Kings XI Punjab (KIXP) skipper Ravichandran Ashwin sparked off a big controversy on Monday when he mankaded Rajasthan Royals' (RR) Jos Buttler, the first to be dismissed in such a manner in the history of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
The dismissal raised fresh debate over the spirit of the game as the off-spinner didn't give the Englishman a prior warning. But Ashwin said he was completely within his rights to execute such a dismissal, which completely turned the match in Kings XI's favour.
"No real argument on that and it was pretty instinctive," Ashwin said after KXIP beat RR by 14 runs.
"I didn't even load and he just left the crease. We ended on the right side of the coin, but I definitely think that those are game-changing moments and batsmen need to be wary of it."
Controversy apart, what it this mankading? Not many are aware of this mode of dismissal. Here's an explainer and a list of previous notable dismissals under this controversial rule.
What is it?
It is one of the most controversial rules in cricket, a game already loaded with very complex rules. It's a form of run-out dismissal but came into play in situations where the batsman at the non-striker's end leaves the crease before the bowler completes his delivery stride (or before the ball leaves the bowler's hand).
Here, it's important to know a batsman usually leave the crease (in cricketing terms, backs-up) to have momentum when the striker calls for a run. This is advantage batsman, and this very fact let 'the bowling camp' to defend mankad.
And more importantly, it is within the laws of the game but there is debate as to whether it is within the spirit of the game. Afterall, cricket is still a gentleman's game.
It is named after former India bowler Vinoo Mankad, who ran out Australia batsman Bill Brown in a similar manner in 1947.
What does the rule say?
The 41.16 Law as described in Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) rulebook states that a "bowler is permitted to attempt a run out" when the non-striker leaves his/her ground early.
"If the non-striker is out of his/her ground from the moment the ball comes into play to the instant when the bowler would normally have been expected to release the ball, the bowler is permitted to attempt to run him/her out. Whether the attempt is successful or not, the ball shall not count as one in the over. If the bowler fails in an attempt to run out the non-striker, the umpire shall call and signal Dead ball as soon as possible."
In 2017, the MCC, which takes care of the Laws of Cricket, made clarifications to the rule.
Earlier, bowlers could attempt a run out only during the delivery stride, in the act of delivering the ball. But a bowler can now run a batsman out at the non-striker's end at a time when he/she "would be expected to deliver the ball". Meaning, even before the stride.
But there is an unwritten general agreement that the batsman should be warned before hand, like a gentleman would do.
Any previous instances?
Strangely enough, Buttler was also previously mankaded by Sri Lanka's Sachithra Senanayake in an ODI match in 2014.
And it's not the first time that Ashwin has mankaded an opponent batsman. In 2012, he attempted mankading Sri Lankan Lahiru Thirimanne during the triangular CB series between in Australia. But Thirimanne remained non-out as Indian skipper Virender Sehwag withdrew the appeal keeping the spirit of the game.
Kapil Dev was lambasted after carrying out the act against Peter Kirsten, elder brother of former India coach Gary, in an ODI at Port Elizabeth on December 3, 1992. Kapil had warned Kirsten before whipping the bails at the non-striker's end after loading up.
A furious Kirsten left the field and it didn't go down well with then skipper Kepler Wessels. Just after the incident, while taking the second run, Wessels dangled his bat in such a manner that it hit Kapil on his shin bone and he looked in pain.
With no match referees in those days, Wessels went scot-free despite TV replays. Those were the days when Doordarshan used to borrow feed from the host country's broadcaster and the matter was never taken up officially.
However, one player, who might empathise with Ashwin is former India and Railways left-arm spinner Murali Kartik, who had not once but twice 'Mankaded' batsmen in domestic matches.
Once, playing for Surrey, during the 2012 English county season, he had 'Mankaded' Somerset batsman Alex Barrow, which led to him being booed by the home spectators at the Taunton ground.
The very next year, December 2013, things turned ugly when Kartik, during a Ranji match, dismissed Bengal batsman Sandipan Das in a similar fashion having warned him earlier.
An irate Bengal team, led by their senior pacer Ashok Dinda, hurled the choicest of abuses at him and even refused to shake hands at the end of the game.
During the same month, Bengal and Railways met again in the quarterfinals at the Eden Gardens and Kartik was booed time and again.
But 32 years ago, during a 1987 World Cup game in Lahore, great West Indies fast bowler Courtney Walsh thrice warned No 11 batsman Saleem Jaffer, who was constantly backing up too far.
However, Walsh didn't run him out and it allowed Abdul Qadir to hit a six and win the game for Pakistan. Walsh was then presented with a special medal by erstwhile Pakistan PM Zia ul Haq for showing 'sportsman spirit'.
The debate continues as some like legendary Sunil Gavaskar find it disgusting that one of India's most iconic cricketer Vinoo Mankad's is attached to this controversial dismissal.
The 'spirit of cricket' has always been a grey area when it comes to 'Mankading'.
"It was Bill Brown who got out, so why is it called Mankading and not Browned," Gavaskar has time and again stated.
Certainly, the debate not going to end very soon.
(With PTI inputs)