Cricket News 2023: Robert Craddock on Mankad U19 World Cup, Test series Australia v India

The Mankad movement had a big moment at the Women’s U19-T20 World Cup this week. And one moment showed exactly where the divisive debate is right now.

Australia beware. The Mankad whirlpool might be upon you in India.

As the weeks go by, the sacking, once seen as a heinous breach of the spirit of cricket, loses its stigma to the point where the shockwaves don’t shake the building like they used to.

The Mankad movement had a big moment at the U19-T20 Women’s World Cup in South Africa over the weekend when Pakistani bowler Zaib-un-Nisa used the controversial run-out method to sack Rwanda’s Shakila Niyomuhoza.

As the dough wandered out of her crease, the bowler removed the bails.

Then came the revealing part. The consequences. Or missing if there.

No fireworks. No disbelief. No evil looks.

The batsman just walked away and the bowler casually tossed the ball up in the air like she’d taken a catch and bowled.

After nearly seven decades of turmoil, it felt like this highly unusual layoff was normal.

During Australia’s summer of testing, Mitchell Starc threatened to remove South African batsman Theunis de Bruyn’s bails but could not bring himself to do so.

Starc is debating whether it’s time to go all the way, but the emerging figure of interest in the upcoming series starring India is vocal Mankad supporter Ravi Ashwin.

The Indian oddball opposites attempted his first mankad against Sri Lanka’s Lahiru Thirimanne a decade ago before his teammates withdrew the appeal, but Ashwin later caused outrage at the 2019 IPL when he mankaded Jos Buttler.

A year after the Buttler incident, Ashwin Aaron Finch did just that after being encouraged by his IPL coach, Ricky Ponting, to simply warn the batsmen and hold the ball.

He then took to Twitter to explain that this was his “first and last warning of 2020. I’ll make it official and I won’t blame myself later.”

Ashwin said the main reason he didn’t do Mankad Finch was because they were “good friends” and Finch was “a very nice guy.”

While Ashwin is more inclined to attempt the dismissal in white ball cricket, he remains the bowler most likely to stir the pot during next month’s Test series.

Any time a mankad is affected, there is a chorus of disapproval on social media from former players who grew up with the practice being considered dirty pool.

But the mood changes. Bowlers’ patience is waning. Adam Zampa had a failed mankad attempt in the Big Bash and veteran Dan Christian told Perth Scorchers batsman Stephen Eskinazi “that’s your warning pal” as he threatened to take bails during a Big Bash game on Sunday.

Batsmen need to recognize that the mood is changing, and anyone who falls victim to this kind of layoff deserves no sympathy.

Ashwin lurks…

Originally published as Cricket News 2023: Robert Craddock on the Mankad and why he might appear during Australia’s tour of India Cricket News 2023: Robert Craddock on Mankad U19 World Cup, Test series Australia v India

Ryan Sederquist

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