At least Charlie Dean can see the funny side.
The England cricketer was brought to tears after India won the third ODI at Lord’s in controversial circumstances on Saturday evening, with rival spinner Deepti Sharma taking the final wicket of the low-scoring match by running out the non-striker.
In the 44th over of the run chase, England required 17 runs for victory when Dean wandered out of the crease while Sharma was in her delivery stride.
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The Indian all-rounder quickly spun around and dislodged the bails, a dismissal colloquially referred to as a “Mankad”, prompting a chorus of boos from the English spectators.
England seamer Freya Davies consoled a devastated Dean as India celebrated the 16-run victory, and their shocked teammates watched on from the Lord’s balcony.
The incident divided the cricket world – running out the non-striker is permitted in the Laws of Cricket, but many consider the act unsportsmanlike.
Although it was an anticlimactic and disappointing conclusion to what had been a fantastic contest at the home of cricket, Sharma’s run-out was entirely within the Laws of the game.
Law 41.16.1 reads: “If the non-striker is out of his/her ground at any time from the moment the ball comes into play until the instant when the bowler would normally have been expected to release the ball, the non-striker is liable to be Run out. In these circumstances, the non-striker will be out Run out if he/she is out of his/her ground when his/her wicket is put down by the bowler throwing the ball at the stumps or by the bowler’s hand holding the ball, whether or not the ball is subsequently delivered.”
Despite becoming the centre of a global cricket controversy, it hasn’t taken long for Dean to start cracking jokes about the ordeal.
While representing the South Vipers in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy at Lord’s on Sunday, less than 24 hours after Sharma’s “Mankad”, the spinner threatened to replicate the dismissal on her second delivery of the day.
But rather than dislodge the bails and appeal for a wicket, Dean cracked a grin and waltzed back to the top of her mark, leaving the players and spectators in stitches.
Well played Charlie, well played.
The term “Mankading” was coined 70 years ago when Indian great Vinoo Mankad twice ran out Bill Brown at the bowler’s end during India’s tour of Australia in 1947.
It has remained a divisive topic in the sport ever since.
In March, Marylebone Cricket Club, the sport’s custodians and lawmakers, removed running out the non-striker from the “Unfair Play” section of the Laws, making it a legitimate form of dismissal.
The International Cricket Council endorsed the decision last week, but that didn’t stopped cricket pundits voicing their disgust at Sharma’s act.