After a ‘Mankad’ episode during the recently concluded U-19 World Cup involving West Indies and Zimbabwe, a re-run of it has happened but this time at the senior level.
In the qualifier involving Oman and Hong Kong, Oman spin-bowler Aamir Kaleem made his way forward to bowl a delivery but just as he was about to release the ball, Kaleem stopped and ran the non-striker Mark Chapman out. Champan is a key batsman for Hong Kong and was thus dismissed for 8 in their chase of 181. Eventually Hong Kong ran five runs short to lose out.
Hong Kong’s Babar Hayat scored 122 off 60 balls in their chase but that didn’t prove enough. On any other day, this fourth highest T20I score and the highest by an associate player would have been the talking point but not on Friday.
Later Kaleem defended his actions which many consider to be against the spirit of the game even if it is within the rules.
“No, I didn’t (warn Chapman),” he said. “As a batsman, if I am non-striker, I know if I leave the crease before the delivery, bowler can do the same thing. I had just noticed two or three times that both batsmen – Babar was also doing it – so I just thought if they did the same thing, I would do this,” he was quoted by ESPNCricinfo.
“We have all seen it happen in the Under-19 World Cup so it is not a wrong thing. It is under the rules. If the batsman goes before the ball has been released, any bowler can do this. So I did this.”
Turns out this isn’t his first ‘Mankad’ either.
“Five or six months ago, when we were in Nepal playing against Malaysia, their batsman was also doing the same thing. Our coaches have told us if they are doing the same thing (and backing up prematurely), go ahead and run the batsman out.”
Even though Kaleem maintains his innocence, Hong Kong coach Simon Cook called it a ‘cowardly act’.
“Yes it’s in the laws but I think it goes against the spirit of the game when you’re not at least giving a warning,” Cook said.
“Ultimately it’s a cowardly way out really, if you’re battling against one another, man against man, out in the middle and you choose to go down that route to get a wicket and win the game, it’s not really in the spirit of cricket.”
The law in question, 42.15, does back Kaleem’s claims.
“The bowler is permitted, before releasing the ball and provided he has not completed his usual delivery swing, to deliberately attempt to run out the non-striker. Whether the attempt is successful or not, the ball shall not count as one of the over. If the bowler fails in an attempt to run out the non-striker, the umpire shall call and signal Dead ball as soon possible.”
Kaleem found further support from former Australia seamer Jason Gillespie.