Indian all-rounder Deepti Sharma ran out England’s Charlie Dean standing outside the crease at the non-striker’s end at Lord’s on Saturday (September 24), giving India a 3-0 ODI series sweep but triggering outrage that has traditionally accompanied incidents of “Mankading” in the sport. Dean’s dismissal ended a remarkable fightback by England who had recovered from 118 for 9 to within 16 runs of India’s total of 169.
The term comes from the name of the legendary former Indian cricketer Vinoo Mankad. In 1947, when India were playing a series in Australia, Mankad dismissed opposition batsman Bill Brown twice by taking off the bails at the non-striker’s end before releasing the ball.
Mankad was attacked for allegedly violating the “spirit of cricket”, but he had run Brown out only after he had warned him against backing up too far ahead. Even though the name “Mankading” stuck, Sunil Gavaskar has referred to it as “Browned”.
Mankad received support from the great Don Bradman himself, who was then captain of Australia. “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,” the Don wrote in his autobiography.
In March this year, the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), custodian of the Laws of Cricket, accepted Mankading as a normal mode of running out the non-striker, removing it from Law 41 (Unfair play) and clubbing it with Law 38 (Run out). MCC had upheld the bowler’s right to appeal in a situation like this in 2017, but the dismissal continues to generate controversy.
“Law 41.16 – running out the non-striker – has been moved from Law 41 (Unfair play) to Law 38 (Run out),” the MCC said. Simply put, this is now just another mode of run-out, although it needs to be seen if the governing body of cricket still allows the use of the word Mankading, for it is disrespectful to a legend of the game.
There have been several instances in men’s Test match and ODI cricket, but none very recently. The most talked-about recent incident happened during the 2019 IPL, when Ravichandran Ashwin ran out Jos Buttler in a game between Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals. Ashwin always maintained that he used no unfair means, given that the non-striker was trying to steal a few yards.