'Perfectly legal' vs 'unsportsmanlike': Ashwin's Mankading at IPL game triggers debate

Ravichandran Ashwin’s 'Mankading' dismissal of batsman Joe Buttler became the highlight of the KXIP vs Rajasthan Royals IPL match held on Monday.
'Perfectly legal' vs 'unsportsmanlike': Ashwin's Mankading at IPL game triggers debate
'Perfectly legal' vs 'unsportsmanlike': Ashwin's Mankading at IPL game triggers debate
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Ravichandran Ashwin’s ‘Mankading’ dismissal of batsman Joe Buttler on Monday became the highlight of the Indian Premier League (IPL) match between KXIP and Rajasthan Royals and sparked a big debate on social media. 

KXIP bowler Ashwin ran out Buttler, who was backing up a little too far at the non-strikers' end, in the 13th over — an action popularly known as 'Mankading'. Replays showed that Ashwin stopped and waited during his delivery stride for Buttler to move out of his crease before removing the bails. The decision was referred to the third umpire and Buttler was declared out. Buttler was visibly angry as he walked back to the pavilion and later coldly shook Ashwin’s hand during the customary handshake at the end of the match.

Rajasthan Royals coach Paddy Upton also voiced his displeasure at the move after the match. Upton, who was the mental conditioning coach of the World Cup-winning Indian side of 2011 of which Ashwin was also a part, said, “I will leave it up to the IPL fans to decide whether that's the kind of thing they want to see and we will leave it up to the cricket world to judge R Ashwin's actions tonight.”

‘Mankading’ has been named after Indian all-rounder Vinoo Mankad, who was the first player to effect such a dismissal when he ran out Australian batsman Bill Brown during a test match at the SCG in 1947. While Ashwin's decision to run out Buttler is legal according to ICC's rule 41.16, which states that a warning to the batsman is not necessary, the move sparked a fierce debate on social media. 

Many former and current cricketers, as well as analysts, stated that the move was not in the spirit of the game.

However, many argued that he was perfectly within the ICC rules to do so. 

How’s playing within the laws of the game ‘unfair’?? #RRvKXIP #IPL #Ashwin

— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) March 25, 2019

Some stated that perhaps Ashwin should have given a warning to the batsman that he was out of the crease before the ball left the bowler’s hand. 

As a coach or a senior cricketer I would advise any youngster/non-striker to face the bowler at the time of release and only leave the crease after the ball has been delivered, regardless of format or situation #Basics #Cricket #IPL #IPL2019 #BadriBytes #Mankading

— subramani badrinath (@s_badrinath) March 26, 2019

This is not the first time though that Joe Buttler has been run out in this fashion, as pointed out by a Twitter user who stated that Buttler was similarly “Mankaded” by Sri Lankan bowler Sachithra Senanayake in a one-day international in 2014. However, on that occasion, the bowler had given Buttler a warning before effecting the dismissal. 

There were, of course, several memes that followed. People also compared Joe Buttler’s dismissal to the one shown in the 2001 Bollywood movie Lagaan.

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