By Neto Baptiste
Former West Indies fast bowler, Kenneth Benjamin, wants changes to a rule he believes will positively impact the game at both the regional and international level.
Speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show, Benjamin called for adjustments to the infamous Mankad rule which is a method of run out where a bowler dismisses a non-striker by hitting the bails before bowling when the latter is outside the crease.
“Take out Mankad, but once the umpire can verify and especially now that you have TV replay, that the batsman is out of his crease before the ball is being bowled, then they don’t get the run. So if they run two then automatically one becomes short and if you run one then you have to go back to your end. The point is that you can’t cheat because you want to get on strike and walk off the crease and get down there quickly but if you get run out then you’re out. Once they see you out of the crease before the ball is bowled then that run don’t count,” he said.
The practice is perfectly legal within the laws of cricket, but is often seen to be against the spirit of the game.
In the 2016 Under-19 World Cup, West Indies Under-19s were accused of “disgraceful behaviour” after a controversial Mankad run-out secured victory over Zimbabwe and a place in the World Cup quarter-finals.
Benjamin also lobbied for amendments to laws addressing instances where a batsman is accused of hitting the ball twice or “double-hitting”.
“If you play the ball and the ball is going back on your stumps you can use your bat and hit it and that is legal but the only thing is that you can’t use your hand. If I play forward however, and I tap the ball to the short-leg fielder and they appeal then the umpire would have to give me out so what I am saying is that hitting the ball twice [rule], they should take it out but, if you use your bat and touch the ball because you don’t want the fielder to get it then they should just make that be obstruction,” he said.
According to the ICC rules, a player can hit the ball twice in order to prevent it from hitting his/her stumps but not with a hand that is not in contact with the bat and not if doing so prevents a catch being taken, in which case they would be out for obstructing the field.