Brian Lara makes staggering call amid Adam Zampa controversy in BBL

West Indian cricket legend Brian Lara sees no problem with what Adam Zampa did to land the BBL star in hot water.

Brian Lara and Adam Zampa are pictured side by side.
West Indian great Brian Lara has thrown his support behind Adam Zampa's attempt to 'Mankad' Tom Rogers in the BBL. Pictures: Getty Images

Brian Lara has backed Adam Zampa's ill-fated attempt at a 'Mankad' in the BBL, after the Melbourne Stars skipper became embroiled in controversy as a result. Zampa had attempted to run Renegades batter Tom Rogers out at the non-striker's end, an attempt that was struck off due to him having gone through his bowling motion before coming back to take the bails off.

Despite the ICC moving last year to clarify the rules around bowlers running a batter out, the 'Mankad' remains a divisive act in the cricket world. Some maintain it's an unsportsmanlike form of dismissal, however other argue it is the batters responsibility to avoid being run-out by not backing up out of their crease too far.

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Zampa has faced heavy criticism since, but maintains the only regret he has about his attempt was the execution. But he's found a high profile supporter in West Indian cricket legend Lara, who backed the spinner's highly contentious act.

“As a batter, I honestly don’t think that I’ve ever stepped out of my crease unless I see the ball travelling out of the bowler’s hand,” told Fox Cricket. “And you just need to see a yard of the delivery coming out and then you can leave your crease.

“You’re telling the bowler that if he goes across the line by a centimetre, right, that’s illegal. But you’re allowed to go down the track three or four yards and take that advantage?

“I say Adam, run him out, that’s what I think. It’s got to be stamped out of the game, these players have to understand that they’ve got to stay in their crease, and I don’t see any great advantage. Why are you going? That bat can still be in your crease and you can have the legs to get to the other end. I’m totally for stamping that side of the game out, let batsmen know they have to stay in their crease.”

Lara likened backing up excessively to the practice of stealing bases in baseball, where a base runner can risk getting out before a pitch is thrown to effectively get a free base. He said the interplay between the pitcher and base-runners in those situations was an interesting aspect of the game in baseball, suggesting the Mankad was similar to a pitcher managing to pick off a runner trying to steal a base.

Adam Zampa, pictured here speaking to Tom Rogers after the controversial incident.
Adam Zampa speaks to Tom Rogers after the controversial incident. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

Adam Zampa defends controversial Mankad attempt in BBL

For his part, Zampa has remained steadfast in his decision. It was driven partly because Rogers, one of the Renegades' tail-enders, had managed to get off strike.

Though admitting his hasty raising of his own finger was a mistake, Zampa was adamant that it was important to prevent the non-striker from leaving their crease. His attempt left Rogers fuming, and he went on to rip through the Stars top order on his way to five wickets in a Renegades win.

“I have a regret of maybe putting my finger up as soon as I did it and giving it out straight away. I don’t know what the answer is with the Mankad; I made the decision at the time because I felt that Tom Rogers was gaining an advantage the ball before," Zampa said.

Adam Zampa speaks to the umpire during the Melbourne Stars' BBL match against the Melbourne Renegades.
Adam Zampa was disappointed after his attempt to Mankad rival Tom Rogers in the BBL was ruled not out by the umpire. (Photo by Morgan Hancock/Getty Images)

“I felt like I’d bowled a good enough ball to be bowling to the tailender but the batsman got back on strike, hence why I did it. Would I do it differently I don’t know, I’m a really competitive guy.”

Rogers claimed 3-11 in his first two overs as the Renegades reduced their hosts to 4-18 in the fifth. He finished with figures of 5-16 as the Renegades won by 33 runs. Rogers admitted the focus on the Mankad had lead to him being more conservative in the crease.

"I'm a little bit confused by the rule but because it's been flavour of the month for a little while I was probably staying in my crease for a little bit longer than I have in the past," Rogers said. "I thought I was going to be ok ... but the umpires are doing a good job and luckily it was not out."

Adelaide Strikers coach Jason Gillespie had also backed Zampa's actions, saying batters who leave their crease early are effectively 'cheating'.

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