Last night’s match between Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab took a controversial turn when the skipper of KXIP, Ravichandran Ashwin ‘Mankaded’ Jos Buttler.
It came out as a huge blow to the Rajasthan Royals who were chasing 185 runs. Jos Buttler had given a powerful kick-start to the innings for Rajasthan Royals and was looking unstoppable at 69 runs. But R.Ashwin put an end to his brilliant knock by dismissing Jos using Mankad.
After hitting the bails, Kings XI Punjab made an appeal for ‘Mankading’ and this is when R.Ashwin exchanged a few words with Jos Buttler, who was furious after the dismissal. In the heat of the moment, R.Ashwin told Jos Buttler “You are not in the crease and you’ve been upsetting my rhythm,”
It was one of the most controversial dismissal ever seen in the history of Indian Premier League and thus it sparked a new debate on social media, with many cricketers and cricket experts calling the dismissal as ‘a disgrace’, ‘unprofessional’, ‘ugly’ and against the spirit of the game. Many netizens are even calling the dismissal as “cheating”.
According to many, the laws of the game should take a backseat when it comes to the spirit of the game. However, last night the laws of the game were given preference by R.Ashwin. Sensing Buttler was backing up too far, R.Ashwin paused during the action of delivering the ball and hitted the bails from the non-striker’s end. Jos Buttler was given ‘OUT’ by the third umpire.
But were the laws of cricket violated by R.Ashwin?
As per the law 41.16 : “If the non-striker is out of his ground from the moment the ball comes into play to the instant when the bowler would normally have been expected to release the ball, the bowler is permitted to attempt to run him out.“
Clearly, R.Ashwin didn’t violate the laws of the cricket.
The Pause and the warning!
The tricky thing in the controversy was the pause taken by R.Ashwin before hitting the bails. Netizens and cricket experts are arguing that R.Ashwin waited for Jos Buttler to go out of the crease and hadn’t issued a warning to Jos Buttler beforehand, which goes against the spirit of the gentlemen’s game.
Well, according to the cricket rule books, the bowler isn’t required to warn the batsman before dismissing him through ‘Mankad’.
Also, how different was this from a stumping when a wicket-keeper waits for the batsman to lift his feet and dismiss him? We have always appreciated the wicket-keepers for their presence of mind when it comes to hitting the bails, so how was Ashwin wrong in doing the exact same thing from the other end?
So, all was done within the laws of the cricket.