The title of this post refers to the running out of a non-striker who backs up too far too early (Run Out AT The Non-Strikers End with the lower case e slipped in to make it pronounceable – ROA (as in road) – TeNSE. When someone effects this form of dismissal there is always a lot of controversy, with many seeing it as sharp practice while others recognize it for what it is, a form of dismissal which has full sanction under the laws of cricket and for which the batter, and the batter alone is to blame. I look at in more detail in the rest of this post.
This type of dismissal is often termed a ‘Mankad’, which derives from Mulvantrai Himmatlal ‘Vinoo’ Mankad of India, who was the first to make such a dismissal in a test match. Surviving members of the Mankad family are split on the issue, with a grandson having recently declared in favour of the use of the term and a son having even more recently declared against it. My own feeling is that one of the foremost of all test match all rounders (reached the double of 1,000 runs and 100 wickets at that level in just 23 matches, a figure bettered only by Ian Botham who got there in 21) is ill-served by being chiefly known for his association with this type of dismissal, and also using the fact that he was the first to do it in a test match conceals the long history of this type of dismissal, going back at least to the 1830s and 40s when one Thomas Barker (Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire) did it a number of times in matches at various levels. The serious alternative to ROATeNSE for me is “bowler’s stumping”, putting it on a par with a keeper stumping a striker who misses the ball when out of their ground.
A FAILED ROATeNSE
Some of those opposed to this mode of dismissal claim it requires little skill, so I now mention a recent Big Bash League incident involving Australian leg spinner Adam Zampa. Zampa was into his delivery stride when he altered course and attempted to run out an encroaching non-striker, but it was given not out because his arm was beyond the vertical – he made his decision a fraction too late. Zampa, in defiance of the opinions publicly expressed by coach David Hussey, refused to apologize for his actions, insisting rightly that he had been correct to go for the dismissal. The fact that the mode of dismissal can be fluffed shows that it does require skill.
A SUGGESTED REWORDING
In order for greater clarity I would change the wording of the section of the laws devoted to this dismissal, ruling that until the ball has actually been released the bowling crease belongs to the bowler, and the non-striker leaves it at their own risk. This form of dismissal is part of the game and will remain so – batters need to learn that even at the non-strikers end they need to keep their eyes on the bowler and not make an early move out of their ground, and to accpet being run out if they leave themselves open to this form of dismissal. A few months ago Deepti Sharma (India) dismissed Charlie Dean (England) by this means in an international match. My sympathies were entirely with the bowler: not only had Dean been serially leaving her ground early when at the non-strikers end (over 70 times in her innings), her offending had grown worse following the dismissal of Amy Jones which made her senior partner, and Deepti Sharma just before the over in which the dismissal occurred had spoken to the Indian captain, so Dean really should have been alert to the fact that such a dismissal was on the cards.