Almanac Cricket: The Vexed Mankad


Whether a ‘Mankad’ is ‘in the rules’ or a disgrace to the game isn’t a technical argument, of course.  It’s a battle between a new morality and the tradition of cricket being a ‘gentleman’s game’.


I’ll make it clear from the start.  I’m a progressive in most things, but a dyed-in-the-wool traditionalist when it comes to cricket.


Cricket has existed forever on the perception and practice of fair play and that has always, always been that a warning should be given before a Mankad is attempted.  Even then, few Mankads are seen and the reason for that is that almost all who play the game instinctively know it’s not part of the game they want to play. A Mankad after a warning is accepted by all, but without a warning, the cries of ‘it’s cheating’ generally come from those who haven’t played much cricket.


There are two different types of non-strikers.  Some of the better players who watch the bowler’s hand until release and the 99% of the rest of us, who back up from instinct as the bowler reaches the crease. We’re not cheating, we’ve done it that way forever.


Enter money. Enter three brands of cricket to saturate our screens every day. Enter the Big Bash IPL One Day Hundred Test League, with big bats that land a mishit 20 rows back and power surges. Enter money. Enter the new morality where backing up normally is now ‘cheating’. Where the skill of taking a wicket is reduced to zero with a Mankad.


Enter money, where a stumping that used to be decided by an umpire is now decided after 15 close-up replays, where a millimetre is king and we can all be the judge.


The debate about the Mankad is not difficult. If the batter is deliberately trying to gain an advantage, show him up once by stopping at the stumps as if to remove the bails, don’t remove them, enjoy his embarrassment at returning to the crease and Mankad him if he does it again.  If the batter is just backing up normally, it’s not cheating, just bowl the ball and play cricket.  It’s not hard.  We’ve been doing it forever.



More from Lee Harradine can be read Here.



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About Lee Harradine

West Adelaide Life Member and Past President. Cricket and travel tragic. Author of 'Flags, Spoons & Knives' an insider's view of the West Adelaide Football Club.


  1. “If the batter is just backing up normally, it’s not cheating, just bowl the ball and play cricket. It’s not hard.”
    Well said, Lee. Totally agree.

  2. Thanks Lee, interesting article. Just would like to add some more to it.

    The term ‘Mankading’ goes back to the 1947-48 Indian tour of Australia when Vinoo Mankad twice ran out Bill Brown for backing up too far. However this mode of dismissal was apparently first noted in an Eton V Harrow clash in August 1850.

    However it’s not been a particularly common mode of dismissal, with less than 50 ‘Mankads’ recorded at first class level. This includes 4 times at test level, the most recent being when Alan Hurst ‘Mankaded’ Pakistan’s Sikander Bakht at the WACA in early 1979. That test was in a two test series that saw a number of controversial dismissals.

    As well as 4 test ‘Mankads’, only 4 Mankads are recorded in ODI’s.

    The most recent ‘Mankad’ I’m aware of is when India’s Deeptil Sharma dismissed England’s Charlie Dean in a Women’s T 20 match, clinching victory for India.

    It doesn’t seem crickets power makers are overly concerned by ‘Mankading’ as a mode of dismissal. When going through the spirit/rules of the game early this year, they had playing condition 42.11 allowing this mode of dismissal. Their understanding of the ‘spirit of cricket’ does not list it as unsporting, or contrary to the spirit of cricket.

    Lee you mention, ‘enter money’. Spot on . Cricket is not a sport, nor just a game. It sits high in the culture/entertainment industry. This is big moolah. The brand value of the IPL is currently estimated at $5.98 Billion in American dollars. Australia’s IPL with its corporate partners such as KFC, Channel 7, Fox Sport is not small fry.

    I imagine this topic will pop up on and off , as long as cricket is around. Do I have a solution? The future is unwritten.


  3. Daryl Schramm says

    Watch the ball out of the bowlers hand. That’s what I was taught at a young age (over 50 years ago). It is not hard to do. A basic skill of batting (even at #11).. I don’t see what the fuss is about. Absent mindedness or deliberate cheating by the non striker makes no difference. Cricket has never been a gentlemen’s game, so a book I read a couple of years ago stated.

  4. If the non-striker is 2 feet out of his ground when the bowler releases the ball and makes his ground at the other end by one foot, who is cheating? Only one party. A warning is the sporting way to deal with it, but of he has had a warning and continues, do it. Does the bowler get a warning if his front foot is 6 inches over the crease line? Not in my observation. Watch some of the T20 rubbish these days and non-strikers are nearly half way home when the ball is released. In those games, “gentlemanly conduct” has ceased to be (like the dead parrot) and should be rewarded accordingly.

  5. I read a pertinent take on the “gentlemanly” aspect to this. It’s all well and good to not walk if you’ve slightly edged to the keeper, but the Mankad seems to blow minds. I wonder if Vinoo Mankad of Maharashtra had been Vincent Mansfield from Yorkshire instead if it would be such a hot button issue.

  6. Hayden Kelly says

    Fairly simple for me as I am of the view the batsman is cheating so I am not sure what the fuss is about . Maybe a warning encompasses the supposed gentlemanly aspect of cricket but I lean to Jarrod’s and Buckos view .
    True story I played a lot of cricket in the now defunct Footscray Cricket Association which was good and harder than hard cricket and given there weren’t many gentlemen in the area the gentlemanly aspects of the game were never contemplated let alone enacted .
    No names but I played with a bloke who over his long career dismissed over 50 batsman via Mankad [he counted them ] and was very proud of it . One game I recall I am captain we dismiss the opposition for 79 and in reply we make nearly 300 . 2 day game so the next week we have the opposition [Deer Park ] 9/96 with at least 2 hours left to play .
    Player mentioned above is bowling walks across to me and says ‘this kid is backing up too far I am going to Mankad him ‘ My response was we are going to win no need to do that he is only a kid .
    No need to tell you what happened Mankad next ball followed by ‘let that be a lesson to you son back up properly in future and congratulations you are my 50th Mankad ‘
    The Mankad King started and still owns a very successful a national sporting goods wholesale business

  7. Yeah, nuh. It’s not in the spirit of the game. I am still embarrassed by our under-arm vs NZ and that was 40 years ago. Cheers

  8. Lee Harradine says

    All I can say, Hayden, is that I’m relieved I didn’t play in the side that had a ’50 Mankad’ player in it and I suspect his opponents and even most of his team-mates felt the same.

    Success in business doesn’t necessarily equate to success as a person.

  9. Hayden Kelly says

    I wasn’t extolling virtues I was merely recounting a story . Notwithstanding that there are lot’s of life lessons to be learnt by being educated at the School of Hard Knocks and graduating from the University of Life .
    Pity the youth of today don’t have access to such fine institutions

  10. Lee Harradine says

    No problem, Hayden. I agree about learning from experience and try to point out in my story that life and values change. I wonder whether, after this recent blow-up, that we might see far fewer Mankads or whether it will become entrenched.

    I suspect the former, but we’ll see.

  11. Hayden Kelly says

    If batsmen comply with the rules and back up correctly we will never see another Mankad . If not it will become entrenched as its in the rules and the pressure to win has never been higher . Today Joseph beat Marnus with pace , ball cannoned off his bat onto his helmet for a catch .
    Not out as Joseph had a toenail over the crease when he delivered which is part of the rules and which we all accept but somehow its acceptable if a batsman cribs 2 feet when backing up and not acceptable if the bowler Mankads him
    BTW bowlers who overstep learn not to overstep fairly quickly perhaps a few Mankads might accelerate the learning process for batsmen

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