Mankad. No one wants to hear that word. No one wants it to happen. No one enjoys watching it. We’re 100 per cent sure Sachithra Senanayake didn’t enjoy doing it, and Angelo Mathews didn’t enjoy appealing.
But when a batsman continually leaves his ground before the ball is bowled, is the leather-flinger left with no other choice but to enforce the letter of the law?
That’s exactly what Sri Lankan off spinner Sachithra Senanayake did. The inevitable and hairy question is, should the team have appealed after he took off the bails?
They chose to, and Jos Buttler had no choice but to trudge to the pavilion after the umpire raised his finger.
England captain Alastair Cook was clearly unhappy after the game, insisting questions about the ethics of the dismissal be directed at Sri Lankan captain Angelo Mathews, not him.
“You would have to ask Angelo Mathews,” Cook said.
“We were obviously disappointed. I hope I wouldn’t do it. You don’t know in the spur of the moment how you would handle it.”
It raises an obvious question. It’s legal, but at odds with cricket’s well-respected tradition of playing ‘within the spirit of the game’.
But then , if a batsman is continually moving out of his crease before the ball is bowled, surely that’s outside the spirit of the game as well?
“We gave him two warnings, and I don’t know what else you can do to stop him doing that, so we had to go for it,” Mathews said after the game.
“I would stick by it. What we did was completely within the rules. We warned him in the last game too.”
So what do you think Roarers? Fair or unfair? Should Mankad stay or should it go?