The origins of mankading

Ever wondered how the term came about?

When Surrey’s Murali Kartik mankaded Somerset’s Alex Barrow during a county championship match in England, he triggered a controversy that is being debated.

While the men who wrote cricket’s rule book may not have a problem with the dismissal, its practice is considered to be against the spirit of the game.  Should Murali Kartik be blamed, despite the fact that he had warned the batsman or should Alex Barrow kick himself for stepping out of the crease before the ball was delivered?

Perhaps we could dive back into time, to find out how the infamous dismissal came into existence. decided to reminisce.

The coining

Bill Brown should have seen it coming. Playing for Australian XI at Sydney, he had backed up too much in the match against the touring Indians; Vinoo Mankad had warned him first, mentioning that he will not let him go the next time, and ran him out when he repeated the offence. Brown, however, had not learnt his lesson. He probably did not realise that Mankad would not hesitate to repeat his action in the biggest of all stages. He was destined to learn things the hard way a month later.

After being bowled out for 188, Lala Amarnath brought his ace spinner early into the attack in the Sydney Test. Brown had no idea that Mankad was about to repeat what he had done the previous match. Once again he backed up too much – and this time there wasn’t even a warning. The bails were whipped off, and Don Bradman’s mighty Australians – to be termed The Invincibles a few months hence – collapsed for 107.

The minnows of world cricket, playing in only their 12th Test, had somehow managed to take the cricket world by storm. Mankad was called “unsportsmanlike” by the Australian press; Bradman himself came to Mankad’s support in his autobiography A Farewell to Cricket, calling it “scrupulously fair” and mentioning that even he had warned Brown against Mankad; and a new cricket term was coined after a cricketer – just like the Bosey.

Saleem Jaffer, the former Pakistani bowler who had survived being mankaded in a famous World Cup match in 1987, slammed Kartik.

Interestingly, Jaffer had “survived” being the victim of Mankading. West Indian pace bowler, Courtney Walsh had refused to Mankad last man Saleem Jaffar of Pakistan for backing up too far in a group match in the World Cup in 1987.

“I was let off with the warning by the bowler”, the 50-year-Jaffer recalled. “We went on to win the match while the defeat cost the West Indies a place in the semi-final. But that was the true spirit of the game”, Jaffer added.

“The Pakistan government had given him an award in the form of a medal for showing this gesture”, says Jaffer.

“In our time it was a front foot landing law and now the law has changed with the new back foot law and Murali should have warned the batsman instead of making him run out”, Jaffer signed off.
Alex Barrow's captain Marcus Trescothick also slammed the left-arm spinner, saying that he was astonished and disappointed

[Trescothick] said: “It’s not what you come to expect in county cricket. I have never seen it before and never been part of a game where it has happened.

“I have obviously seen some amazing things but that was quite astonishing and I am disappointed. The game doesn’t need to come to that. I know it has been brought in and the measures are there and theoretically it is out, as we know, but it’s not the game that we like to play.

“It happens more in one-day cricket, which is generally designed to be brought in for, if somebody is running halfway down the pitch to try to get the last few runs, you know what you can sort of understand it a little bit more, but I am never very comfortable with anybody doing it.”