Why Mankading? Why not Browned, or just run-out?


“Mankading” is a form of dismissal informally named after the great Vinoo Mankad, who got Bill Brown out by whipping the bails off when the Australian batsman had backed up too far. While this form of dismissal is legal, it is seen to be against the “spirit” of the game.

Only four batsmen have gotten out this way in Test cricket, with Brown being joined by Ian Redpath, Derek Randall and Sikander Bakht, who were dismissed by Charlie Griffith, Ewan Chatfield and Alan Hurst, respectively. That makes two Australians, an Englishman and a Pakistani cricketer dismissed by one bowler each from India, the West Indies, New Zealand and Australia.

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There have been four instances of “Mankading” in One-Day Internationals as well. Brian Lockhurst, Grant Fowler, Peter Kirsten and Jos Buttler were the batsmen, while Greg Chappell, Dipak Patel, Kapil Dev and Sachitra Senanayeke were the bowlers – two Englishmen, one South African and one Zimbabwean make up the former, and a bowler each from Australia, New Zealand, India and Sri Lanka the latter.

There’s been a sudden discussion on something that is certainly very rare because of the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) season. Ravichandran Ashwin, who while bowling for Kings XI Punjab in the 2019 IPL season “Mankaded” Buttler of the Rajasthan Royals, is headed for the Delhi Capitals, whose coach Ricky Ponting has said he will not allow Ashwin to use the manoeuvre.

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Let’s pause here. Buttler is one of the four batsman to be “Mankaded” in ODIs. Does this mean he is more to blame for his dismissal than Ashwin as the Englishman was gaining an unfair advantage by backing up too much? This is why the law is there in the first place, and what Ashwin did is perfectly legal. If Ponting needs to talk to Ashwin regarding this, do other coaches need to tell not just Buttler but all batsmen not to try and gain an unfair advantage?

Let’s go back to Vinoo Mankad and Bill Brown. While the incident is well known, less known is the fact that Brown had backed up too far in a first-class match too and Mankad had run him out then as well. So this was a case of “repeat offence.”

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The greatest player in the history of the game, Sir Donald Bradman, had said he felt there was nothing wrong with what Mankad did. In Farewell to Cricket, Bradman wrote, “For the life of me, I can’t understand why [the press] questioned his sportsmanship. The laws of cricket make it quite clear that the non-striker must keep within his ground until the ball has been delivered. If not, why is the provision there which enables the bowler to run him out? By backing up too far or too early, the non-striker is very obviously gaining an unfair advantage.” Bradman was the Australian captain in the match where Brown was run out by Mankad.

Ashwin has the backing of Rahul Dravid, too. “It’s within the laws of the game and that’s pretty clear. So I don’t have a problem with someone deciding to do it. Ashwin was well within his rights to do what he did. However, personally, I would prefer it if somebody warns someone first. That would be my personal choice, but I respect someone’s view to think differently,” he said.

That being said, why is the terms associated with Mankad and called “Mankading?” Why not “Browned?” Why not just run-out?

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