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India cricket greats welcome ‘Mankad’ run out law change

Several rule changes were announced by the MCC this week, and will come into effect on October 1.

India greats such as Sachin Tendulkar on Thursday welcomed cricket’s governing body changing the law on controversial “Mankad” run outs, which will no longer be classed as “unfair play”.

The rare mode of dismissal — where a bowler runs out the non-striker in their delivery stride if the batter is out of his crease — was named after Indian all-rounder Vinoo Mankad, who 75 years ago ran out Bill Brown twice in that fashion on a tour of Australia in 1947. 

The nickname for that type of dismissal has stuck ever since, much to the annoyance of Mankad, who died in 1978, and other Indian cricketers.

The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), the custodians of the sport’s laws, have always held such dismissals are legitimate and batters should not seek to gain an advantage by backing up out of their ground.

But confusingly, the dismissal was listed under Law 41: “Unfair Play”.

But in one of several changes announced by the MCC this week that will come into effect from October 1, it will now be covered under Law 38: “Run Out”.

“I was always uncomfortable with that particular dismissal being called Mankaded,” Tendulkar said in a video message.

“I am really happy that it’s been changed to run out. It always should have been run out according to me. So this is one good news for all of us.”

Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin ran out England’s Jos Buttler at the non-striker’s end in an Indian Premier League game in 2019 and was widely criticised for acting against the spirit of cricket.

England pace great Stuart Broad on Wednesday said, despite the law change, he would not run someone out with a Mankad.

“I think it is unfair & wouldn’t consider it, as in my opinion, dismissing a batter is about skill & the Mankad requires zero skill,” Broad wrote on Twitter.

Former India batsman WV Raman responded: “It is not about skill, but getting punished for a crime. Of course, on a cricket field, it is about disregarding the laws of the game.

“A traffic cop doesn’t display skill when he books someone for jumping a traffic signal!

“The most important thing about the modification in the rule is that it won’t be called Mankading.

“At long last common sense prevails and an all-rounder of great skills will not be tarnished any more.”

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Indian batting great Sunil Gavaskar strongly objected to the term Mankading and called for it to be dropped, saying it sullied the name. If anything, he said, it should be “Browned not Mankaded”.

Tnere are several other changes to the laws.

The use of saliva on the ball will be banned, which also removes any grey area of fielders sucking sweets or mints to help keep the shine.

The law around judging a wide has also been amended, with bowlers given more leeway because batters now move more in their crease before a ball is bowled.

The incoming batter will now be on strike for the next ball after a catch, regardless of whether the batters cross while the ball is in the air — a change designed to reward the bowler for taking a wicket. 

The only time a new batter will not face the next delivery is if the wicket falls with the last ball of an over.

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