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'Mankad' controversy @ U-19 World Cup sets Twitter abuzz

Controversy reared it's ugly head at the under-19 Cricket World Cup on Tuesday after West Indies pacer Keemo Paul 'Mankaded' the last Zimbabwean player to ensure his team's victory in Chittagong. The incident created a buzz on Twitter with cricketing opinion being divided

Controversy reared it's ugly head at the under-19 Cricket World Cup on Tuesday after West Indies won their match against Zimbabwe by two runs in Chittagong by 'Mankading' their last player and in the process made it to the quarter-finals at the expense of their opponents.

ALSO READ: When the game of cricket was 'Mankaded'

Zimbabwe needed three runs to win with just one wicket remaining with West Indies pacer Keemo Paul bowling the 50th over. As Paul was about to bowl the first ball of the over he saw that non-striker Richard Ngarava was out of his crease. And instead of bowling the delivery, Paul quickly removed the bails with the ball and appealed for a run out.

Keemo Paul 'Mankads' Richard Ngarava
Keemo Paul 'Mankads' Richard Ngarava

The umpires conferred and asked West Indies team if they wanted to withdraw the appeal, which they declined to do. The umpires then referred the decision to the third umpire. The TV official reviewed the footage and ruled that Ngarava was out and with him his team too had been knocked out of the tournament.

An upset Zimbabwe captain Brandon Mavuta refused to comment on the incident. "We got so close, no comment about it. I don't have anything to say right now. No comment."

West Indies captain Shimron Hetmyer said he was comfortable with his decision to not withdraw the appeal. "I would say yes, cricket is a game of uncertainties. We've seen it happen in cricket before. It's not a big deal for us."

When asked if he thought the appeal was in the spirit of the game, he replied, "Probably not."

Zimbabwe coach Stephen Mangongo said, "I am disappointed with the way the game ended. I have debriefed the boys in the dressing room and they were all crying. We have explained that technically the run-out is legal."

Veteran West Indian commentator and former fast bowler Ian Bishop said, "We have to leave the emotions aside. It’s in the law books, so we have to not get carried away. The history of Mankad is such that it causes stigma. Future cricket matches have to kill this."

Even if we discount Bishop's reaction because he's a West Indian. Here's another commentator, former England fast bowler Dominic Cork, supporting the act. Cork said, "If this was a senior game, I don’t think I wouldn’t have gone upstairs. I wouldn’t want my team to win in that way. This isn’t what Under-19 cricket is about. I feel sorry for Zimbabwe."

Paul effecting a 'Mankad'  has divided cricketing opinion and many forner and current cricketers have taken to Twitter to either condemn or support the act.

Australia coach Darren Lehmann, New Zealand legend Stephen Fleming and other former and current players came out with immediate and heavy criticism as they tweeted about the incident.

Former Australia cricketer Tom Moody said, "Saddened to see that winning comes down to this!"

Discussing the act, 34-year-old West Indies pacer Tino Best gave a couple of examples that showed that the 'Spirit of Cricket' is violated by batsmen and fielders all the time, but bowlers are judged by a different yardstick. He even responded to Eoin Morgan's tweet criticising the West Indians suggesting that all the brouhaha was due to the team indulging in the act was West Indian.

Cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle and forme India opener Aakash Chopra too pitched into the debate and sided with the West Indian team on the issue.

But these names from the cricketing world weren't the only people to react to the event. Many people took to the social media platform to air their views, with most of them slamming the act.

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