Scrap the term ‘Mankading’: Sunil Gavaskar

Sunil Gavaskar opposed the usage of the term ‘Mankading’ to refer to the act of a bowler running the non-striker out in the delivery stride if the batsman has backed up too far, saying that it is disrespectful to one of the all time greats of Indian cricket, Vinoo Mankad.

Speaking on the IPL’s pre match show on Sony Six/Sony ESPN, Gavaskar said, “I have grave objections to that (calling the act ‘Mankading’) because it’s putting one of India’s cricketing legends in a bad light. He has been one of India’s all-time great cricketers.”

The term started to be used after Vinoo Mankad ran out Australia’s Bill Brown in a Test match at the Sydney Cricket Ground in 1947, after he left the crease before the ball was released, despite being given more than one warning by Mankad.

Gavaskar added, “If it has to be referred by somebody’s name, it should be (named after) the non-striker. Who, despite being warned twice by Mr Mankad … he left (his crease). And the third time was when Mankad removed the bails and so suddenly there was an uproar created. Our legend’s name should not be spoiled. If you want to call it anything, just say the batsman was ‘Browned’, not ‘Mankaded’.”

This particular way of getting the batsman out has always been in the rules of the game, but has been looked upon as unsporting way of getting a wicket. However, the counter argument holds more weight, as the Marylebone Cricket Club recently announced. In an update to the Laws of Cricket, the MCC put the onus back on the batsmen to stay within the crease as the bowler gets into his delivery stride.

“It is often the bowler who is criticised for attempting such a run out but it is the batsman who is attempting to gain an advantage,” the MCC said. “The message to the non-striker is very clear – if you do not want to risk being run out, stay within your ground until the bowler has released the ball.”

Gavaskar agreed with this, and said, “There’s no debate as far as I’m concerned. If the batsman is trying to take an unfair advantage by leaving the crease before the ball has been delivered, I think the bowler has every right to remove the bails. Even without warning him.”

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