Sunday, February 2, 2020

U19 World Cup - Mankad back in news !!


The Cabinet Mission sent in March 1946 by the Government of Clement Attlee cleared the path towards freedom, but that process would prove tumultuous, with large-scale communal riots in Calcutta that August giving a taste of what was to come a year later when the country was partitioned.  That was still a time when the Nation was nearing pangs of birth, but Cricket was still important for the British;  undeterred by war and despite the continuing domestic unrest, an Indian team sailed for England ~ it turned out to be the last team from undivided India to tour Britain.Iftikhar Ali Khan, the Nawab of Pataudi, who had made his debut for England during the infamous Bodyline Series of 1932-33, was now leading the nation of his birth. The Indian cricket board had voted to give him captaincy over Vijay Merchant by ten votes to eight !!  ~ a Captain selection by votes !  - part of that team was the famous all rounder.

Have seen Ashok Mankad play at Marina; he  was one of the   great cricketing brains in India, especially leading Mafatlals in Buchi Babu Trophy.  His father  Mulvantrai Himmatlal Mankad  known as Vinoo Mankad, the  more illustrious taking 162 wickets and scoring 2109 runs in Tests is the man in news often.  Ashok Mankad did not succeed in a big way, though immensely talented.  His brothers Rahul Mankad and Atul Mankad were also first class cricketers.  He was married to Nirupama Mankad who was a former Asian Tennis champion. Their son Harsh was a member of Indian Davis Cup team. 

Cricket Australia will consider sanctions on a number of players from the Under-19 squad after a post on Instagram by batsman Jake Fraser-McGurk invited comments that seemingly mocked non-native English speakers. The image Fraser-McGurk posted of himself batting and captioned "Quarter Finals here we come" shortly after Australia's victory over England prompted a series of replies from team-mates, which have subsequently been removed and commenting has been disabled.

Jake Fraser-McGurk will not take any further part at the Under-19 World Cup in South Africa and return home instead as a precautionary measure after being scratched on the face by a monkey at a nature reserve while on a team outing in Kimberley. Australia's dreams of winning the title for a fourth time ended after they went down to India, and Fraser-McGurk had a particularly forgettable time of it, run-out first ball - without facing a ball - in Australia's unsuccessful chase of 234. The incident at the nature park took place when the team took a break following their last-ball win over England on January 23, and after consultation with medical staff and family members, "it was deemed necessary for Fraser-McGurk to return to Australia for precautionary treatment within seven days of the accident."  .. at the time of posting this, Australia needs another 32 runs in 16 balls  with 4 wickets in hand against Afganishtan.

In the U19 World Cup Semis – Indians play Pakis while Kiwis would play Bangladesh- both the matches would be played at at Potchefstroom.  Kartik Tyagi, the right-arm quick’s 4 for 24 helped India knock Australia out of the Under-19 World Cup in the quarterfinal stage and keep alive the team's hopes of defending their title. Despite half-centuries from Yashasvi Jaiswal and Atharva Ankolekar, India's 233 was competitive without being commanding. They needed something special with the new ball against a team that had chased 250-plus in their previous game, against England. It was Tyagi's opportunity to shine. There was a bonus wicket first ball as Jake Fraser-McGurk ran himself out, but then Tyagi took centre stage. The Australian captain Mackenzie Harvey was trapped lbw and Lachlan Hearne bowled with an inswinging yorker, all in one over, to leave Australia three down after six balls. Tyagi later picked up a wicket each in his next two spells, all of top-six batsmen.

When Tyagi was 11, his father and uncle realised he was going nowhere with his studies, and that he had to find a career elsewhere. One thing his father did not want was for his son to be what he was - a farmer. In fact, Tyagi was kept so far away from it that he doesn't even remember what his father cultivates.  There are many youngsters in the present bunch who have come up from very poor family background. 

In an earlier match, electing to bat - Afghanistan started well but stuttered. Their captain Farhan Zakhil received two early reprieves, after which he batted defensively to top score with 40, but the others didn't tread the same degree of caution.   By the time Afghanistan's legspinner Shafiqullah Ghafari was introduced into the attack, Pakistan's openers had knocked off more than 25% of the target. Noor Ahmed, their wicket-taking option, came into the attack when Pakistan were already at 60 for no loss.

The talking point was - Afghanistan left-arm wristspinner Noor Ahmad running  out Pakistan opener Mohammad Huraira at the non-striker's end in the fourth Super League quarter-final at the Under-19 World Cup, whipping the bails off in his delivery stride with the opener having left his crease. On-field umpire Sam Nogajski referred the matter to Roly Black, the third umpire, and replays confirmed Huraira was out of his crease when Ahmad broke the stumps. Huraira, who was making his Youth ODI debut, was run out for a 76-ball 64. His wicket left Pakistan 127 for 4, but they were still comfortably placed, needing a further 63 runs to win in 134 balls. Afghanistan had earlier been bowled out for 189. Pakistan eventually won by six wickets in 41.1 overs.

Then came the hue and cry some orchestrated, that the act was not "in the spirit of the game". Afghanistan captain Farhan Zakhil sheepishly conceded after the match, "To be honest, it was not in the spirit of the game." Batsman Huraira also accepted he had made a mistake, one he wouldn't make again. "I should've been in the crease, and I'll learn from the mistake. I'll ensure it isn't repeated again," he said.

English pace bowler James Anderson called for the controversial law to be "removed" after seeing the footage. "I think there are enough ways to get a batsman out involving skill, either as a bowler or fielder). I don't think I've played with anyone who feels like this is a legitimate way of getting someone out," Anderson tweeted.

To perform a Mankad, the bowler removes the bails at the non-striker's end before the ball is released. If the non-striking batsman is out of his crease, the fielding side has every right to appeal for a wicket.- but what is wrong – it is a legitimate dismissal and here is what the great Sir Donald Bradman had to say on ‘mankading !’ - "For the life of me, I can't understand why they 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," Bradman wrote in his autobiography.

"By backing up too far or too early, the non-striker is very obviously gaining an unfair advantage." It's spelled out clearly in Article 41.16.1 of the Laws of Cricket. "If the non-striker is out of his/her ground at any time from the moment the ball comes into play until the instant when the bowler would normally have been expected to release the ball, the non-striker is liable to be run out."  It is absolutely legal.   "The emphasis of Spirit of Cricket should be for the non-striker to stay in his ground until the release of the ball."
So  what is the controversy all about – when you are the non-striker, stay within the crease, till the ball leaves the hand of the  bowler ! ~ and when there is rule, what non-sense of prior-warning ! – would anyone drop a catch, miss a stumping or a run-out, simply because the batsman is on threshold of a milestone ?  Spirit is in keeping with the rules and not cheating .. .. and those who claimed fake catches, teams that indulged in Vaseline and ball tampering .. .. and more are now talking..

The earliest of these type of out involved Vinoo Mankad and occurred during India's tour of Australia on 13 Dec 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  instances of such outs in Tests and  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 vIndia, Port Elizabeth, 1992-93;  Derek Randall by Ewen Chatfield, England v New Zealand, Christchurch, 1977–1978;  Sikander Bakht by Alan Hurst, Pakistan v Australia, Perth, 1978–1979;  Jos Buttler by Sachithra Senanayake, England v Sri Lanka, Edgbaston, 2014.

Ravi Ashwin once mankaded Jos Butler in IPL match 2019 and the famous English press, ex-cricketers, Shane Warne all talked against it – forgetting the past and hiding the fact that it is LEGAL.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
2nd Feb 2020.

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