Ashwin’s ‘Mankad’ act: Wins a match but loses much more

IPL 2019,Rajasthan Royals,Indian Premier League,Ravichandran Ashwin,Kings XI Punjab
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Ravichandran Ashwin might have won the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 match for Kings XI Punjab by “Mankading” Jos Buttler in the game against hosts Rajasthan Royals on Monday night, he surely has lost many supporters and sympathisers.

Kings XI Punjab won, says the scoresheet. But Rajasthan Royals were not the only ones to lose. The sport of cricket and sportsmanship ended up the biggest losers.

Buttler should have survived the “unwarranted, albeit legal” act had the umpire read the “Mankad” clause carefully and interpreted it in right earnest. For Ashwin, there is only hatred in store. The wicket he earned would invoke no celebration. Albeit, criticism it gains in plenty.

Ashwin has not just played with the spirit of the game. He has also demolished the unwritten understanding, betrayed the trust that makes the sport bigger than a win or a loss. He has breached IPL captains’ unofficial understanding, if the IPL Chairman is to be believed.

In a past meeting, it was decided not to ‘Mankaded’ batsmen as courtesy, IPL Chairman Rajeev Shukla has claimed, reports PTI.

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Indian Premier League Chairman Rajeev Shukla has claimed that IPL captains, including Virat Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni, had decided against ‘Mankading’ during a meeting held before one of the editions of the event.

Kings XI Punjab captain Ravichandaran Ashwin kicked up a storm on Monday after running out Rajasthan Royals‘ Jos Buttler at the non-strikers’ end on his delivery stride, a legally permissible but controversial form of dismissal popularly called ‘Mankading’, in an IPL match in Jaipur.

Ashwin’s action was heavily criticised by Rajasthan Royal’s brand ambassador Shane Warne, who also questioned those who found nothing wrong with it.

Weighing into the matter, Shukla said a call had been taken to avoid such dismissals in a meeting of captains and match referees in which Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Kohli and Chennai Super Kings skipper Dhoni were also present.

“If I remember in one of the meetings of captains & match referee where I was also present as chairman it had been decided that if non striking batsman steps out bowler as a courtesy will not run him out @IPL @BCCI,” he tweeted.

“Most probably this meeting was in Kolkata on the eve of one of the editions of ipl where Dhoni & Virat both were present @BCCI @IPL,” he added without specifying the exact edition before which this decision was made.

Ashwin’s run out of Buttler is the first case of ‘Mankading’ in the 12 editions of the IPL.

Yesteryear stars in the commentary box, from VVS Lakshman to Irfan Pathan, were unanimous in their opinion to ridicule Ashwin’s act. They also quoted an example with Virender Sehwag as a captain had forced his bowler to take back an appeal on Mankading and urged the umpire to allow the batsman to continue.

Ashwin could have still been considered correct in his approach, had he at least once warned Buttler to stay in the crease. He instead has waited for the non-striker to step out of the crease and then remove the bails. The act might be right legally. But the thinking and spirit are not good at all!

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