IPL 2020: Muttiah Muralitharan suggests five-run penalty to settle ‘Mankading’ row 

Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) bowling coach Muttiah Muralitharan offered an interesting suggestion amidst retriggered controversy around ‘Mankading’. 

The Sri Lankan spin legend believes if there are issues raised on instances of bowlers running out the non-striker for backing up too far, then the intent to steal the run by the batsman concerned should also result in a five-run penalty for his team. 

Read Also: “Batsmen shouldn’t be cheating”, Ricky Ponting reiterates stance on ‘Mankading’ 

Delhi Capitals’ (DC) head coach Ricky Ponting sparked debates on ‘Mankading’ once again ahead of the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Ponting said he’ll try to convince off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin in UAE against what he feels is an unethical mode of dismissal despite it being part of the laws. 

Ashwin, when he was leading Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) last year, had run out Rajasthan Royals’ (RR) Jos Buttler at the non-striker’s end and caused a massive uproar within the cricket world. 

“If the bowler should not have the unfair advantage of running out the batsman, the latter too should not have the unfair advantage of proceeding too ahead in the pitch in order to take a run,” Muralitharan told Hindustan Times. 

“I believe warnings should be given. Rather than giving the batsman out, five penalty runs should be added to the erring team if an umpire feels that the non-striker or the bowler is taking unfair advantage,” he added. 

Talking about Sunrisers’ chance of reclaiming the prestigious IPL trophy, Muralitharan said the 2016 Champions have a robust bowling attack up their sleeves to go the distance. 

“We have Rashid (Khan), who is a world-class spinner, and (Mohammad) Nabi who is an experienced spinner. We have new additions in all-rounder spinners like Sanjay Yadav, Abhishek Sharma. We also have Shahbaz Nadeem. The spin department looks better than the 2019 edition,” he said. 

Stressing on the spin-factor, Muralitharan backed Rashid, Nabi & co to deliver the goods keeping the conditions in mind. 

“I have played 40 to 50 matches at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium and in my experience, it has been a flat wicket. Unless something very different happens this time, it will remain so. The Dubai wicket is a slow one while the Abu Dhabi pitch, where I have never played, is quick.”

“So, I guess there will be a mix. All the teams will be almost equal number of matches in the venues, so there will be no particular advantage to anybody,” he said. 

Lastly, Muralitharan said while the absence of crowds for matches amid COVID-19 pandemic will be felt, cricketers should be able to find a source of motivation, including adapting to different surfaces in the gulf away from the home comfort in Hyderabad. 

“Without spectators, the motivation level, we will have to see,” he said. “Generally, SRH wins a lot of matches at home with all the crowd support but this time there will be no home-away thing…We will have to adapt.”

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