Mitchell Starc's controversial act at World Cup divides cricket world

The fast bowler divided the cricket world with his first over act against Sri Lanka.

Mitchell Starc stops his delivery and Starc smiles.
Mitchell Starc (pictured right) has once again reignited the controversial 'Mankad' debate at the Cricket World Cup having warned Kusal Perera twice. (Images: Twitter/Getty Images)

Mitchell Starc has once again reignited the 'Mankad' debate at the Cricket World Cup having warned Kusal Perera twice over leaving his crease when bowling. Pat Cummins and Adam Zampa helped Australia bounce back and record their first victory at this year's World Cup with a five-wicket win over Sri Lanka.

However, there was a controversial moment in the first over of the match when Starc stoped to warn Kusal Perera over a Mankad. Starc showed his sportsmanship many years ago when he refused to Mankad Adil Rashid during a One Day International match against England.

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Starc was praised for his effort of warning the batter at the time, but his act against Sri Lanka has reignited the controversy. In the opening over for Australia, Starc noticed Perera leaving the crease.

And the left-arm bowler stopped just before entering his action to bowl on one of his deliveries to notice Perera well outside the crease. Starc gestured and warned Perera to stay in the crease.

England cricket great Nasser Hussain claimed Starc may have told the umpire in the first over about Perera sneaking out of the crease early. “After the first ball Starc had a little word with the umpire, Kusal Perera just leaving his crease... he was saying to Kusal Perera ‘don’t leave your crease’,” Hussain said.

“That’s fair enough, he’s told the umpire now he’s told the batter, stay in your crease at that end... a very eventful first over.” Starc was unsure if Pererea had heeded the warning and attempted to stop again, but the Sri Lankan batter was inside the crease.

Mitchell Starc speaks with Kusal Perera.
Mitchell Starc (pictured right) wasn't happy Kusal Perera (pictured left) was leaving his crease before the delivery. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

There has been plenty of controversy over the years regarding the Mankad dismissal with the governing body, The Marylebone Cricket Club, changing the laws last year to make the dismissal completely legal.

Starc could have run out Perera in the first over with no warning and the dismissal would have stood. However, Starc opted to give the batter a warning like he has done in the past.

This did divide the fickle cricket community with many praising Starc for his sportsmanship, while others said he should have just dismissed Perera if he was going to keep pulling up the batter for leaving his crease early.

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Starc continued his dominance for Australia with his two wickets meaning he has now taken a dismissal in every World Cup match he has ever played. That is at least one wicket in 21 consecutive World Cup matches.

While Starc performed after the rain delay, it was Cummins and Zampa that stole the show. Sri Lanka collapsed with a 9-52 with Zampa (4-47) and Cummins (2-32) doing the bulk of the damage.

Zampa rebounded from two poor games to give Australia hope they can still reach the knockout stages of the World Cup. "I've been sporting a bit of a back spasm for the last couple of days so I tried to get through this one," said Zampa, who received treatment from physiotherapists throughout the innings in the field.

"I feel like I'm a good critic of myself and I feel like I could be doing better but it's nice to be on the better end of the result tonight."

Zampa admitted it took him a little while to get into the game having left the field for a short time. "It took me a little while to get into the game today, I didn't feel at my best again but I've just got to try and keep that wicket-taking attitude," Zampa added.

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