)and its compliance with sporting rules and spirit. This is one debate that splits the cricket world into two. One side argues that it is against the spirit of the game, while the other argues that it’s completely fair. So, what happened to ignite the fire?
England needed 16 runs of the last ball to win the last game (at Lords) of the 3 game ODI series, which India had already won with 2-0 lead. The aspect that made this game special for India, however, was the fact that it was Jhulan Goswami (their veteran bowler) last ODI game, before she retired from International Cricket altogether. Deepti Sharma, while taking the run up to bowl the last ball of the match, slowed down, and before she knew it, Charlie Dean was out at the non-striker’s end.
Later, after both appreciation and criticism, Harmanpreet Kaur (the captain) and Deepti Sharma broke out of their silence to claim that they had warned the batter, but Heather Knight (the captain of the English team) countered this claim and said that no warnings were given. In my opinion, mankadings are completely justified and are as against the spirit of the game as a runout, stumping. Should in a race, a runner be allowed to start early and get away with it? Why should bowlers be penalized for crossing the line by the smallest of margins when batsmen can get away with the same thing? The new rules ICC have also acknowledged this by removing the Mankad from the group of action that are “against the spirit of the game” and made it the same as a run out.
It is the batter’s responsibility to make sure that they are complying with the rules of the game, and the fielding time has every right to penalize them if they break the rules, just as is done when they cross the crease and get stumped. Most england fans and crickets are strictly against this action and condemn India for winning the game in this manner. “Mankad is in the rules,but I hope it’s not a go too tactic … You surely don’t train all your lives to win a game using that tactic … and I know Batters should train to stay behind the line but it stinks seeing a game won like that .. Yesterday was a bloody good game too #India,” is what ex-english cricketer Micheal Vaughn thinks about the situation and he was severely trolled by Indian fans for this comment.
In conclusion, the Mankad will always be a source of debate in the cricket world, however, with the rules coming to support the makad, it’s less likely that people will be able to argue against its use. However, will this change the formula for cricket altogether? Will manakds become as common as a run out, and what will this do to the game as a whole?