Cricket: 'Mankad' controversy returns at U19 World Cup

Afghanistan bowler Noor Ahmad Lakanwal created a moment of controversy at the U19 Cricket World Cup when he 'Mankaded' Pakistan batsman Mohammad Huraira during their quarter-final match. 

Pakistan went onto win the match by six-wickets, but the controversial dismissal was the big talking point.

The dismissal, named after Indian bowler Vinoo Mankad, involves removing the bails of the batsman not facing the delivery and has long been considered unsportsmanlike by many in the cricket fraternity, despite being legal.

Huraira, who was on 64 runs, was at the non-striker's end and began his run-up when Lakanwal stopped his bowling motion and hit the stumps with the ball. 

On-field umpire Sam Nogajski referred the matter to the third umpire, and replays confirmed Huraira was out of his crease when Ahmad broke the stumps. 

Afghan captain Farhan Zakhil admitted after his side's defeat that they may not have resorted to the tactic if they had been in a better position.

"At that time, we realised let's do something different to build pressure on Pakistan," Zakhil told ESPNcricinfo. "To be honest, it was not in the spirit of the game.

"But we wanted to win. It was a very important game for us. The people of Afghanistan wanted us to beat Pakistan. But it's within the rules - and out is out. You have to stay within the crease. If you want to reduce the pitch length to 16 or 18 yards, then you're creating a problem for us.

"If you want to make runs and rotate the strike, you must respect the opposition, which is why we went ahead. If we were winning, we probably wouldn't have done it."

But Huraira conceded that he was to blame for leaving his crease.

"I should've been in the crease, and I'll learn from the mistake. I'll ensure it isn't repeated again."

However, that hasn't stopped calls for the rule to be scrapped from cricket. 

England great Jimmy Anderson took to Twitter to request a change from Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) - Cricket's lawmakers. 

"I think there are enough ways to get a batsman out involving skill [either as a bowler or fielder]. I don’t think I’ve played with anyone who feels like this is a legitimate way of getting someone out,’ he wrote in a comment later.

Former Australian spinner Shane Warne and England captain Eoin Morgan called for the rule to be scrapped last year after a similar incident during an Indian Premier League match between the Kings XI Punjab's IPL and Rajasthan Royals. 

 Royals batsman Jos Buttler seemed to be guiding his team to victory when he fell victim to a 'Mankad' from India's Ravi Ashwin.

The dismissal prompted tweets from Warne and Morgan, who believe it goes against the spirit of the game.

"So disappointed in [Ashwin] as a captain & as a person," tweeted Warne. "[Ashwin] had no intention of delivering the ball - so it should have been called a dead ball... This is not a good look for the IPL".

As Captain of your side - you set the standard of the way the team wants to play & what the team stands for! Why do such a disgraceful & low act like that tonight? You must live with yourself & FYI - it’s too late to say sorry Mr Ashwin. You will be remembered for that low act."

"I can’t believe what I’m seeing!!" said Morgan. "Terrible example to set for young kids coming through. In time I think Ashwin will regret that."

Pakistan will now face India in the U19 semi-finals with the winner to face either New Zealand or Bangladesh in the final on February 9.