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What spirit are we going on about: Rahul Mankad

The Indian all-rounder ran out Bill Brown, who was at the non-striker’s end, in his run-up when he saw the batsman backing up too much, trying to take an unfair advantage in taking a run. Brown was well short of the ground when Mankad broke the stumps.

Rahul Mankad
Rahul, the youngest son of Vinoo Mankad

Thereafter, whenever, any batsman has been given out in similar circumstances, the spirit of the game is invoked. It was nothing different when Murali Kartik, India’s left-arm spinner and the Railways skipper, ‘Mankaded’ Bengal’s Sandipan Das in their last Ranji Trophy encounter which ended on Monday at New Delhi’s Jamia Millia Cricket Ground.

The incident infuriated Bengal coach Ashok Malhotra, who used inappropriate language against Kartik. The match also took an ugly turn on the last day when the Bengal players refused the customary handshake with their opponents.

Critical
Following this episode, Mankad’s only surviving son is critical of player behaviour. “We cannot take a hypocritical approach towards spirit of the game. What spirit are we talking about? When you blatantly edge the ball and still stand your ground, isn’t that against the spirit of the game?

When you appeal in spite of knowing that the ball has bumped before you took the catch, isn’t that against the spirit of cricket. Then, why not pull these guys up? We cannot be selective about the spirit of the game.

“In clinical terms, Kartik was well within the rules to run the batsman, who was trying to take an unfair advantage, out. The rules don’t mention that you have to warn the batsman. So, why target Kartik? In fact, not shaking hands after the match is against the spirit of the game,” Rahul told MiD DAY from Dubai yesterday.

‘Don’t change rule’
Rahul (58), the former Mumbai batsman, was not in favour of abolishing the rule. “Why change the rule? There are no emotions in laws. They are made for a purpose, and the reason here is to stop the batsman from gaining unfair advantage. Why do we always question the spirit of the game? Taking an unfair advantage is against the spirit of the game.

“Anyway, the spirit of the game has been abused in many ways nowadays. We do not need to change the rules. My father regretted running out Brown, but he said he would have done it again. We have to stop such things. According to me, spirit of the game is to play fair and within the rules,”  Rahul signed off. 

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