The Mankad movement had a major moment in the Women’s Under-19 T20 World Cup this week. And one moment showed exactly where the divisive debate is at right now.

Australia beware. The Mankad maelstrom could be heading your way in India.

As the weeks pass by, the dismissal which was once considered a heinous breach of the spirit of cricket is losing its stigma to the point where the shockwaves aren’t shaking the building like they once did.

The Mankad movement had a major moment in the Women’s Under-19 T20 World Cup in South Africa over the weekend when Pakistan bowler Zaib-un-Nisa used the controversial run out method to dismiss Rwanda’s Shakila Niyomuhoza.

As the batter wandered out of her crease, the bowler removed the bails.

Then came the revealing part. The fallout. Or lack if it.

No fireworks. No disbelief. No angry looks.

The batter simply walked off and the bowler nonchalantly tossed the ball in the air as if she had taken a caught and bowled.

After nearly seven decades of turmoil, it felt like this most abnormal dismissal was normal.

During the Australian Test summer Mitchell Starc threatened to remove the bails on South African batsman Theunis de Bruyn but couldn’t quite bring himself to do it.

Starc is mulling over whether it is time to go the whole way, but the looming figure of interest in the forthcoming series with India is vocal Mankad supporter Ravi Ashwin.

The contrary Indian spinner tried his first Mankad a decade ago against Sri Lanka’s Lahiru Thirimanne before his teammates retracted the appeal, but Ashwin later caused outrage in the 2019 IPL when he Mankaded Jos Buttler.

A year after the Buttler incident, after being encouraged by his IPL coach Ricky Ponting to simply warn the batsmen and hold the ball, Ashwin did just that to Aaron Finch.

He then went on Twitter to declare that was his “first and final warning for 2020. I am making it official and don’t blame me later on.’’

Ashwin said the main reason he did not Mankad Finch was because they were “good friends’’ and Finch was “a very nice guy.’’

While Ashwin may be more inclined to try the dismissal in white ball cricket, he remains the bowler most likely to stir the pot during next month’s Test series.

Every time a Mankad is effected, there is a chorus of disapproval on social media from former players who grew up with the practice being considered dirty pool.

But the mood is changing. Bowlers’ patience is thinning. Adam Zampa had a failed Mankad attempt in the Big Bash and veteran Dan Christian told Perth Scorchers batsman Stephen Eskinazi “that’s your warning mate’’ when he threatened to take the bails off during a Big Bash game on Sunday.

Batsmen must realise the mood is changing and any that fall victim to this type of dismissal deserve no sympathy.

Ashwin is lurking …

Originally published as Cricket news 2023: Robert Craddock on the Mankad and why it may appear during Australia’s tour of India

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