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Batters beware! The 'Mankad' here to stay

01 October 2017

Louis Cameron


Louis Cameron


Non-strikers have been warned after CA confirms domestic cricket has adopted new regulations that simplify controversial dismissal

The game’s most contentious manoeuvre, the ‘Mankad’ dismissal, will become easier for bowlers to pull off after Cricket Australia confirmed it has incorporated the Marylebone Cricket Club's new guidelines on the ploy into its domestic playing conditions.

Among a host of changes to the MCC's Laws of Cricket, which officially come into effect today, is a subtle change to rules on Mankading - the act of running the non-striker out by a bowler before bowling the ball – which have been in place for international cricket since 2011.

Under the previous MCC Laws, bowlers were permitted to attempt to run out the non-striker only before entering their delivery stride. Now, bowlers at all levels of cricket will be able to run-out the non-striker up to the instant at which they "would be expected to deliver the ball".

The dismissal, named after India's Vinoo Mankad who ran out Australia's Bill Brown in 1947 after he'd had backed up too far at the non-striker's end, is a hot-button issue for cricket fans.

Those against Mankading argue it’s unsportsmanlike given victims often leave their crease unwittingly, rather than in a bid to gain a run-scoring edge. Some say the non-striker should at least be warned before it’s attempted.

But others insist the move is within the rules and that the non-striker only has themselves to blame if they leave their crease before the ball is bowled.

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And Cricket Australia has confirmed it falls into the latter camp, with playing conditions for the domestic summer altered to mirror the new MCC rules and existing International Cricket Council guidelines.

CA's head of cricket operations Peter Roach says the new rule is clearer and believes junior coaches will be able to more easily explain the practical implications.

"We've followed through with that change, we think it's a logical one," Roach told

"When it came out that the batter could take off when the bowler landed their back foot, there was a belief among the current playing group that that doesn't smell right.

"I think the rule they've introduced now – that you can take off (only) when the bowler lets it go – makes perfect sense. It's clear.

"At a junior level, it's really easy to coach. Having coached a few junior teams, it's much easier than any other way.

"From the time the bowler starts his run-up, if you take off, well you can just get run out.

"(It's) the definition of trying to play within the spirit of the game and if you don't, you can face the consequences."

Roach's explanation reflects the MCC's new approach, recommended by their influential World Cricket Committee which currently features the likes of cricket greats Ricky Ponting, Brendon McCullum and Kumar Sangakkara.

The MCC, the traditional guardians of the Laws of Cricket, have changed the wording of the Mankad rule from "Bowler attempting to run out non-striker before delivery" to "Non-striker leaving their ground early" in a bid to put the "onus on the non-striker to remain in their ground".

"It is often the bowler who is criticised for attempting such a run out but it is the batsman who is attempting to gain an advantage," the MCC explained in a summary of the rule changes.

"The message to the non-striker is very clear – if you do not want to risk being run out, stay within your ground until the bowler has released the ball."

But while governing bodies are clearly singing from the same hymn sheet, reaction to Mankad occurrences in recent years suggests it remains a bitterly divisive issue.

Mankad controversy at Under-19 World Cup

West Indies' Under-19 World Cup-winning team came in for overwhelming criticism from players and coaches around the world last year after fast bowler Keemo Paul executed a Mankad in the final over of a match against Zimbabwe to seal a two-run win.

After England wicketkeeper Jos Buttler was run-out backing up too far against Sri Lanka in a 2014 ODI, then captain Alastair Cook said, "I was pretty disappointed with it to be honest with you. I hope I wouldn't do it."

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And when Oman bowler Aamir Kaleem pulled off a Mankad over Hong Kong's Mark Chapman in an Asian Cup qualifying match last year, Hong Kong coach Simon Cook labelled the move a "cowardly way out".

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But while Roach admits the West Indies' Under-19 World Cup incident made him a little uncomfortable, he says we're not likely to see the likes of it repeated if batters play by the rules.

"I don't think we're going to see many cases of bowlers stopping in their run-ups unless the batter is trying to cheat the system," said the former Victoria wicketkeeper.

"If they are trying to cheat the system, it's probably right that they get what they deserve. It makes it simple for batters.

"If the batter is doing the right thing and watching the ball, they won't be out."

About the Writer


Louis Cameron is a Melbourne-based journalist. A former Victorian Bushrangers fast bowler, Louis joined the team with assistance from the Australian Cricketers' Association's Internship Program in 2016.