Cricket is a contest between the bat and ball. While the batsman tries to score as many runs as possible, the bowler leaves no stone unturned in sending the former to the pavilion as soon as possible. One such unique way of bamboozling the player at the non-striker’s end is ‘Mankading.’ The process involves running the non-striker out even before the ball has been bowled.
Critics are divided over whether ‘Mankading’ is an appropriate way to end a player’s stay at the crease. While some argue that the bowlers are already at a disadvantage since the rules generally swing in favour of the batter and hence ‘Mankading’ is a correct mode of dismissal, others tend to disregard it by pointing out that this unique way of running out someone is against the spirit of the gentleman’s game.
Former Indian spinner Murali Kartik in an interview with Ravichandran Ashwin recalled an incident where during an encounter between Surrey and Somerset, Kartik had mankaded Somerset’s batter, Alex Barrow. The crowd instantly started booing, and the left-armer’s wife had to leave the ground, given her safety. Kartik further added that people were so riled up that the crowd almost entered the dressing room.
“My wife ran away from the ground. It was that kind of a threat with the crowd booing and all. They almost entered the dressing room,” Kartik told Ashwin on the latter’s YouTube show.
Expounding his side of the story, the 44-year old adumbrated that he had warned the batsman thrice before taking the haunting step. The Chennai-born also expressed his resolve to run all the eleven batters out in the same manner if they try to steal a run from under the nose of the bowler before the delivery is bowled.
“In my case, I warned the batsman thrice. They never spoke about that. Despite the warning, they are blaming the bowler. I am ready to run out all the 11 batsmen if they step out before I deliver the ball,” Kartik enunciated.
However, the cricketer-turned-commentator also revealed that though he had done ‘mankading’ on five previous instances, this particular incident panned eyes as he had represented Somerset for three seasons, and the county side wasn’t happy with him when he left them to join Surrey.
“I had done it (Mankading) five times before but it became a controversy because I did it against Somerset, a club for which I had played for three years. Somerset was already upset that I went to Surrey. They had so many accusations against me – that my wife liked city life and that’s why I went to London, they must be paying him more, etc. So, Somerset was my previous team, which is why it became so huge,” he divulged.
Defending his unique mode of dismissal, Kartik also stated that stalwarts of the game like Michael Holding, Nasser Hussain and David Lloyd backed the tweaker for this unexpected step.
“I think Sri Lanka and England were playing at that time. Michael Holding, Nasser Hussain and Bumble (David Lloyd) – were all asked whether what Murali Kartik did was correct or wrong. All of them said, Murali Kartik was correct, the batsman was at fault,” Kartik remarked.
Meanwhile, Ashwin also had to face severe backlash when he had ‘mankaded’ Jos Buttler in a contest between Punjab Kings (PBKS)– formerly Kings XI Punjab- and Rajasthan Royals (RR) during Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019.
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