Mankad sparks contentious finish

Salman Butt-captained domestic team defeated after Peshawar bowler pulls off match-winning Mankad

Cricket Network

19 October 2017, 03:11 PM AEST

Pakistan domestic game ends with contentious Mankad

The Mankad, the most contentious dismissal in cricket, has once again caused a stir after a Pakistan first-class match was ended by the manoeuvre on Wednesday.

With the Water and Power Development Authority four runs away from victory and just one wicket in hand in the fourth innings of their Quaid-e-Azam Trophy match against Peshawar, fast bowler Taj Wali ran out unsuspecting non-striker Mohammad Irfan in his delivery stride.

With Irfan deemed out of his ground, on-field umpires conferred and, after checking with Peshawar that they wanted to uphold their appeal, the defending champions WAPDA were defeated by three runs.

The moment Taj Wali pulled off the Mankad
Peshawar quick Taj Wali pulling off the Mankad

Salman Butt, the WAPDA captain and former Pakistan skipper who has this season returned from a five-year spot-fixing ban, labelled the move unsportsmanlike.

"What's the point of this law when the winning team isn't proud and ashamed instead?" Butt told ESPN. 

"We had a great game, fully competitive throughout four days, which saw both teams' fortunes fluctuate. And suddenly this Mankading spoiled it. 

"Sportsman spirit should have been the top priority but the game didn't end in a proper way. What's the point of this law when the opponent team, despite winning, apologises to us?"

The irony of a former national captain jailed for accepting money to fix games for a betting syndicate complaining about poor sportsmanship appears to have been lost on Butt.

While the Mankad is completely legal – the Marylebone Cricket Club recently altered the wording of the Laws of Cricket to firmly put the onus on the non-striker to remain grouned – it remains a highly polarising issue.

Mohammad Amir (l) and Butt (r) were convicted of spot-fixing in 2010 // Getty
Mohammad Amir (l) and Butt (r) were convicted of spot-fixing in 2010 // Getty

Previously under the Laws, bowlers were permitted to attempt to run out the non-striker only before entering their delivery stride. 

But following changes that came into effect this month, bowlers at all levels of cricket are able to run-out the non-striker up to the instant at which they "would be expected to deliver the ball".

Mankad controversy at Under-19 World Cup

Those against the Mankad – named after after India's Vinoo Mankad who ran out Australia's Bill Brown in 1947 at the non-striker's end – argue it’s against the spirit of the game 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.

Cricket Australia recently confirmed it falls into the latter camp, with playing conditions for the domestic summer altered to mirror the updated Laws and International Cricket Council guidelines.

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

Mankad overshadows Lankan win

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

"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."

Hong Kong slam 'cowardly' Mankad

The MCC, the traditional guardians of the Laws of Cricket, 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."