Is ‘Mankading’ a skill-less dismissal?
However it is brought about, a dismissal if legitimate according to the laws of the game, should be considered fair and no discussion whatsoever of the possibility of that falling against the spirit of the game should be considered and adhered to.
Having said that, as much as my opinion on the subject matters, does yours. And that is equivalent to nil. But this certainly has reinstated the long forgotten debate about how much does cricket need to look past the laws to stay a gentleman’s game. Imagine the life of a rationalist cricket aficionado, dealing with this thought for years.
Cricket, in its undefined proximity, capitalizes on the romanticized fanaticism and undesired criticism. Romanticized fanaticism leads to a hyperbolic evasiveness often taking away the seriousness of the arguments. Undesired criticism makes deliberate attempts to defame skillful analogies made by cognition. The amalgamation of both leads to a pointless trend on twitter.
But that still doesn’t answer the question. Is ‘Mankading’ a skill-less dismissal? Every game requires use of different kinds of skills in order to affect a win. What Keemo Paul did that day to end Zimbabwe’s road in Under-19 World Cup should come under skills or not is the question we are answering here.
This falling under spirit of the game was never a question at all. If ever that was a question, Don Bradman answered in his autobiography ‘Farewell to Cricket’ aptly:
“An early sensation came in Australia’s innings when Brown was once more run out by Mankad, who, in the act of delivering the ball, held on to it and whipped the bails off with Brown well out of his crease,” Bradman wrote about the incident.
“This had happened in the Indian match against Queensland, and immediately in some quarters Mankad’s sportsmanship was questioned. 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.”
“If not, why is the provision there which enables the bowler to run him out?”
“By backing up too far or too early the non-striker is very obviously gaining an unfair advantage … there was absolutely no feeling in the matter as far as we were concerned, for we considered it quite a legitimate part of the game.”
So we should get back to arguing if this requires a proper cricketing skill or not. Every sport is about a dedicated list of skill-sets. Sport is about learning and practicing skills to overpower your opponents.
Mankading is somewhat similar to run-out or stumping, if we go by the type of dismissal. It involves the batsman left stranded outside the crease while the bails have been knocked off. A run out requires a lot of athletic stamina as well as skill-set while a stumping requires extremity of quick reflexes.
But what does ‘Mankading’ require? An eye on the non-striker’s end while running up to deliver the ball? That’s it. Is it? Or it requires bowler to showcase some unparalleled skills and reflexes? It does require reflexes but hasn’t the bowler pre-mediated the dismissal? He is not going to bowl that delivery as he has already seen the non-striker leaving the crease early during previous deliveries. Does that make it a skill less wicket? I assume that. Do you?
Then again, the debate arises about morality and professionalism. Do they overlap? At times they don’t when cricket is at centre of discussion. As a thorough professional, a bowler’s job is to dismiss the batsmen in whatever way he can under the rules of cricket. And he ought to consider modes like ‘mankading’ as well. But does that break the moral values of a cricketer? An unusual form of dismissal falls against the spirit of the game or they say so. I do not agree to that.
Whether you agree to that is a discussion to remain unperturbed. For time being let’s not ‘mankad’ the batsmen while playing in our streets on Sunday mornings. But let’s not also question the morale values of a professional cricketer. He is doing his job.
How about doing ours?