Jos Buttler and Past
This isn’t the first time Buttler was run-out in this fashion. Dates back to 2014, when Sachitra Senanayake of Sri Lanka, not completing his delivery stride tries to run Buttler out. Was adjudged out by the umpires and what followed was heavy booing by the home crowd against the Sri Lankan spinner. Further, England went on to lose this game in Birmingham.
This was not just the only incident of ‘Mankading’. Named after Vinoo Mankad back in 1947, the game of cricket saw many such incidents. Kapil Dev did this to the Proteas, dismissing Peter Kirsten back in 1992. Was visibly furious over the unfair advantage the batsman was trying to gain before he bowled the delivery.
Ashwin was earlier involved in a similar set up against Sri Lanka, but however the stand-in captain Virender Sehwag played the spirit of cricket card and asked the dismissed Lahiru Thirmanne to continue batting. Perhaps he didn’t want to earn the wicket in this fashion?
As it happened in the IPL
History repeats. Ashwin this time was not only the bowler and more importantly, but also the skipper. Buttler, playing for Rajasthan Royals on the other end was cruising. Was batting at 69 runs of just 43 deliveries and Kings XI Punjab were left clueless. Next delivery, Ashwin stops his bowling stride, waits for the English batsman to step out and boom. Off go the bails. Ashwin visibly confident of his claim and appeal of the run-out.
On-field umpires go to the third umpire. And the third umpire adjudged the Englishman out.
Why the fuss, now?
The last 24 hours were quite dramatic for the cricketing fans. A lot of opinions poured in. While Ashwin was well within the legal bounds of the games to pull off such a run-out, what needs to be kept in mind that there was no intention from the batsman to sneak a run. Nor there was a warning from the bowler, expressing his ‘discomfort’ over the undue advantage the batsman was ‘supposedly’ taking.
Majority of fans were red on Ashwin’s act. While few questioned the rule, few defenders of Ashwin questioned if the rule itself was evidently against the spirit of cricket? Makes sense. Very very valid questions.
I look at this quite differently. And would like to question all those who are talking about the rule books and legitimacy of the same?
Would Ashwin do this with a batsman who’s batting at 5 runs or something?
Let’s face it, Ashwin perhaps had no other way to dismiss a batsman cruising at 69 runs. Sometimes it’s the situation that prompts players to explore such options. And also the very bad intent behind.
Was he within legal rights or no, is a separate argument? In fact, Ashwin could well be in his rights to pull off such a run-out. But nothing wrong in questioning his spirit of the game.
This dismissal may be called the ugliest dismissal perhaps in the IPL history. And this incident won’t be forgotten by the cricketing fraternity who were arguing for quite long about the validity of this rule and its relevance to the so-called spirit of the game ethos.
While it’s very convenient to say that the rule book is the Bible, it must be acknowledged that rule books may not answer all questions. Spirit of the ‘gentlemens game’ must prevail in my opinion. How to control such acts? No preventive controls out there honestly.
Should be best left to the ‘gentlemen’ on the field to take a conscious call in the spirit of the game and not play according to the situation/game equation always.
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