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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Thirimanne incident at Brisbane, Sehwag retracts and lets Match go !

All is not well with Indian Cricket – they suffered another humiliating loss at Brisbane, this time at the hands of Sri Lankans.  News papers suggests of a tiff between Dhoni and Sehwag even as Sachin had another failure !

Have seen Ashok Mankad, who was touted to a great cricketing brain play, especially leading Mafatlals in Buchi Babu Trophy.  His father  Mulvantrai Himmatlal Mankad  known as Vinoo Mankad was more illustrious taking 162 wickets and scoring 2109 runs in Tests.  At Chennai way back in 1956 against New Zealand he hit 231 in an opening partnership of 413 with Pankaj Roy which stood as a record for 52 years.

Little has been heard of the left handed bat  - Hettige Don Rumesh Lahiru Thirimanne, who was in the eye of the storm yesterday at Brisbane.  In the 40th over of the Sri Lankan innings at the Gabba, R Ashwin spotted the non-striker Lahiru Thirimanne was about three feet outside the crease even as his back foot was about to land. Ashwin didn't go through with his delivery, turned around, ran Thirimanne out, and appealed.  The Umpire Paul REiffel  instead of declaring him out, discussed with Billy Bowden and then   asked Sehwag whether he was appealing.  A thoughtful Sehwag reversed; Thirimanne  then batting on 42,  went onto score 63 which eventually saw the Lankan total swell to 289.

Virender Sehwag  was to state later that  Ashwin had warned Thirimanne before running him out for backing up too much before the ball was bowled; but withdrew the appeal showing the softer side.    It is clearly within the rules – the revised ICC rules allows the bowlers to run out the non striker backing up before delivery.  Earlier, it had to be done before entering the delivery stride, now the bowler can do the same anytime before releasing the ball.    Jayawardene tried to play it by stating that he would not have made such an appeal !! – but Thirimanne, though, kept backing up too far even after the let-off. He was careful with Ashwin, but with Vinay Kumar and Irfan Pathan, he kept taking the liberty.   To this Sehwag’s response was more queer :  "Because they were not aware," Sehwag said. "You have to be aware. Ashwin was aware, and I was aware when I was bowling. You have to be aware when the non-striker is taking a start." – is what Sehwag reportedly said !!

At Trent Bridge last year, the Indian team had a change of heart,  when Ian Bell was given run out just before Tea, and withdrew the appeal after much storm brewed in Tea interval.  Here it was clear that Thirimanne was trying to gain unfair advantage and the Out was well within the rules !

Laws 30 to 39 discuss the various ways a batsman may be dismissed. Law 38: describes  Run out. A batsman is out if at any time while the ball is in play no part of his bat or person is grounded behind the popping crease and his wicket is fairly put down by the opposing side.  A batsman may be dismissed Run out whether or not a run is being attempted, even if the delivery is a no ball (i.e. not a fair delivery). The rule is very clear in the description “Running out a batsman "backing up".  As a bowler enters his delivery stride, the non-striking batsman usually 'backs up'. This means he leaves his popping crease and walks towards the other end of the wicket so that it will take him less time for him to reach the other end if he and his batting partner choose to attempt a run. When the batsman leaves the popping crease before delivery, the bowler may attempt to run the non-striker out.  This is clearly legal.

The earliest of these type of out involved Vinoo Mankad and occurred during India's tour of Australia on 13 December 1947 in the second Test at Sydney. Mankad ran out Bill Brown when, in the act of delivering the ball, he held on to it and whipped the bails off with Brown well out of his crease. The Australian press strongly accused Mankad of being unsportsmanlike, though some Australians, including Don Bradman, the Australian captain at the time, defended Mankad's actions.   After this this type of run out came to be known as ‘Mankaded’.

There have been 4 instances of such outs in Tests and 3 in One dayers which includes :           Brian Luckhurst by Greg Chappell, England v Australia, Melbourne, 1974-75; Grant Flower by Dipak Patel, Zimbabwe v New Zealand, Harare, 1992-93 and Peter Kirsten by Kapil Dev, South Africa v India, Port Elizabeth, 1992-93.

Courtney Walsh of the West Indies famously refused to mankad last man Saleem Jaffar of Pakistan for backing up too far in a group match in the 1987 World Cup, but let him off with a warning. Pakistan went on to win the match while the defeat cost the West Indies a place in the semi-final. The same thing was repeated in a 2003 Test match in Multan between Bangladesh and Pakistan. Pakistan eventually won the Test match by just 1 wicket. Mohammad Rafique of Bangladesh did not run out Umar Gul of Pakistan. If Rafique had broken the wicket Bangladesh would have had a famous Test victory.  Sehwag has gone one step further, has withdrawn the appeal after Ashwin breaking the stumps and appealing; - the result was similar though, Indians losing the match !!!!!!!!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

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