Cricket 2023: Mankad family feud over controversial dismissal name

The family of Vinoo Mankad has sensationally split over the attempts to end the use of the Indian great’s name to denote a run out at the non-striker’s end.

The Mankad has been established in cricket’s vernacular since Vinoo Mankad famously ran out Bill Brown on India’s 1947/48 tour of Australia.

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Mankad’s grandson Harsh, formerly India’s top-ranked tennis player, recently came out in support of retaining the name in response to Australian commentators calling for the change, saying he was “always delighted to see my grandfather being remembered”.

“I feel it to be a great honour for our name to be associated with a cricketing term,” Harsh said.

“I’d love to see the ‘Mankad’ or ‘Mankading’ stay and keep alive his memories and legacy as a great competitor and sportsman deeply respected and admired by everyone I’ve met and those who knew him and experienced life with him.”

Not everyone in the Mankad family shares Harsh’s view, however.

Nishita Rahul Mankad, wife of Vinoo’s late son Rahul, has come out against the term.

“(That’s) my nephew’s personal view, not that of the Mankad family,” she said.

“My late husband Rahul Mankad fought hard to have the ICC remove the family name from this form of dismissal, as it is inappropriate for a legitimate form of dismissal to stigmatise a legendary cricketer.”

Sir Don Bradman, captain of the Australian team and at the striker’s end at the time of the Brown dismissal, thought that Mankad was perfectly justified.

“For the life of me, I cannot understand why (anyone) questioned his sportsmanship,” he would later write in a memoir.

“The laws of cricket make it quite clear that the non-striker must keep within his ground until the ball has been delivered.

“If not, why is the provision there which enables the bowler to run him out?

“We considered it quite a legitimate part of the game.”

The dismissal is completely within the laws of the game, and the laws themselves have been clarified multiple times to reflect it, first being recorded in the early 1800s.

As of October 2022, Marylebone Cricket Club, the sport’s custodians and lawmakers, move the Mankad was moved from the “Unfair Play” section of cricket’s law book to Law 38 under the “run out” section.

However it has continued to be a controversial issue, as Melbourne Stars skipper Adam Zampa found when he attempted to run the Melbourne Renegades’ Tom Rogers out last week.

Despite this, a debate has raged on as to whether it is in the spirit of the game, and many people insist a batter should be warned of their transgressions before a run-out is attempted at the non-striker’s end.

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