In an IPL match during the 2019 season in Jaipur, Rajasthan Royals’ Jos Buttler found himself run out by Kings XI Punjab bowler R. Ashwin. This controversial mode of dismissal, colloquially known as ‘Mankading,’ occurred when Buttler strayed out of his crease at the non-striker’s end before Ashwin delivered the ball. In response, the Indian off-spinner removed the bails. The name ‘Mankading’ is a tribute to the great Indian all-rounder Vinoo Mankad, who famously executed a similar run-out against Australia’s Bill Brown during the Sydney Test in 1947.
What do the current laws state?
The Laws of Cricket explicitly outline the provision for running out the non-striker. Cricket enthusiasts consider this action, referred to as ‘Mankading,’ as fair and legal, with Don Bradman, the Australian team captain in 1947, echoing this sentiment. Law 38.3, addressing the “Non-striker leaving his/her ground early,” dictates that if the non-striker is outside their ground, they may face a run-out at any moment from the time the ball becomes active until the instant when the bowler would typically release the ball.”
Have there been any prior changes to the law?
Over the years, the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), the guardian of cricket’s Laws, has made some adjustments to the ‘Mankad’ rule and its wording. In 2017, they changed the wording from “Bowler attempting to run out non-striker before delivery” to “Non-striker leaving their ground early” to emphasize that the non-striker has the responsibility to stay in their ground. Additionally, the MCC rephrased Law 41.16 in 2019, changing “the bowler is permitted to run [the non-striker] out” to “the non-striker is liable to be run out.”
Another significant change in 2017 allowed the bowler to run out the non-striker at any point before releasing the ball, as opposed to only before entering the delivery stride. This adjustment aimed to address the perceived unfairness of non-strikers advancing down the wicket before the bowler’s delivery.
In October 2022, MCC took steps to destigmatize non-striker run-outs.
What’s new with the Mankading law?
The most recent change, made in January, aimed to clarify some ambiguity in the law concerning running out a non-striker. The MCC acknowledged that the existing wording had led to confusion and decided to modify it.
The new law, which took immediate effect, states:
- The non-striker can be run out if out of their ground from the moment the ball comes into play until the bowler would typically release the ball.
- The crucial moment for determining this is when the bowler’s arm reaches the highest point of their normal bowling action during the delivery swing.
- Once the bowler reaches this point, they cannot run out the non-striker under this law, even if the non-striker had left their ground earlier.
This change in wording aims to provide clarity while maintaining the interpretation that has been in practice for the past six years.