The chief executive of the Australian Cricketers’ Association has called for the term ‘Mankad’ to be removed from the sport’s language and said that the players have a key role in removing the stigma around the dismissal.
“I don’t think it’s a debate, think it’s very black and white, it shouldn’t be the word Mankad,” Todd Greenberg told SEN radio during the Sydney Test. “I agree the players have a role in eradicating that term, it’s a run out at the non-striker’s end.
“In a game played where centimetres, even millimetres, make the difference, if the onus and responsibility is on the bowler to stay behind the line at the point of delivery then the onus and responsibility should be on the batter to do similar.”
Greenberg added it was vital for players in the professional game to lead the way so that those involved at lower levels, and youngsters coming up, could see them setting the example.
“Players have a huge opportunity to change language and tone,” he said. “And that correlates right down through participation because this is not just an issue at the elite level, it will be an issue in an Under-12s game on a Saturday and it will put parents and volunteers under huge pressure if they don’t see what’s happening at the elite level. The kids at that level replicate what happens on the field.”
In the aftermath of Zampa’s run-out attempt, there appeared to be a divide in the Melbourne Stars team with coach David Hussey saying it was not the way to play the game but Zampa largely standing by his actions. Greenberg acknowledged that getting all players and those involved in the game at a senior level on the same page would be a challenge.
“Sometimes we have to have hard conversations and sometimes you have to square up players and say this is what’s better for the game,” he said. “I’d be saying to all players, former players and coaches, if you stay behind the line you don’t have this conversation.”
The MCC has attempted to remove the stigma attached to the dismissal by moving it from unfair play to run out in the Laws of the game. There remains some debate about whether the wording of the Law is clear enough, particularly around the element of a bowlers’ point of release, which was key in the recent Zampa example.