Before I even start this piece I would like to bring into notice that eleven years ago on this day, the 25th of February, the cricketing legend of the legends SIR DONALD BRADMAN waved us all a goodbye. So, I thought this would be the perfect timing to bring in his reaction of all the fuss that is being going on about "MANKADING".
It all started when Ashwin "MANKADED" Thirimanne in the 40th over. He was given out and silently Ashwin handed the ball to the umpire. Then followed the so called "gracious" act of Tendulkar which forced stand-in captain Sehwag to revoke the dismissal and continue with the game.
People have started questioning the spirit of cricket here. But hardly it has got nothing to do when the rules are stated down clearly. If you believe that sportsmanship should edge over MANKADING here then why not give not out when a batsman is down in the middle of the pitch unable to complete his run but is being run-out? Why not give it out when the balls have struck the bails but still it has not fallen?
Everything that could find a reason for being out in that case was exactly in place. Ashwin warned Thirimanne before and if he still wanted to do it then the only possible option is to teach him a lesson and it is by giving him out and not a second warning. He was still getting out of the crease even after his decision was revoked. Why should the umpires consult the captain when he is the decision maker? Why put the captain in such a dubious position? Why should the non-striker get such an undue advantage?
When Vinoo Mankad dismissed Bill Brown in the second test at Sydney during the Australian tour in 1947, Sir Donald Bradman was in full support saying that rules are not to be mended for sportsmanship sake. When the DON himself is in support why all the talks to make the "smart bowler" look like a villain?
You question the spirit of cricket, then raise it only when it is necessary. Otherwise, as in this case, let the scorecard read:
BATSMAN : L.Thirimanne
DISMISSAL : MANKADED
BOWLER : R.Ashwin
RUNS SCORED : 44
BALLS FACED : 45