Former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar is known to speak his mind, and this time around he has expressed his opinion on the rather controversial rule in cricket — mankad. The rule is given its name after another Indian legend Vinoo Mankad, which is not acceptable at all to Gavaskar. During RCB’s match against Delhi Capitals, when Aaron Finch was miles out of his crease, Ashwin warned him for the same.
On air, Gavaskar said “Ashwin had tried to ‘Brown’ Finch”. Bill Brown, for reference, is the first player who was run out for leaving his crease by Vinoo Mankad way back in 1947.
Talking to Indian Express on the issue, Gavaskar said, “They have fielding restrictions that stipulate a minimum number of players within the 30-yard circle and if someone stands just a foot outside, then that’s ruled a no-ball. If someone gets out that ball, it’s not out. I have no issues with it, as that’s the rule. Why is it okay if a batsman does it at the non-striker’s end? In today’s time, thanks to technology, a batsman is run out even if it’s just millimeters and we fuss so much with endless replays to rule it out. It’s because of the mythical spirit of cricket, applied arbitrarily. Aaron Finch was almost a yard or yard-and-a-half down before Ashwin had released the ball. Just imagine the advantage the non-striker has."
He added, “The first thing that struck me when I saw that was when will the Aussies learn? Because it happened to Bill Brown in 1947 and we are in 2020; they still haven’t learnt. The simple thing is you have to look at the bowler and move out when he releases. You can’t look at the batsman, like Finch was doing and walk out of the crease. The law is clear. It’s as simple as that."
He also elaborated as to why he does not like the rule being called mankad. “Vinoo Mankad is a legend of Indian cricket, one of the great all-rounders who has won matches for India. And you use his name for, what is looked at by the cricketing world, as unsportsmanlike behaviour – that’s not acceptable to me. I don’t want an Indian legend’s name to be disparaged. It baffles me why so many in the Indian media keep using that word as if they don’t have any respect for any Indian legends. As Indians, we should be the last to encourage such usage. That’s why yesterday on television, I said Ashwin tried to Brown him. Because Bill Brown was at fault in 1947 and not Vinoo Mankad."