Kartik Murali is not new to ‘Mankading’ controversy. In fact, he has ‘Mankaded’ two batsmen in first class cricket over the last two years.

Turning out for Surrey, Kartik ran out Alex Barrow of Somerset at Taunton in the county championship of 2013. The English media was critical of the Indian left-arm spinner but Kartik defended his act.

Turning out for Railways in the 2013-14 Ranji Trophy season, Kartik ‘Mankaded’ Bengal’s Sandipan Das in Delhi. The incident proved the trigger in a contest of frayed tempers. Again Kartik held his ground.

In spotlight

‘Mankading’ — a bowler running out the non-striker for backing up too far — is in the spotlight again after Sri Lanka’s Sachitra Senanayake ran out England’s Joss Buttler in the Birmingham ODI.

Kartik did not hold back his words when queried by The Hindu about this manner of dismissal. “The spirit of the game is a convenient bunker for those who question this legitimate form of dismissal. What is spirit of the game? Here you do not cheat, sledge or abuse a cricketer. You are just preventing the batsman from taking an unfair advantage.”

According to ICC Law 42.15, “The bowler is permitted, before releasing the ball and provided he has not completed his usual delivery swing, to attempt to run out the non-striker.”

Kartik says, “Despite the clear law, it is highly insulting for the bowler when the umpires, as a custom, ask the fielding captain whether he wants to stand by the appeal or not. If the captain doesn’t stand by it, the bowler looks like an idiot. The spirit of the game is a much-abused term.”

He added, “In Taunton, I warned Barrow thrice before running him out. In Delhi, Das was warned twice by me. Still they continued to back up too far. A yard could be the difference between a direct hit and a run-out.”

How about stumping

When the batsman was overbalanced or deceived in flight to be stumped with his foot over the crease, there was no argument about the dismissal, the 37-year-old former India bowler said. “So why should there be an argument when he is caught out of the crease at the non-striker’s end. Isn’t the bowler penalised for a no-ball by the narrowest of margins? More than an extra run, aren’t free hits given?”

Kartik felt the entire game was designed to favour batsmen. “The laws are designed to help batsmen, to see boundaries and sixes, no question about that. In the shorter forms, even the ropes are brought in. The bowler is already up against it.”

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