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Wednesday, March 9, 2022

MCC rule changes ! - Mankading would no longer be ugly !!

 In U19 WC - 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.  Then came the hue and cry some orchestrated, that the act was not "in the spirit of the game".  .. .. another game !  - see the photo and decide for yourself whether bowler would be wrong in trying to run out the batsman who is already stealing few yards !!!

Test no. 2452 at Mohali  was over in less than 3 days, India won by a huge margin and would be remembered individually by some players.  Ravichandran Ashwin went past legend Kapil Dev becoming the 2nd highest wicket-taker.  MoM was    Ravindra Jadeja who had a fabulous outing, smashing an unbeaten 175 and continued his brilliant run with the ball -   he ended up picking a five-wicket haul to achieve a rare double in the longest format.  Jadeja became only the sixth player in the world to score 150-plus runs and pick up a five-wicket haul in a Test match. He has now joined the likes of legendary Gary Sobers, Vinoo Mankad and Polly Umrigar among others in an elite list of players who achieved the rare double feat in the same Test match.

Have seen Ashok Mankad play at Marina; he  was one of the   greatest  cricketing brains in India, especially for Bombay team and in  leading Mafatlals in Buchi Babu Trophy.  His father  Mulvantrai Himmatlal Mankad  known as Vinoo Mankad, was the  more illustrious taking 162 wickets in Tests is the man in news often.  Ashok Mankad did not succeed in a big way, though immensely talented, perhaps introduction of helmets would have changed his way.  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.

Vinoo Mankad played 44 Tests, scored 2,109 runs at 31.47, took 162 wickets at 32.32, and was an opening batsman and slow left arm orthodox bowler, known as one of India’s greatest-ever all-rounders. His most famous feat was against England at Lord's in 1952 when he scored 72 and 184 and bowled 97 overs in the match. He is one of only three cricketers to have batted in every position during his Test career.  

You perhaps would remember ‘mankading’ too.  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.- 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."

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.

All that is set to change – and Mankading would no longer be ugly or wrong !! - Custodian of cricket laws, the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), has decided to move the law relating to run-outs at non-striker's end from "unfair play" section besides completely banning the use of saliva to shine the ball in amendments to its 2022 code that will come into effect in October 2022.An updated code of the Laws was approved by the MCC's main committee this week. The changes will also allow greater leeway to the bowler in the judging of wides when a batter has moved across the crease, and see the introduction of penalty runs for the batting side should a fielder be deemed to have moved unfairly.

Previously, if the two batters crossed before a catch was taken, the new batter would go to the non-striker's end; now they will always be on strike - unless it is the end of the over - in a move that was proposed as a way of further rewarding the bowler for taking a wicket. 

The wording that covers a player being run out by the bowler while backing up - often referred to as Mankading - has been moved from Law 41 (Unfair play) to Law 38 (Run out), in a further attempt to remove some of the stigma around such dismissals."The bowler is always painted as the villain but it is a legitimate way to dismiss someone and it is the non-striker who is stealing the ground," Fraser Stewart, MCC Laws Manager, told the Times. "It is legitimate, it is a run-out and therefore it should live in the run-out section of the laws."

The prohibition of saliva as a means of shining the ball came about through changes to playing conditions during Covid, with MCC's research suggesting it had had "little or no impact" on bowlers' ability to generate swing. Making this the default position was felt to remove any ambiguity around the use of mints or sweets to change the condition of the ball - something that was already banned.

The rewording of Law 22.1, meanwhile, means that wide calls will "apply to where the batter is standing, where the striker has stood at any point since the bowler began their run-up, and which would also have passed wide of the striker in a normal batting position".

The amendment (Law Dead ball) - suggests that the calling of Dead ball takes into account "if either side is disadvantaged by a person, animal or other object within the field of play.""From a pitch invader to a dog running onto the field, sometimes there is outside interference if this is the case, and it has a material impact on the game, the umpires will call and signal Dead ball."

The amendment [Law 22.1 Judging a Wide] - takes into account movement of a batter before the ball is bowled."It was felt unfair that a delivery might be called 'Wide' if it passes where the batter had stood as the bowler entered his/her delivery stride."Therefore, Law 22.1 has been amended so that a Wide will apply to where the batter is standing, where the striker has stood at any point since the bowler began their run up, and which would also have passed wide of the striker in a normal batting position."

Change is the only constant and old order changeth, yielding place to new !


With regards – S. Sampathkumar
9th Mar 2022.

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