Mankading has been a controversial term in cricket in the last few years. When Ravichandran Ashwin’ mankaded’ Jos Buttler on March 25, 2019, which saw a huge controversy broke out in the Indian Premier League (IPL). 

The match between Rajasthan Royals (RR) and Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings) in 2019 became a big talking point in world cricket. Buttler was run out for 69 by Ashwin as he ‘mankaded’ the English batsman. 

The basic meaning of the term is that a bowler can run out the non-striker batsman if he tries to step out of the crease when the bowler releases the ball. Batters on the non-striker’s end are often seen stepping out of the crease well in advance as a headstart to run between the wickets. 

The inception of the word

The credit for inventing the word ‘Mankading’ goes to the Australian Press. During India’s tour of Australia in 1947, Vinoo Mankad had dismissed Bill Brown, not once but twice, by removing the bails when he was outside the crease. Though the then Australian captain Don Bradman supported Mankad, the Australian Press criticised him for being unsportsmanlike.

The Australian media dubbed it as ‘Mankading’, a name that stuck in popular parlance but was vehemently opposed by legends like Sunil Gavaskar for being disrespectful towards Mankad.

What does the law state:

The Laws of Cricket 41.16 states that a “Non-striker leaving his/her ground early: If the non-striker is out of his/her ground from the moment the ball comes into play to the instant when the bowler would normally have been expected to release the ball, the bowler is permitted to attempt to run him/her out. Whether the attempt is successful or not, the ball shall not count as one in the over.”

The law also states that 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.

Not unfair

The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) has announced its new code of laws effective from October 1. One of the fundamental changes has been a complete ban on applying saliva to the ball, irrespective of the Covid situation. The MCC, the custodians of the Laws of Cricket, also accepted Mankading (or Browned, as Sunil Gavaskar calls it) as a normal mode of running out the non-striker, removing it from Law 41 (Unfair Play) and clubbing it with Law 38 (Runout).