Afghanistan U-19 spinner Noor Ahmad sparked controversy on Friday after he mankaded Pakistan U-19 batsman Mohammad Huraira in the quarter-final of the ongoing ICC U-19 World Cup. Ahmad ran Huraira out on the non-striker’s end after he was caught outside the crease by the Chinaman spinner before releasing the ball.
Pakistan won the quarter-final after defeating Afghanistan by six wickets in the must-win encounter. Batting first, Afghanistan were skittled out on a paltry total of 189 runs by the Pakistan bowlers. They later failed to defend the target despite giving their all as Huraira’s brilliant 64 off 76 balls helped Pakistan win the game with 8.5 overs to spare.
Huraira was mankaded by Noor in the 28th over of Pakistan’s chase. The spinner burst into an appeal instantly after running the batsman out. The on-field umpires decided to go up to the third umpire and the replays showed that the Pakistan batsman was way out of his crease before the delivery was bowled. He was subsequently adjudged out.
While his dismissal didn’t have an impact on the result of the game, the Mankading episode took the cricket fraternity by a storm with the likes of James Anderson and Mohammad Kaif criticising the rule. It has often been argued by experts and former cricketers that Mankading is against the spirit of the game. Former South Africa pacer Dale Steyn also joined the bandwagon and gave his take on Mankading.
Replying to a journalist Piers Morgan’s tweet on the Mankading incident in the U-19 quarterfinal between Afghanistan and Pakistan, Steyn wrote, “This s**t’s getting outa hand.”