England bears the “Brunt” of not Mankading as they go down to South Africa by six wickets

The 34-year old English all-rounder Katherine Brunt took the internet by storm on Sunday when she refused to “mankad” South Africa’s Sune Luus at the fag end of the match. With seven runs to get in four balls, there was equal pressure on both sides and it was indeed commendable on the part of Brunt to give a warning to Luus rather than “mankad” her in a match as big as the ICC Women’s World T20. Though South Africa went on to win the match, England, especially, Katherine Brunt won many hearts.

Katherine Brunt gives Sune Luus a Mankad warning in the tense final moments of the Women’s T20 World Cup match on Monday (Screengrab)
Katherine Brunt gives Sune Luus a Mankad warning in the tense final moments of the Women’s T20 World Cup match on Monday (Screengrab)

 

So, what is “mankading”? “Mankading” is a term named after legendary Indian bowler Vinoo Mankad. It is a method of run-out where a bowler dismisses a non-striker by dislodging the bails before bowling when the latter is outside the crease. Though “mankading” is legally permissible dismissal, it is considered to be against the spirit of the game. The Laws of Cricket 41.16 Non-striker leaving his/her ground early, states that “If the non-striker is out of his/her ground from the moment the ball comes into play to the instant when the bowler would normally have been expected to release the ball, the bowler is permitted to attempt to run him/her out. Whether the attempt is successful or not, the ball shall not count as one in the over.”

Prior to Katherine Brunt, it was Courtney Walsh who refuted from using this method to run out Salim Jaffar in the 1987 World Cup match between Pakistan and West Indies, which the Caribbeans ended up losing. However, on the other hand, there is Ravichandran Ashwin who successfully used “mankading” to run out Jos Butler in an IPL game in 2019. Apart from these, there are many instances in men’s cricket when the bowlers either chose or refused to use “mankading” to run out the non-striker. The Sunday’s incident will go down in the women’s cricket record books as it was the first of a kind.

So was Katherine Brunt right by not “mankading” Sune Luus? Would she have done the same thing if it was the ICC World T20 final? These are some of the questions that will invite mixed opinions. In the hindsight, all we can say, that the senior English pro preferred ethics over legality, to keep alive the spirit of the game. The English cricket fans will hope that their team qualifies for the semi-finals, otherwise, the match against South Africa will be brought back to limelight and Brunt will be shockingly questioned for adhering to ethics of the game.

I am a former cricketer having represented Mumbai University at All India University level. I was a part of MCA probables for the U-19 and U-23 age group. I have been an avid cricket writer for the last five years. Currently I am pursuing my Ph.D from IIT Bombay.

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