We had agreed: Stunning new twist in Mankad controversy

Ravi Ashwin’s controversial runout of Jos Buttler in the IPL has taken an unexpected twist.

Ashwin caused outrage on Tuesday when he dismissed Buttler at the non-striker’s end by way of a ‘Mankad’.

The method of dismissal is legal but one seen by many as going against the spirit of the game, at least unless the batsman had been persistently backing up and thus warned by Ashwin first.

The incident was all the more contentious as Buttler was still in his crease when Ashwin arrived, only for the bowler to pull out of his action and wait for him to step forward before whipping off the bails.

Ashwin appeared to trick Buttler. Image: IPL
Ashwin appeared to trick Buttler. Image: IPL

But some startling new claims suggest Ashwin went against a previous agreement that players wouldn’t Mankad each other in the IPL.

IPL Chairman Rajeev Shukla claims the captains of each team, including Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni, had previously held a meeting with match referees and decided against the controversial practice.

“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,” Shukla tweeted.

“Most probably this meeting was in Kolkata on the eve of one of the editions of ipl where Dhoni & Virat both were present.”

Ashwin is captain of Kings XI Punjab, however it’s unclear if the meeting occurred before the 2019 edition of the IPL or a previous one.

Regardless, Ashwin has been playing in the IPL since 2008 and would surely have known if there was an agreement not to Mankad.

The fact that this instance was the first Mankad in the 12 years since the IPL started suggests there probably was.

MCC fails to clarify

In a statement cricket’s lawmakers, the MCC, offered little clarity on the issue.

It said: “This law is essential. Without it, non-strikers could back up at liberty, several yards down the pitch and a law is needed to prevent such action.

“The crux of the issue is when the non-striker can safely leave his/her ground, and what the bowler can do to effect this form of dismissal without courting controversy.

“To clarify, it has never been in the laws that a warning should be given to the non-striker and nor is it against the spirit of cricket to run out a non-striker who is seeking to gain an advantage by leaving his/her ground early.

Buttler was found short of his crease. Image: IPL
Buttler was found short of his crease. Image: IPL

“Some feel that Ashwin delayed his action to allow Buttler the chance to leave his ground and that Buttler was in his ground when he expected the ball to be released.

“If it was a deliberate delay, that would be unfair and against the spirit of cricket. Ashwin claims this not to be the case.

“The TV umpire had to make a decision and, under the law, it was understandable how he opted to give Buttler out.

“It is up to both teams to ensure that the game is played within both the laws and the spirit of cricket.

“Non-strikers must be careful not to gain an unfair advantage by leaving their ground early, while bowlers must act within the timeframe outlined in the law to effect a run-out under law 41.16.”

with AAP