Australia great Ricky Ponting says non-strikers leaving their crease early is “cheating”, but would prefer to see run penalties instead of controversial “Mankad” run-outs to stop the practice.
India’s Ravichandran Ashwin sparked a worldwide debate last year with his “Mankading” of England batsman Jos Buttler in a Twenty20 Indian Premier League match.
Ashwin, playing for Kings XI Punjab, stopped in his run-up and whipped the bails off at the non-striker’s end, catching the advancing Rajasthan Royals’ batsman Buttler out of his ground.
Ashwin has now joined the Delhi Capitals, coached by Ponting who warned recently he would not like the spinner to repeat the tactic, though legal, when the virus-delayed 2020 season starts later this month.
“Yeah, I totally get where you are coming from,” Ponting told Ashwin, who favours using the dismissal, during a web chat.
“I wasn’t trying to say that you were [not] justified because it is actually in the laws of the game. You can do it […] if a batsman is cheating, and trying to steal a couple of yards.
“I just think that we have got to find a way around trying to stop the batsman cheating. “We have had this conversation already. I don’t want to see anyone running two or three yards down the wicket.”
The dismissal was named after India’s Vinoo Mankad, who ran out Australia’s Bill Brown by removing the bails at the bowler’s end during the 1947 Sydney Test.
The mode of dismissal splits cricket opinion, with many thinking it is against the spirit of the game.
But opposition to it has been softening recently, particularly in limited-overs cricket, when non-strikers can gain an advantage when chasing runs by leaving the crease early.
“I think there should be some sort of a run penalty,” said Ponting. “If you are to get to the top of your bowling action and stop, and it shows that the batsman is cheating and is out of his crease, I think put a run penalty on them. And do it right from the start, because that will stop him right away.
“Imagine taking 10 runs off a team total because you have taken yards. Those sort of things need to be looked at.”
The world’s richest Twenty20 league is scheduled to start on September 19 in the United Arab Emirates with India unable to hold this year’s edition because of the coronavirus pandemic.—AFP