At Harare Sports Complex, during the third ODI between India and Zimbabwe, Deepak Chahar did something that reignited the age-old debate about ethics and fairness in cricket. Chahar ‘Mankaded’ the Zimbabwe opener, Innocent Kaia, but didn’t appeal, which resulted in a dead ball.
Seeing Kaia already backing up way out of his crease, Chahar nonchalantly flicked off the bails just before he was about to load up. Had Chahar appealed, Kaia would have given out. But the Indian pacer simply trudged back to his bowling mark.
No mode of dismissal in cricket is as contentious as running out the non-striker backing up before the ball is released. Those in favour argue about its legitimacy by reasoning the undue advantage the batters gain by walking up far out of the crease. There’s another group who thinks of this mode as unethical, and it goes against the ‘Spirit of the Cricket’.
Chahar was praised for this act, but many didn’t understand the need to warn the batter if “Mankading” is legitimate as per the laws. One user drew a comparison to Courtney Walsh’s incident in the 1987 World Cup, when the Caribbean pacer refused to run out Saleem Jaffar.
The whole issue came to the limelight a few years ago when the Indian spinner R Ashwin “Mankaded” Jos Buttler in the Indian Premier League. Recently, the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) shifted this mode of dismissal from the section “Unfair Play” to Law 38 which concerns run out.
Chahar eventually got the better of Kaia in the third over and finished the game with figures of 2-75. Zimbabwe fell agonizingly short of what would have been a well-deserved victory after getting bundled out for 276 while chasing 290. Sikandar Raza continued his fine form and scored a valiant 115. But he didn’t get the support from the other end.
Earlier in the game, Shubman Gill scored his maiden international century to propel India to a competitive total. Gill slammed 130 off just 97 balls, and he was ably assisted by Ishan Kishan, who made 50.
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