India’s right-arm off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin was in the headlines when he mankeded Jos Buttler during an Indian T20 League match between Punjab and Rajasthan franchise in 2019. Although Ashwin had every right to remove the English batsman, some former cricket players and fans of the game did not appreciate the play as they saw it as unsportsmanlike conduct. However, Ashwin wasn’t the first cricketer from India to do so.
Prior to the Ashwin-Buttler saga, two more Indians have done the same thing earlier in international cricket, with one of them being the 1983 World Cup-winning skipper Kapil Dev.
The incident took place in 1992, during first India’s tour of South Africa also commonly known as the “Friendship Series”. The 1992-93 series between India and South Africa also marked the rainbow nation’s re-entry into international cricket post the Apartheid era.
South Africa bowled out India for just 147 runs during the second ODI match of the seven-match series at Port Elizabeth. While chasing a target of 141, the Proteas opener Andrew Hudson got out early. After Hudson’s dismissal, Peter Kirsten walked on the crease to join his skipper Kepler Wessels.
Kirsten had a very bad outing in the Test series. He scored just 76 runs in the four games. However, he capitalized on his strong start to the one-days, scoring fifty in the opening match. On the first ball of the ninth over, Kapil Dev stunned the crowd as well as the on-field umpires by mankading Kirsten.
It was not the first time when he had walked outside the crease before the ball was bowled. In the next match, Kirsten did the same thing, but this time Kapil without giving any warning knocked off the bail on the non-striker’s end and then looked at the umpire, appealing for run-out.
Following the appeal, umpire Cyrus Mitchley was forced to send Kirsten back to the pavilion but he was not too happy with the dismissal. In the end, South Africa defeated India by six wickets with 20 balls to spare.