By Rajdeep Singh Puri
Kings XI Punjab captain Ravichandran Ashwin sparked an international controversy after an unusual cricket dismissal during the IPL match against the Rajasthan Royals last night.
Ashwin sent English batsman Jos Buttler back to the pavilion via a dismissal known as a “Mankad”. Coined after former Indian cricket star Vinoo Mankad, it refers to a run-out where the bowler dismisses a non-striker who has left the crease before the ball has been bowled.
Off-spinner Ashwin paused before delivering the ball, saw Buttler leave his crease, and then whipped the bails off. The English wicketkeeper-batsman was on 69 off just 43 deliveries when he was given out by the third umpire.
Kings XI defeated the Royals by 14 runs to grab the vital two points.
Under the MCC’s Laws of Cricket, it is a legal dismissal. Law 41.16 allows the dismissal of a non-striker who has left their crease, and states that the onus is on the batsman to stay in his crease until the bowler has released the ball.
However, Ashwin was hauled up by many cricketers around the world who said it was not in the spirit of the game.
Former Australian star Shane Warne took to Twitter to express his disapproval.
“As captain of your side you set the standard of the way the team wants to play and what the team stands for! Why do such a disgraceful and low act like that tonight? You must live with yourself and FYI — it’s to late to say sorry Mr Ashwin. You will be remembered for that low act," he said in one of his Tweets.
There were plenty of other cricketers who condemned what Ashwin did, however, many supported the Indian cricketer.
In his post-match press conference, Ashwin said he was within 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," he said.
With that, the first round of matches of the 2019 edition of the IPL has come to an end.