Dan Christian re-ignites debate over 'Mankad' after divisive act in BBL

The Sydney Sixers veteran was at the centre of debate in his side's win over the table-topping Perth Scorchers.

Dan Christian, pictured here not happy about Stephen Eskinazi leaving his crease early in the BBL.
Dan Christian wasn't happy about Stephen Eskinazi leaving his crease early in the BBL. Image: Fox Cricket

Dan Christian has become the latest player to spark debate about the Mankad's place in cricket after warning Perth Scorchers player Stephen Eskinazi in the BBL on Sunday night. Christian was bowling the second-last over for the Sydney Sixers when he thought English import Eskinazi was leaving his crease early at the non-striker's end.

Eskinazi had narrowly got back for two runs on the three previous deliveries, which seemed to leave Christian unhappy. He then pulled out of his delivery stride before bowling the ball, before turning and telling Eskinazi that he was warning him.

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“That’s your warning mate. That’s your warning,” Christian could be heard saying.

Eskinazi seemed perplexed by Christian's warning, with Aussie cricket great Mark Waugh also questioning whether the England international had done anything wrong. “Was he taking off early?” Waugh said on Fox Cricket. “I don’t reckon he was out of his crease, was he?”

Former Test wicket-keeper Brad Haddin added: “He didn’t move, did he?”

The Mankad is still highly controversial in the cricket world despite the ICC recently moving to make it a legitimate dismissal. It had previously been in the ICC's official laws under a section called 'unfair play'.

Melbourne Stars captain Adam Zampa was booed by fans earlier in the tournament when he attempted to run out Renegades player Tom Rogers at the non-striker's end. The third umpire ruled Rogers not out because Zampa had finished his delivery motion when he took the bails off.

Dan Christian, pictured here warning Stephen Eskinazi about leaving his crease early at the non-striker's end.
Dan Christian warned Stephen Eskinazi about leaving his crease early at the non-striker's end. Image: Fox Sports

"I was well within my rights to do it," Zampa said after the game. "It's in the rule book. It's well within the rules. As you saw, I just got my technique wrong and he was almost halfway down the wicket."

Aussie Test captain Pat Cummins recently said he'd be happy for his players to affect a Mankad if a warning has been issued and non-striker's continue to leave early. His comments came after Mitchell Starc called out Theunis de Bruyn during a fiery moment in the second Test between Australia and South Africa.

“We can warn them a couple of times but if they keep taking the mickey..." Cummins said.

Cricket fans were divided over Christian's actions on Sunday night. Many said he should have simply run Eskinazi out to normalise the dismissal, rather than warn him.

Sean Abbott bowls Sydney Sixers to victory

Meanwhile, Sean Abbott bowled the Sixers to a crucial six-run victory over the Scorchers to narrow the gap atop the BBL ladder to just one point. With the Scorchers chasing 152 for victory, Eskinazi made 66 not out from 54 balls to give his side a chance.

But Abbott proved the hero for the Sixers, taking 3-18 to restrict the Scorchers to 7-145. It marked the third consecutive game that Abbott has taken three wickets.

"My power surges haven't been great this year," Abbott, the leading wicket-taker in BBL history, said. "I went away and did some planning to be better there, because I am the senior bowler in the side and I have let the guys down there. It's just executing more."

Sean Abbott, pictured here celebrating after dismissing Nick Hobson in the BBL.
Sean Abbott celebrates after dismissing Nick Hobson in the BBL. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe - CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images) (Mark Metcalfe - CA via Getty Images)

Christian also claimed 2-7 in the only over he bowled, while Hayden Kerr nabbed 2-31 and successfully defended 16 runs the Scorchers required from the final over.

In the Sixers' batting innings, Steve Smith marked his return to the BBL with a classy 36 off 27 balls. Playing In his first match in the Big Bash in three seasons, the Test superstar hit four boundaries and two sixes.

The pick of Smith's shots was a slog sweep for six off Ashton Agar. He also played a superb back-foot drive off David Payne and hooked Jason Behrendorff over backward-square leg for six.

with AAP

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