R Ashwin Mankads Jos Buttler during a IPL match bewtween Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab
R Ashwin Mankads Jos Buttler during a IPL match bewtween Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab

India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin took to Twitter on Tuesday, nearly a year after his Mankading of England player Joss Butler during the IPL became the talking point amongst cricket pundits across the world.

Taking to Twitter, Ashwin said, “Just hope that technology will see if a batsmen is backing up before the bowler bowls a ball and disallow the runs of that ball every time the batter does so!!Thus, parity will be restored as far as the front line is concerned.”

Raising concerns about the rules being in more favour of the batsmen, Ashwin explained, defending the mankading of Butler last year. “If the non-striker backs up 2 feet and manages to come back for a 2, he will put the same batsmen on strike for the next ball. Putting the same batsmen on strike might cost me a 4 or a 6 from the next ball and eventually cost me 7 more runs instead of may be a 1 and a dot ball possibility at a different batsmen. The same will mean massively for a batter wanting to get off strike even in a test match.”

Last year, Butler, who played for the Rajasthan Royals in the India Premier League, became the first player in the history of the league to be Mankaded by Ashwin during a match between Royals and Kings XI Punjab.

The dismissal is sure to create a big controversy going into the 12th edition of the IPL. Rajasthan were 108 for one in 12.4 overs at that stage. Among Indians, it was Kapil Dev who had mankaded Peter Kirsten of South Africa during the 1992-93 series and in Indian domestic cricket Railways’ spinner Murali Karthik had mankaded Sandipan Das of Bengal during a Ranji Trophy match.

As per cricketing laws, the batsman is not supposed to leave his crease until the bowler has delivered the ball. In this case, Buttler was clearly out of his crease much before Ashwin had delivered. However, the bowler and captain have the option to withdraw the appeal in case they have second thoughts. In this case, Ashwin decided to stick with his appeal. Although the dismissal was as per the rules of the game, it is often considered un-sportsman like.

Ashwin himself clearly mentioned at the post-match conference, “I didn’t even load and he just left the crease. We ended on the right side of the coin, but I definitely think that those are game-changing moments and batsmen need to be wary of it.” Fair enough, isn’t it?

Furthermore, cricket was never a gentleman’s game. The name came because the British elite played it, and its popularity grew far and wide. Ian Chappell’s team was called the ‘Ugly Australians’. Clive Lloyd once said in an interview that a ‘Good loser is a loser.’ And Steve Waugh, Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar, and Virat Kohli’s expression says it all when they have lost a game.

Meanwhile, in the ongoing series between West Indies and England, people have been critical of fast bowler Jofra Archer’s theory of bouncing out batsmen. While Archer has other issues, this tactic is totally fair. Given that the batsmen have all the protection in the world, short bowling works. The batsmen need to be adept in facing fast bowling and that’s what Test cricket is all about.

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