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'Grey Area' Spirit of Cricket Shouldn't Be Invoked for Mankad, Unfair to Judge Bowlers: Dinesh Karthik

KKR Captain Dinesh Karthik said a bowler should be allowed to mankad batsmen without invoking spirit of cricket
Photo IPL

KKR Captain Dinesh Karthik said a bowler should be allowed to mankad batsmen without invoking spirit of cricket Photo IPL

Dinesh Karthik has said a bowler should be allowed to 'Mankad' a non-striker without being subjected to criticism invoking 'so called spirit of cricket'.

Dinesh Karthik has said a bowler should be allowed to ‘Mankad’ a non-striker without being subjected to criticism invoking ‘so called spirit of cricket’.

Talking to Cricketnext as part of the Laws of Cricket Challenge, the Kolkata Knight Riders captain said the rule should be ‘watertight and black or white’ with no scope for grey areas like subjective use of spirit of cricket.

“I think every time a batsman crosses (the line before ball is delivered), the bowler should be allowed to create a run out. I don’t think there is any spirit of cricket question that is there in that. Because I feel if a batsman nicks a ball and he doesn’t walk, where is the spirit then?" he told Cricketnext.

“I think you need to be fair. You should take it out of the bowler’s hand and the umpire’s hand. It is either out or a not out, that’s all. There is no question of asking the captain, asking the referee and those kind of things.

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“I think a batsman at the point of delivery should definitely stay within the crease, as simple as that. If the batsman goes out, then the bowler can dislodge the bails and there should be no question about that.

“Because that means every time the batsman does that, and people feel the bowler, by creating a run out is cheating, then every time a batsman taking 2 metres is cheating again. So why nobody complains about the batsman backing up? That’s always been my view."

Karthik said it’s unfair to judge bowlers who ‘Mankad’ batsmen as the rule applies to both sides.

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“And I also feel rules need to be watertight and there is no question of… it’s either black or white, it’s as simple as that. There should be no grey areas for people to use a loophole and find out. Spirit of cricket I feel is a massive grey area that people tend to use whenever they’re not comfortable with something that they’re doing," he said.

“Then they get a little too personal, they get into the player’s personality, start judging people on what they’ve done. I think that’s a bit unfair. I think the rules need to be very clear. It should be out or not out. If it’s out or not out, the bowler and the fielding team have the ability to do it every time. As simple as that. If the rule applies to the bowling team, I’m sure when they start to bat the opponent can also do it. It needs to be very simple and clear."

The Mankad - an unofficial term for a dismissal where in the bowler runs out the non-striker before delivering the ball - has been in the news once again with Delhi Capitals head coach Ricky Ponting saying he wouldn’t allow his bowler R Ashwin to use it in IPL 2020, like he did to Jos Buttler in 2019.

Law 41.16 of MCC, which deals with ‘Non-striker leaving his/her ground early’, clearly states that a bowler is allowed to run out a non-striker leaving his ground early.

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Following the Ashwin-Buttler incident, the custodians of Laws of Cricket MCC also clarified that the dismissal is not against the spirit of cricket.

“To clarify, it has never been in the Laws that a warning should be given to the non-striker and nor is it against the Spirit of Cricket to run out a non-striker who is seeking to gain an advantage by leaving his/her ground early," the MCC had said.

Karthik also suggested an alternative to stop batsmen from crossing the crease in case ‘so-called pundits’ felt the dismissal was against ‘spirit of cricket’.

“Or if you want to take it out of the bowler’s hands, and create a so called spirit of cricket, then like having a camera for a no ball, you need to just observe through that camera if the batsman is in the crease at the time of delivery," he explained.

“If he is not, then whatever happens in that ball - disallow it except a wicket falling. That’s the best way to go about it because once that happens, batsmen will be far more cautious and there will be more equality between batting and bowling, and more so between bowlers and so called pundits who are not happy with what the bowlers are doing."

Interestingly, Karthik said he would not allow his bowler to ‘Mankad’ a batsman but stressed he wouldn’t judge any bowler or captain who supports the dismissal.

“I keep saying this. As a captain, I wouldn’t allow my bowler. If my bowler does it, I won’t accept it as a dismissal. Because I feel that it’s okay, it’s not necessary, our bowlers have the skill levels to do a proper dismissal," he said.

“But once the rule is in place that it is a run out, then it takes the question out of me deciding or not. It is a run out, that’s all. The bowler has done it, that’s all, it is fair play. As a captain I wouldn’t allow or accept that as a dismissal if it is left to my hands because I feel my bowlers have the skill to take a wicket. As simple as that, I would leave it at that. But I wouldn’t judge another captain if he accepts that as a run out. It’s fine. That is a form of dismissal and please go ahead with it.

“What should be made clear is the fact that the batsmen should stay in his crease at the point of delivery, that’s it."