Mankading in cricket has always been a polarizing topic with debates and discussions always surrounding the law. 

A high-profile Mankading incident that took place involving Ravichandran Ashwin and Jos Buttler in the 2019 edition of the Indian T20 League sparked off the spirit of cricket dispute with people divided over the legitimacy and nature of the dismissal.   

With all the hype surrounding it, we delved into the Mankading rule, its origin and the legality of the mode of dismissal. 

What does Mankading mean in cricket?

Mankad in cricket is a run-out attempt made by the bowler before his delivery stride to dismiss the batter at the non-striker’s end. After the latest update in the law, the dismissal is termed as a run-out at the non-striker's end.

The origin of Mankading dates back to 1947 when the Indian team toured Australia. Vinoo Mankad, Indian opener and slow left-arm orthodox bowler, is credited to have pulled off this mode of dismissal for the very first time in cricket.

During one of his overs after observing that the non-striker was frequently out of his crease at the point of delivery, Mankad stopped in his delivery stride and took the bails off from the non-striker’s end, dismissing Bill Brown during the second Test. And thus, began the ‘Mankading’ era.

Mankad came in for heavy backlash, especially from the Australian media, for showing ‘unsportsmanlike’ conduct, but former Australian captain Don Bradman didn’t see what all the fuss was about.

“For the life of me I cannot understand why. The laws of cricket make it quite clear that the non-striker must keep within his ground until the ball has been delivered,” Don Bradman wrote in his autobiography.

Is Mankading legal in cricket?

The attempt of dismissing a batter by Mankading is within the laws of cricket. Previously, Mankad was considered an unfair practice under Law 41 of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) - the guardians of the cricket laws.  

As per the law, ‘If the non-striker is out of his/her ground from the moment the ball comes into play to the instant when the bowler would normally have been expected to release the ball, the bowler is permitted to attempt to run him/her out. Whether the attempt is successful or not, the ball shall not count as one in the over.’ 

However, as per the latest amendments in the cricket laws made by the MCC, Mankading or dismissing a batter who is out of his crease at the non-striker’s end before the delivery of the ball will now be considered a run-out.

Deepti Sharma's Mankad run-out incident during a women's ODI at Lord's in September 2022 raised multiple eyebrows. Deepti dismissed England's Charlie Dean to win a close encounter. While multiple experts expressed their concern about it, the umpires deemed it a fair dismissal, considering the latest amendments to the Mankad law.

Featured photo: Saeed Khan / AFP