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Locked Myself and Cried: Keemo Paul on 'Mankad' Backlash

Windies pacer Keemo Paul came to light in the Under-19 World 2016, especially when he 'mankaded' Zimbabwe's Richard Ngarava in the last over of a thrilling match to take his side to the knockouts.

Cricketnext Staff |March 29, 2019, 1:44 PM IST
Locked Myself and Cried: Keemo Paul on 'Mankad' Backlash

Windies pacer Keemo Paul came to light in the Under-19 World 2016, especially when he 'mankaded' Zimbabwe's Richard Ngarava in the last over of a thrilling match to take his side to the knockouts.

West Indies went on to win the tournament, Paul later made it to the senior team and now even has an IPL contract with the Delhi Capitals. However, the backlash he got, mainly from ex players on social media, after the dismissal has affected him so much that he's unlikely to repeat the mode of dismissal in future

"At first, it was definitely tough," Paul told ESPNcricinfo. "I just locked myself away. I saw it on BBC. I read a lot of comments on social media. I took it hard. I cried a lot. And wondered if I did the right thing but my coaching staff and everyone else supported me very well.

"After I did it, after seeing all the comments, I was definitely devastated you know. But after the coaches supported me a lot, especially Corey Collymore, he came to me and said don't worry it is in the rules and you don't have to worry. That's when I started to gain confidence again. After reading all the comments and stuff, I just wanted to lock myself away and forget about it."

Paul stressed he was right in running the non-striker out, but the fear of criticism makes it difficult for him to do it again.

"Definitely I believed what I did was right. I was only 17, I came down hard on myself, kept wondering if I did the right thing. That was just instinct. Now I have matured more and I don't think I will probably do it again," he said.

"After I did it there was definitely a lot of doubt and I got a lot of stick for it and like I said, I saw some players who I looked up to (criticising me). The rules are there. We don't write them. We just follow the rules.

"I would say it is the fear of criticism. I got a lot of backlash for it. I would probably not do it. The criticisms and harsh comments. They are not right, but again, in my heart I definitely believe it is right but because of the how the game is today and because of the criticism you face, it is tough. I probably wouldn't do it again."

The mode of dismissal is in the news once again after Kings XI Punjab R Ashwin ran out Rajasthan Royals batsman Jos Buttler in their IPL game earlier in the week. Paul said he could get more confidence and belief if a player like Ashwin backs up his action.

"I mean if he backs it up, it will definitely give me confidence," he said. "Ashwin is a senior player. A lot of people look up to him. He wouldn't go out of the rules, he will play within the rules. It will definitely give you confidence and belief."

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