BBL star Adam Zampa’s failed attempt at a controversial dismissal has reignited the heated Mankad debate – and now cricket’s chief lawmakers have confirmed the call was correctly made without it being allowed.
A storm of controversy began when Melbourne Stars skipper Zampa tried to clear the bails at the non-striker’s end before bowling an attempt to take the wicket of Renegades batter Tom Rogers in a tense Melbourne derby at the MCG on Tuesday night.
Zampa completed his act without releasing the ball, then cleared the bails with Rogers from his crease and celebrated defiantly by raising his finger and stomping straight to his mark.
Star skipper Adam Zampa (left) and Renegades bowler Tom Rogers were caught up in a Mankad drama during the BBL’s Melbourne derby at the MCG on Tuesday night
The umpires had other plans, however.
The on-field officials referred to the case above, where TV umpire Shawn Craig confirmed that Rogers was not out because Zampa had gone through his action, and passed his ‘highest release point’ before taking the sureties.
A healthy crowd of 38,000 quickly gathered around Zampa as they waited for the decision to be made.
The guardians of the laws of the game, the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), based at the iconic Lord’s ground in London, confirmed that giving Rogers the go-ahead was the right decision.
‘The non-striker will not run out in this way after the bowler has reached the highest point in his action,’ the MCC said in a statement.
‘This is so that the bowler cannot pretend to bowl the ball to tempt the non-striker off his ground, take his action, and then go all the way and try to run out.
‘The umpires were right not to send the non-striker (Rogers) out, because the bowler (Zampa) had not attempted to run out before going beyond the point where he would normally expect the ball to be released.’
Adam Zampa (right) warns Tom Rogers (red shirt) that he needs to stay in his crease until the ball is bowled
MCC also offered some sage advice on how to avoid drama.
‘As with all incidents of running out non-strikers, the MCC would like to reiterate that the best way to avoid running out non-strikers is to stay on their ground until they see the ball delivered by the bowler,’ said of the statement.
After the game, Zampa continued to insist that he was in the right and could do the controversial action again if necessary – despite his own coach slapping Mankad.
Many suggested that the fiery character was only upset because Rogers’ quick run allowed his partner Mackenzie Harvey – the better batsman of the two – to get back to hitting the ball before Mankad’s attempt.
Adam Zampa bowls the ball, while Tom Rogers prepares to leave from the non-strikers end
Zampa seemed to confirm that was the case after the game, and even threw himself in a bit of sensationalist hyperbole for good measure by suggesting that Rogers was ‘half the pitch’.
‘Tom Rogers had the ball before the crease before I bowled it to his advantage,’ he said.
‘I bowled a good ball to Mackenzie Harvey which should have been one (run instead of two) if he (Rogers) hadn’t done that.
‘So I thought with that ball if he doesn’t want to strike I’ll make it easier for him.
‘I think I’m within my rights to do it, it’s in the rule book, it’s within the rules. I just made a mistake in my technique, he was almost halfway down the wicket.’
That was in direct opposition to the thoughts of his coach, David Hussey, current and former cricketers and fans across the country.
Melbourne Stars coach David Hussey says Mankadding is ‘not the right way to play cricket’
‘Had it been granted, we would have withdrawn our appeal anyway,’ Hussey told the Fox Cricket broadcast of the match, although Zampa did not appear to indicate that he would actually withdraw the appeal.
‘This is not the right way to play cricket.’
‘In front of a crowd of 38,000 – many of them children on their school holidays – it was terrible from a ‘Captain’. Pointless, irrelevant wicket to try in the first place. He was somewhat saved by the overturned decision. He deserves the bad press he’s getting,’ one fan wrote on Twitter.
Even the controversial and no-nonsense politician Mark Latham, who was a decent opener at grade cricket level, had his say.
‘Adam Zampa: saving the world from climate change, one Mankad at a time. What a dog,’ he wrote on Twitter.
That said, there is now a growing selection of Aussie fans and former greats who believe the bowlers are perfectly within their rights – although Zampa’s example isn’t exactly the best illustration of the contentious debate. , it should be said.
Fellow leggie Brad Hogg said he thought Rogers was clearly taking advantage.
‘How can it be said that Rogers is not taking advantage? He leaves the crease before the bowler reaches his normal release point. Either the bowling action is completed or it is not out. Zampa is also to his right,’ said the Aussie limited-overs legend.
Whatever the MCC rules say, it appears no one will agree with Mankadding, though the Australians in particular remain adamant that it’s a ‘weak’ way to get someone out, as Shane put it Watson to Daily Mail Australia earlier this year.
At the end of the day, Rogers got the last laugh, with his right-arm outswingers taking an incredible 5/16, and consigned the hapless Stars to yet another defeat, this time by 33 runs.
The incident came just days after Aussie superstar Mitchell Starc once again denied Mankad on two occasions, despite his right to South African batsman Theunis de Bruyn a meter from his crease.
Before Starc could hit his delivery stride at the MCG for Australia’s dominant win, he pulled de Bruyn a few feet outside his crease.
This prompted a scowl from Starc, who was quick to warn the batter of his obligations.
‘Just stay in your crease, it’s not that hard,’ Starc can be heard barking in the broadcast.
‘The line is there for a reason.’
Starc has been very vocal in the past about insisting he was never Mankad because he, like most Australians, sees the controversial act as against the spirit of the game.
A shot from the stump cam showed how far Theunis de Bruyn was outside his crease when Mitchell Starc pulled from his bowling action
He said he confirmed on the Fox Cricket broadcast during a break in the game that he would not do so, but de Bruyn was penalized for wandering too far down the pitch when he agreed to run and an extra ball if his foot, as a bowler, is ‘t behind the line.
‘He’s halfway down Punt Road, isn’t he,’ he laughed in the broadcast, pointing to an iconic street near the MCG.
‘It is bad enough in white ball cricket, I don’t know what is needed is in red ball cricket.
‘I was just letting him know that if I have to keep my foot behind the line, he can at least keep the bat behind the line,’ said Starc.