There are several ways to dismiss a batsman in cricket. One of them is to 'Mankad' them and it is a rare one.
While the concept of 'Mankading' may not be entirely alien to the cricket fraternity, the dismissal was given a new form of life back in 2019 when Ravichandran Ashwin used the unorthodox method to get Jos Buttler out in an IPL match between KXIP and RR. Although the off-spin bowler faced the wrath of irked fans back in the day, the dismissal has since become synonymous with Ashwin.
On Monday, during Delhi Capitals Vs Royal Challengers Bangalore IPL 2020 clash, Ashwin took everyone by surprise when he issued a 'Mankad' warning to the RCB batsman Aaron Fench when the latter was seen escaping the crease at the non-striker end's crease even before the ball was delivered.
This led to 'Mankad' once again becoming a top trending topic on social media as Ashwin's antics brought a smile on Delhi Capitals coach Ricky Ponting's face.
The incident also saw a spike on Google trends as people unversed with the cricket phrase looked up on the search engine to get their answers.
But what is Mankad anyway?
Indian opener and slow left-arm orthodox bowler Vinoo Mankad stirred controversy back in 1947-48 during India's tour of Australia when he paused during his delivery stride and broke the wicket on the non-striker's end to dismiss Bill Brown during the second Test.
The incident caused an uproar in Aussie media and 'Mankad' or 'Mankading' came into existence. Although the method doesn't violate the laws of cricket, it is still considered by many as an unsporting one.
The rule book of cricket is on Ashwin's side too.
According to Law 41.16.: If the non-striker is out of his/her ground from the moment the ball comes into play to the instant when the bowler would normally have been expected to release the ball, the bowler is permitted to attempt to run him/her out.
Why didn't Ashwin Mankad Finch?
Ashwin's recent interaction with coach Ponting could perhaps be the key. In a video titled 'Oru Mellisaana Kodu', meaning 'a thin line', on Ashwin's YoutTube channel, Ponting stressed that batsmen should not 'cheat' by moving out of the crease early and called for a run-penalty instead of a run-out.
Although Ponting was in agreement with Ashwin, the former still believed that the non-striker shouldn't be dismissed via Mankad.
The Funny Side of Cricket
The camera during DC vs RCB instantly panned to coach Ponting when Ashwin decided to warn Finch instead of dismissing him.
Once the match was done and dusted, Ashwin took to Twitter and issued a light-hearted warning to IPL batsmen.
Let’s make it clear !! First and final warning for 2020. I am making it official and don’t blame me later on. @RickyPonting #runout #nonstriker @AaronFinch5 and I are good buddies btw.😂😂 #IPL2020— Ashwin 🇮🇳 (@ashwinravi99) October 5, 2020
Back in March when the country was headed towards its first lockdown to safeguard citizens from infectious coronavirus, Ashwin used 'Mankad' to remind Indians why they should stay inside the "Lakshman Rekha" to safeguard themselves from getting "dismissed".
Hahaha, somebody sent me this and told me it's exactly been 1 year since this run out happened.As the nation goes into a lockdown, this is a good reminder to my citizens.Don't wander out. Stay inside, stay safe! #21DayLockdown pic.twitter.com/bSN1454kFt— Ashwin 🇮🇳 (@ashwinravi99) March 25, 2020
"Hahaha, somebody sent me this and told me it's exactly been 1 year since this run out happened. As the nation goes into a lockdown, this is a good reminder to my citizens. Don't wander out. Stay inside, stay safe!" Ashwin tweeted along with the famous photograph of the infamous dismissal.