A controversial moment in the last edition of IPL was when R Ashwin, bowling for Kings XI Punjab, ran out non-striker for Rajasthan Royals, Jos Buttler, when the latter had wandered out of the crease even before the ball had been released. The appeal was referred to the third umpire who upheld it.
This mode of dismissal is popularly referred to as ‘Mankading’ after former Indian all-rounder Vinoo Mankad ran out an Australian batsman that way. It’s a controversial form of dismissal and many former cricketers dislike it.
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The controversy has not died down. It has stirred a debate about the spirit of cricket ahead of the current IPL. Terming ‘Mankading’ as a move against the spirit of the game is a false argument. It is a legitimate form of dismissal and it can be referred to a third umpire if there is any doubt. Allowing something to exist in cricket’s laws but accusing a bowler who makes use of this legitimate form of dismissal as acting against the spirit of the game is senseless.
If cricketers have a problem they should ask the game’s administrators to delete this law. But that can’t be done because without this law what’s there to prevent a non-striker from reducing the distance he has to cover for a single by walking yards down the crease before the ball is released?