Video of Kapil Dev Mankading Kirsten. -- Youtube
Australia's opening batsman Bill Brown was run out in the Second Test at Sydney Cricket Ground yesterday for the second time this season -- while backing up at the bowler's end.... Brown's dismissal caused heated discussion in the members' stand. Even the Pressbox was the scene of a debate as to whether Mankad was guilty of a sporting breach....
Although a run out in this fashion is permissible, it is not regarded as a sportsmanlike thing under ordinary circumstances. But in the light of a previous warning, and a dismissal, Brown was foolish to take liberties with Mankad. And a foot gained at the bowler's end is still a foot gained at the wicketkeeper's end. However, Brown's backing-ip was not as exaggerated as when he last played in Sydney. Mankad can scarcely be called a bad sport for trapping Brown. As Mankad bowls left-hand round the wicket, he has an excellent view of anyone trying to get a "led out" from the popping-crease.
The first time he had Brown at his mercy, he beckoned the batsman back with a crooked finger when Brown was a yard out of his ground. This was hailed as one of the most sporting acts ever seen at the SCG. Yerstand there was no warning -- just lightning-like action. -- Ginty Lush.
The most famous incident of this method of dismissal involved the Indian bowler Vinoo Mankad. It occurred during India's tour of Australia on 13 December 1947 in the second Test match 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. This was the second time Mankad had dismissed Brown in this fashion on this tour - he had done it in an earlier match against an Australian XI. On that occasion he had warned Brown once before running him out. 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. Instances of bowlers running batsmen out this way in first class cricket date back to the nineteenth century. But after this incident, if a batsman is given out this way, he is said to have been Mankaded.
Since then the Laws of cricket have changed, so that a bowler may no longer Mankad a batsman once he has entered into his delivery stride. -- Wikipedia, Jul 26 2010.
Md Rahmatullah writes in from Japan to raise the more thorny question of whether it is right for a bowler to run out a non-striker who is backing up too far - also known as Mankading, after the great Indian allrounder, Vinoo Mankad, who did it twice to Bill Brown in Australia in 1947-48. There is a tradition in the game that if a non-striker backs up too far, the bowler should warn him, and only if he continues should he be Mankaded. Courtney Walsh was praised for doing just this in a match against Pakistan in the 1987 World Cup, which cost West Indies a place in the semi-final. And a decade ago, Kapil Dev did run out Peter Kirsten in just this fashion, in a one-day international at Port Elizabeth. Kepler Wessels, then South Africa's captain, was rather mad at Kapil, and hit him on the shins with his bat, supposedly accidently. But was Kapil wrong?
A non-striker who backs up too far is not only committing an illegal act according to the laws of the game - and therefore should be run out without a warning - but he is also engaged in what is effectively cheating - wilful or otherwise. He is, in other words, contravening both cricket's laws and the wider moral laws of society. But there is another unwritten code between players that affects their behaviour, and that code is the repository of the taboo upon Mankading someone. It is an illogical rule, in my opinion - a non-striker backing up too far is committing an illegal act, in trying to steal a run, and deserves punishment. The threat of Mankading adds an extra dimension to the game, and frankly, I would rather enjoy it.
Wraye Wenigmann, who is a scorer in Germany and writes for cricket.de, suggests that Isaac Asimov's first law of robotics ("A robot may not harm a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm") should be adapted to cricket. "Perhaps," she says, "we could change the Preamble to the laws to state, `No cricketer, through action or inaction, may bring the game into disrepute.'" That would, according to her, make a passive act, as Mike Brearley would have put it, as culpable as an active one. (A passive act? Well, you know what I mean.) -- Amit Varma