By Neto Baptiste
Legendary West Indies batsman and captain, Sir Vivian Richards, believes that a batsman who leaves his crease before a bowler has delivered, should first be warned before any run out attempts are made or executed by the bowler of the fielding team.
The Antiguan was, at the time, giving his take on the controversial “Mankad” practice where a bowler removed the bails at the non-strikers end just before delivering as to effect a run-out of the batsman at the non-strikers end.
“If it comes to a point now where you’ve been warned on several occasions, and it is in the rules and you continue to do it, then to me, in a sense, you’re looking to cheat, and if there is a rule that says that I can stop you from doing that, then I see no problem,” he said.
Earlier this week, 16-year-old Cameroon bowler Maeva Douma dismissed four Uganda batters as they backed up at the non-striker’s end in a Women’s T20 World Cup Africa Region qualifier in Botswana.
It is a record for an international match and it reopens the debate on whether the mode of dismissal – named after India bowler, Vinoo Mankad, who ran out Australia batsman Bill Brown in a similar manner in 1947 – is within the spirit of the game.
Sir Viv remembers having been placed in a position of having to decide whether to go that route during a series against Pakistan during the final over of the team’s 1987 World Cup league-stage game.
“Well, we had that situation in Pakistan, and I think I was captain at the time, when a guy by the name of Saleem Jaffar and it came down to the nitty-gritty, and Courtney Walsh was the bowler at the time. Courtney had come and asked because he saw Saleem Jarrar backing up a little too far, but it was all in the rules that you give whatever warning, but I said hey, I don’t think we should ever get into that, and Courtney said he didn’t think so as well, because regardless of whatever you would have achieved after that, you would be remembered for quite a long time for doing such a thing. I just felt at the time that it just wasn’t sportsmanlike,” he said.
The incident occurred in the ninth match of the tournament, and while Pakistan had won both their games thus far, West Indies had won one and lost the other. It was the halfway mark for both teams and the West Indies were desperate for a win. It is in this context that Walsh’s refusal to run Jaffar out with Pakistan needing two runs to win off the last ball which make the decision relevant.