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IPL 2019: How introducing the card system in cricket can solve controversies like Mankading

Venkat Harish

IPL 2019 has heated up the Indian summer in just three days. Ravichandran Ashwin "Mankading" Jos Buttler in Monday's RR vs KXIP clash is the hottest topic of discussion in the cricketing world.

The act by the Kings XI captain has both supporters and critics. But everyone would agree that we need a long-term solution to address the issue of Mankading in the future.

Let us look into the arguments of both sides before getting into the solution.


Within the rules of the game

The pundits and fans who are in support of Ashwin have taken the cricket rule back as their defensive tool. Law 42 has the following text:

The bowler is permitted, before entering his delivery stride, to attempt to run out the non-striker. Whether the attempt is successful or not, the ball shall not count as one of 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.

This means that Mankading is legal in cricket.

A switch shot by a batsman and a slower ball by a fast bowler are innovations in cricket that have given new life to the game. If these are criticized for being against the conventional norms, cricket will not be as interesting as it is today.

Mankading is just another one of such tools.


Against the spirit of the game?

The other side of the argument is that such dismissals go against the spirit of the game. This argument has its own merits.

Buttler was flying high in the match; he was making good balls bowled at him look bad. If such a good innings is ended by a small mistake, it takes away a lot of credit from the batsman.

The argument of giving a warning before dismissing the batsman seems to be valid. Repeated offenders deserve punishment, irrespective of the field.

Cricket being a gentleman's game, can have an excuse for first-time offenders. Buttler himself experienced this liberal treatment against Sri Lanka in an ODI. He was warned once for the offense and was run out when he repeated the same.

A possible solution

There are many actions in cricket that earn warnings from the umpires. Actions like running in the danger area of the pitch, bowling high full toss are a few examples.

In such instances, the umpires can be given powers to issue cards like in football and hockey. A card can be issued against the player depending on the intensity of the offense committed.

Hockey has suspension for a few minutes, football has dismissal from the game.  

The card system can be introduced in cricket
The card system can be introduced in cricket

Similarly, dismissing the batsman or suspending the bowler can be given as punishments in cricket. This will ensure that cricket rules are followed without compromising the spirit of the game.

That said, such laws have to be codified to perfection. They should not lead to more controversies in the future. For example, in the game of football, the circumstances in which direct red card can be given is still under debate. Such mistakes should be avoided in cricket.

Cricket has made numerous innovations in the past. Newer ones now will only make the game better for everyone involved.

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