'Won't do it again': Ricky Ponting bans 'ugly' cricket act

A 50-50 split image shows Ravi Ashwin on the left and Ricky Ponting on the right.
After Ravi Ashwin's controversial 'Mankad' in the IPL last season, incoming Dehli Capitals coach Ricky Ponting says he's banning his players from doing so. Pictures: Getty Images

Ricky Ponting has sought to make an immediate impact on the Indian Premier League’s upcoming return, banning players on his team using the controversial ‘mankad’ dismissal.

The IPL’s 2020 season is scheduled to begin in September, with Ponting coaching the Dehli Capitals.

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One of the team’s major recruits was Indian star Ravi Ashwin, who sparked the controversy over the ‘mankad’ when he ran Jos Buttler out at the non-striker’s end as he came in to bowl during the 2019 season.

Ashwin maintained throughout that it was his right to ensure the batsman didn’t back up beyond his crease, but Ponting certainly doesn’t agree.

“I’ll be having a chat with him about it, that’s the first thing I’ll do,” Ponting said when asked about Ashwin on The Grade Cricketer podcast.

“Look, he’s a terrific bowler, and he’s done a great job in the IPL for a long period of time now, but I must admit watching that last season, as soon as it happened and he did that, I actually sat our boys down and said, ‘Look, I know he’s done it, there’ll be others around the tournament who’ll think about doing this as well but that’s not going to be the way that we play our cricket. We won’t be doing that’.

“So, that’s going to be a conversation and that’s going to be a hard conversation I will have to have with him, but I’m pretty sure he’ll take it on the chin.

“I think, even him, looking back now, probably he’d say it was within the rules and he’s right to do it, but this is not within the spirit of the game, not in the way I want, at least with the Delhi Capitals anyway.”

Ricky Ponting slams ‘ugly’ IPL dismissal

While Ponting remained firmly against the ‘mankad’ concept, the former Australian star was somewhat sympathetic to Ashwin’s argument.

He suggested some sort of run penalty for the batsman could be added to the rules if they backed up too far, but continued to insist running the batsman out at the non-striker’s end was an ‘ugly’ wicket.

“I think there are ways that you can actually stop batsmen cheating like that,” he said.

“You’ve only got to do that once at the start of a tournament, and then all the players see it, and you can guarantee the players won’t be fudging any ground from then on.

Ricky Ponting is pictured during a press conference.
Ricky Ponting says he will ban Dehli Capitals players from using the 'Mankad' dismissal. (Photo by Scott Barbour - CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images/Getty Images)

“I chatted to some of the match referees about it during last year’s IPL as well. If the umpires make a stance and do something to warn the batsmen that they might be cheating, then that’s better than having the ugly incident of a Mankad.”

The first match of the IPL season will be on September 19, with the final scheduled to be held on November 10.

The league is organising a bio-secure environment for the 53-day tournament to take place in, despite India being one of the worst-affected countries as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.