Former India pacer and current ICC match referee Javagal Srinath put the onus on non-strikers to remain in the crease till the ball is delivered, saying there was nothing against spirit of cricket in 'Mankad' dismissals.
Talking to R Ashwin in DRS With Ash Episode on the offspinner's YouTube channel, Srinath said a non-striker should not be allowed to gain advantage and stressed the rule has been reiterated plenty of times.
"It has gone through a lot of tests - Mankading," begun Srinath. "Putting the entire responsibility on the umpire, captain or the bowler was one way of looking at it. Whether it was fair or not was the question. But if you go deeper into the rules of the game, it is very clear that you are not supposed to leave the crease. If anything of that sort used to happen, even if it was inadvertent, and if it happens at the last ball of the match and there is a run out (opportunity) and he's in by an inch, the result becomes unfair and one of the teams will pay for it.
"I would like to see a balance here. I would want the batsmen to stay, be more careful, look into the arm of the bowler and after the ball is released, go. You cannot have the batsmen gaining 4-5 feet advantage every ball. And in T20, every ball matters. How many games go to the last ball.
"I'm for one thing, the bowler is focusing on the batsman (striker). For the non striker to stick to his crease till the ball is released is no big deal, because he is not batting or thinking of anything else. So non striker shouldn't leave the crease, the bowler should focus on his bowling and the batsman he's going to bowl to. If the non striker is taking an undue advantage, I'm fine and perfectly okay with a run out. The rules have been said and reiterated many times.
"It's not just T20 but in every format of the game, the onus is on the non striker to stick to the crease. That's the best way to look into it, don't look for any empathy, don't invoke spirit of cricket. Spirit of the game is with the runner, if he's moving out early, he is not (within) the spirit of the game. I would believe that the non striker should stick to the crease."
Ashwin, who had asked Srinath his opinion on the topic, replied: "Awesome, Sri Bhai. Truly said like the bowler's club."
The dismissal - running out the non-striker before delivering the ball - has been in discussion since Delhi Capitals coach Ricky Ponting warned Ashwin against doing it like he had done in IPL 2019 to Jos Buttler. Ponting had said the dismissal was against spirit of cricket.
Ashwin, who is a firm believer in non-strikers staying within the crease, suggested an alternate concept in case the current law was seen as against 'spirit' of the game. Ashwin suggested the concept of a 'free ball', similar to free hit for the batsmen.
Kolkata Knight Riders captain Dinesh Karthik, in the Laws of Cricket Challenge with Cricketnext, had elaborated on his thoughts on the topic saying bowlers should not be judged for doing something that's well within the laws.