Cricket rulers explain why the ‘back-handing’ law is essential

Jos Buttler: Was the victim of a 'back-handing' dismissal from Ravi Ashwin in the IPL.
Jos Buttler: Was the victim of a 'back-handing' dismissal from Ravi Ashwin in the IPL.
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The MCC has insisted the law regarding “Mankading” is essential following Monday’s controversial dismissal of Jos Buttler.

There were calls for a change in the law after England batsman Buttler, playing for Rajasthan Royals in the IPL, was run out at the non-striker’s end by Kings XI Punjab bowler Ravichandran Ashwin.

The method of dismissal – named after Vinoo Mankad, who ran out non-striker Bill Brown during India’s 1947-48 tour of Australia – is legal but one seen by many as going against the spirit of the game, at least unless the batsman had been persistently backing up and thus warned by Ashwin first.

Buttler was still in his crease when Ashwin arrived, only for the bowler to pull out of his action and wait for him to step forward before whipping off the bails.

In a statement, cricket’s lawmakers, the MCC, have sought to clarify law 41.16: Non-striker leaving his/her ground early in relation to the Buttler incident.

It said: “This law is essential. Without it, non-strikers could back up at liberty, several yards down the pitch and a law is needed to prevent such action.

It is up to both teams to ensure that the game is played within both the laws and the spirit of cricket.

MCC statement

“The crux of the issue is when the non-striker can safely leave his/her ground, and what the bowler can do to effect this form of dismissal without courting controversy. It has never been in the laws that a warning should be given to the non-striker and nor is it against the spirit of cricket to run out a non-striker who is seeking to gain an advantage by leaving his/her ground early...

“It is up to both teams to ensure that the game is played within both the laws and the spirit of cricket.”