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10 months ago

Why 'Mankad' is hated when it is legal?

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During the second ODI between Bangladesh and New Zealand, 'Mankad' made the headlines for the timeless debate over cricket's 'spirit of the game.' 

Hasan Mahmud, the right-arm pacer, executed a Mankad dismissal on Ish Sodhi in the 46th over of the first innings. 

Bangladesh's skipper, Litton Das, demonstrated so-called 'sportsmanship' by calling Sodhi back onto the field. 

Despite New Zealand ultimately clinching victory, social media remains divided, with some applauding Bangladesh's gesture while others defend Mahmud's adherence to the ICC's Mankad rule. 

So, why do people find 'Mankad' an unfair attempt at taking a wicket? What is the psychology behind it? What is the history behind it? 

In an Indian Premier League (IPL) match, Ravi Chandran Ashwin, representing Kings XI Punjab, made headlines when he executed a Mankad dismissal on Rajasthan Royals' Joss Buttler. 

Critics accused Ravi Ashwin of unsportsmanlike conduct. Shane Warne took X and criticised Ashwin, calling it 'disgraceful.' 

On the other hand, International Cricket commentator and an expert in Cricket, Harsha Bhogle, stated, "Nothing in the laws though about warning. Just as there is nothing in the laws about a wicket-keeper warning a batsman for being out of the crease and not stumping him."

This is not the first time that Mankad has happened. Many players have been associated with this way of taking wickets.

In 1947, during a crucial Test match between India and Australia, Vinoo Mankad, a notable Indian cricketer, made history using an unconventional dismissal method. 

He caught Bill Brown, an Australian batter, leaving his crease prematurely at the non-striker's end. Mankading came from his name 'Mankad.' 

This controversial tactic, now known as 'Mankading,' sparked heated debates in the Australian media, labeling it as 'unsportsmanlike.' 

However, cricket legend Don Bradman defended Mankad, stating that he had merely followed the sport's established rules, emphasizing the non-striker's obligation to stay within the crease until the ball's delivery.

Then what is the reason behind netizens hating Mankad? 

The concept of 'Inequity Aversion' (IA) has been a topic of psychological interest since its introduction into academic research in 1978. 

Essentially, IA revolves around the belief that when individuals put in the same level of effort as others, they should expect an equivalent reward. 

This principle finds applications in various aspects of life, from advocating for equal pay for equal work to understanding controversies like Mankad in cricket.

When this basic expectation is violated, it triggers a profound response within the human brain. 

The anterior insula, a region associated with detecting injustice and unfairness, becomes activated, fostering empathy and eliciting feelings akin to disgust. 

Simultaneously, the amygdala, responsible for processing emotions, ignites a cascade of anger and resentment. These emotional responses are similar to the reactions witnessed when a Mankad dismissal occurs.

In cricket, watching a wicket fall through stumping or run-out appears just as the batter misses the ball and the wicket-keeper stumps or a fielder throws the ball at the stumps before the batter reaches the crease. 

This showcases both teams' determination to win. Nevertheless, the controversial Mankading incident often sees the bowler's effort lacking, deviating from the common practices.

MCCs Law 38.3 said the non-striker to stay on their ground before the bowler would typically release the ball. 

Law 41.16 on April 1, 2019, changing it to state that "The non-striker is liable to be run out." So, it is legal but not regularly practiced and only happened 8 times in men's ODI history. 

From Ashwin in IPL, mankading has often been used to get the batter out in the non-striker ends. In the three-match ODI series between Pakistan and Afghanistan, Shadab Khan, the Pakistani all-rounder, was mankaded on the 20th over of the game. 

Before that, in 2022, a three-match ODI series was played between Indian women and England women. Deepti Sharma mankaded Charlie Dean, who was well-settled on the crease in 47 runs. 

Not having an issue with Mankad, the commentator, HD Ackerman, said in the Pak-Afg match, "Why don't teams do it in the 5th or 6th over of the innings? Why only towards the end of it?" 

In response to AB de Villiers, the former South African batter tweeted on X, "Cause batters only try to steal runs towards the back end of an innings." 
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