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Why Ravichandran Ashwin is Facing Criticism For 'Mankading' Jos Buttler in IPL Match

Why Ravichandran Ashwin is Facing Criticism For 'Mankading' Jos Buttler in IPL Match

Ashwin, on sensing that Buttler was backing up too far, paused during his action and removed the bails from the non-strikers' end. Buttler was left bemused and angry. The on-field umpire went upstairs and ‘Out’ signal flashed on the big screen. Buttler was out for 69.

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Anurag Verma

The laws of cricket usually take a backseat when players exhibit actions on the field that are deemed in the spirit of the game. This was, however, to change during the Kings XI Punjab vs Rajasthan Royals contest on Monday night that left the cricket fraternity fuming after off-spinner and Punjab captain Ravichandran Ashwin dismissed Royals' batsman Jos Buttler by 'Mankading' him.

Ashwin, on sensing that Buttler was backing up too far, paused during his action and removed the bails from the non-strikers' end. Buttler was left bemused and angry. The on-field umpire went upstairs and ‘Out’ signal flashed on the big screen. Buttler went back for 69.

The sight of Ashwin doing a 'Mankad' on the field didn't sit down well with cricketers and fans who termed it "unprofessional," "ugly," and against the spirit of the game. They came out in numbers on Twitter expressing their displeasure over the unique dismissal.

But did Ashwin violate the laws of cricket?

According to 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.

Here, the ball comes into play when the bowler is in his/her run up.

Clearly, Ashwin was within his rights to dislodge the bails on the non-striker's end.

But here's where the things get a little more tricky. Many argued that Ashwin's brief pause exceeded the "expected time of the release of the ball" as stated in the law and the spinner hadn't issued a warning to the batsman beforehand for backing up from the popping crease.

Then again, according to the cricket's rule book, the bowler isn't required to warn the batsman before 'mankading' him.

What is 'Mankading' anyway?

Indian opener and slow left-arm orthodox bowler Vinoo Mankad stirred controversy back in 1947-48 during India's tour of Australia when he paused during his delivery stride and broke the wicket on the non-striker's end to dismiss Bill Brown during the second Test.

The incident caused an uproar in Aussie media and 'Mankad' or 'Mankading' came into existence. Although the method doesn't violate the laws of cricket, it is still considered by many as an unsporting one.

The rare method to dismiss the batsman left Twitterati divided over the "spirit of the game."

Of course, Ashwin was backed by several on Twitter.

After the backlash, Ashwin stood his ground and responded to the accusations by saying that the dismissal was "instinctive" and not a "planned" one.

"On my part, it was very instinctive and it was not planned or anything like that," Ashwin said.

"It is there in the rules of the game. I don't know where the understanding of the spirit of the game comes from because quite naturally if it's there in the rules, it's there.

"So probably the rules need to go back and be sorted."

What about the match?

Rajasthan Royals slumped from 108/2 (Jos Buttler's dismissal, 13th over) to 170/9, losing the match to Kings XI Punjab (184/4) by 14 runs.

You can watch the infamous Buttler dismissal here.


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