'It is cheating...': Ravi Shastri reverses the blame in hard-hitting 'Mankad' take on running out non-striker

Updated on Oct 20, 2022 07:55 AM IST

Ever since Deepti Sharma ran out Charlotte Dean at the non-striker's end, there has been endless debate questioning the India all-rounder's action. The latest to offer his take on the episode and the whole topic of running out the non-striker if he/she is outside the crease is Ravi Shastri.

Ravi Shastri with a never-before-heard take on run out at non-striker's end(Getty Images)
Ravi Shastri with a never-before-heard take on run out at non-striker's end(Getty Images)
By, New Delhi

Ever since Deepti Sharma ran out Charlotte Dean at the non-striker's end, there has been endless debate questioning the India all-rounder's action. Despite the MCC officially declaring the mode of dismissal as legal, once and for all banning the term 'Mankad' or 'Mankading', there are those who still continue to bring up the entire 'Spirit of Cricket' debate. England Test captain Ben Stokes and renowned Indian commentator Harsha Bhogle were involved in a full-blown Twitter exchange, while limited-overs skipper Jos Buttler said he would 'not do it'. Even outgoing Australia captain Aaron Finch openly stated that he is 'not a fan' of the mode of dismissal, making it a hot-button issue again.

The latest to offer his take on the episode and the whole topic of running out the non-striker if he/she is outside the crease is Ravi Shastri. The former India coach spoke at length about the matter and pointed out that he sees nothing wrong in the practice. After all, it is a law and the batter needs to be watchful about his/her crease, mentioned Shastri. In fact, he added that if he was the coach, he would instruct his players to knock the bails off without any hesitation.

"My thoughts are very clear. It's a law. A batsman has no business to be wandering out of his crease before the ball is bowled. And the law in cricket says that if you are doing that, the bowler is perfectly entitled to take the bails off. I know that the rule of 'Mankad' or 'Mankading' was there was a long time and a lot of players are still trying to come to terms with that new law, whether they should be taking off the bails but as a coach, I would tell my players 'Just go out and do it. It's a law. You're not cheating, you're not doing anything that is not part of the game. Batsman should know his business," he said in an interview with Fox Sports.

Shastri highlighted that the reason the whole episode was blown out of proportion is because players are still trying to wrap their heads around it. 'Mankading', as it was infamously called before the mode of dismissal was made legal earlier this year, had the world divided, and although it was not unfair, the act was frowned upon. Shastri, in a hard-hitting take, reversed the blame on the batters, and said that, walking out of the crease before the ball falls in the category of cheating instead.

"There is an outrage but it's because that law did not exist earlier. But my argument is that even if it had existed, I don't believe this practice when you warn the player the first time and the second time you can do it. It's like me telling a fielder, 'You've dropped me once. Second time you can catch it'. If it's a law that says it is cheating. It is cheating because if you're going out of crease, you are trying to steal an advantage over the opposition and the bowler. So you jolly well, hold your ground," added the former India coach.

As far as whether the world of cricket will see more such run-out transpire in the time to come, Shastri's replay was one which only he could have come up with: "With one run to win, and one ball to go, if the non-striker is out of his ground, you think any bowler is not going to take off those bails? He will, rest assured."

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