Former Indian spinner and now commentator, Murali Kartik, found himself amidst a controversy when he ‘Mankaded’ the Bengal batsman Sandipan Das. The incident led to an ugly confrontation with Bengal coach Ashok Malhotra during a Ranji Trophy game being played at Delhi.
The incident happened during the 80th over of the Bengal innings. Bengal were at 120 for three with Sandipan batting on 19. The batsman backed up at non-striker’s end and Kartik removed the bails and appealed for run-out. An dismissal of being run out is also known as ‘Mankading’. The umpire Milind Pathak referred to the TV umpire and Sandipan was ruled out.
The incident disgusted the Bengal coach, Ashok Malhotra and their senior pacer, Ashoke Dinda created a furore tagging the incident as against the “spirit of the game”.
As per the MCC rules, Kartik was within his rights to “Mankad” the batsman as he had already warned Sandipan in the previous over for backing up too far.
The incident took an ugly turn when after lunch, when the players were coming out, the Bengal players started clapping with one of the senior guys calling Kartik a ‘cheat’. Kartik too lost his cool and went up to Malhotra and got involved in a heated exchange.
“You are an India player and this is how you play cricket. This is an example you set for juniors,” Malhotra shouted at Kartik as the left-arm spinner lost his bearings.
Malhotra vented his anger after the match and cited the example of Courtney Walsh’s sportsmanship during 1987 World Cup match where he didn’t run Pakistan’s Salim Jaffer out that led to West Indies losing the game.
“On one side you have Courtney Walsh and on the other side you have ‘Sir’ Murali Kartik. He is supposed to be a Test player, county player, a commentator and what not. And this is what you do? I don’t see him bowling or batting. Probably he is there for ‘Mankading’ a 19-year-old youngster. What does that little boy learn about Spirit of the Game,” – Malhotra said to the media.
The match referee stepped in and finally cooled things off.
Incidentally, this is not the first time that Kartik has ‘Mankaded’ a player. He did the same while playing for Surrey against Somerset last year, where he ran Alex Barrow out. That incident is widely believed to be a reason for the loss of his county contract.