Photo Credit: Cricket NSW
Cricket NSW has today taken a stand on the topical and polarising practice and term known as ‘Mankad’ or ‘Mankading’.
The act, that involves a bowler running out the non-striker who has left the crease prior to the delivery of the ball, is a legitimate means of dismissal under the laws of cricket, despite opposition from some who consider it ‘not in the spirit of the game’.
CNSW CEO Lee Germon, a former New Zealand Test captain, said the practice was both legal and ethical and match officials, particularly volunteers, needed to be supported in upholding the relevant laws of the game.
“For a bowler to run out a batter who is trying to gain an unfair advantage by leaving the crease before the ball has been delivered is both fair and legal,” Germon said.
“There are no two ways about it, and we want our players, match officials and volunteers to know that they have our full support in upholding the laws of cricket, in this and every other instance.
“The pressure placed on match officials, most of whom are wonderful volunteers, to deal with something that evokes so much emotion is unnecessary. The law is clear and we want the officials to feel supported in knowing that and not be pressured by an outdated school of thought.
“Journalist Greg Baum today wrote, ‘If anything, it is the non-striker who comes nearer to infringing the spirit of cricket in a Mankad. He’s daring the law. The bowler is upholding it’ and I couldn’t agree more.”
Germon also said the term Mankading needed to be removed from cricket lexicon.
“It has been 75-years since Vinoo Mankad twice ran out Australian Bill Brown, drawing the ire of some in the game,” Germon said.
“Mankad has been vilified ever since, but for what? He carried out a legitimate act to dismiss a batter who was trying to gain an unfair advantage. Even the great Sir Donald Bradman has said there was nothing wrong with what Vinoo Mankad did.
“We now know this also conjures up a negative experience for many people and cricketers of Indian heritage. It is unfair and needs to stop.
“If I refer again to Greg Baum, he wrote, ‘Mankading needs to be accepted as one of many right ways to play cricket. To destigmatise it, it might help to depersonalise it.’
“I hope we can all be better in this area moving forward, inspiring more people to play and love cricket.”
Germon said that while CNSW was very cognisant of helping volunteer officials, it was also time to use technology available to match officials at the elite level.
“One of our great NSW and Australian cricketers, Mitchell Starc, has been vocal about the use of technology to monitor whether non-strikers remain in their crease and it’s hard to argue with that logic,” Germon said.
“If we are able to use technology to take further pressure off the umpires and indeed the players, then I am all for it.”