How Ravi Ashwin's controversial Mankad broke the rules

Ravi Ashwin’s controversial Mankad dismissal of Jos Buttler in the Indian Premier League should have been ruled not out.

That’s the opinion shared among a number of cricketers, fans and pundits after footage was analysed from start to finish on Tuesday.

Sensing that Kings XI Punjab would not win their clash with Rajasthan Royals if Buttler remained out there, Ashwin – the team’s captain – took his chance.

He knocked the bails off at the non-striker’s end to send the English batsman back to the dressing room on 69 runs, and the ploy worked as Kings XI won by 14 runs.

But when the umpire sent the appeal upstairs to check if Buttler was out of his crease, a particular portion of the rules was ignored.

Ravi Ashwin shaped to bowl before his unexpected Mankad. Pic: BCCI

A 2017 update to law 41.16 reads: “If the non-striker is out of his/her ground from the moment the ball comes into play to the instant when the bowler would normally have been expected to release the ball, the bowler is permitted to attempt to run him/her out.”

Note the key words ‘would normally have been expected to release the ball’.

Former Australian cricket stars Shane Warne and Lisa Sthalekar were among those to point out the discrepancy between the rulebook and what happened on the field.

Warne wrote: “(Ashwin) had no intention of delivering the ball – so it should have been called a dead ball.”

Sthalekar added: “(It) should have been called dead ball because at the point of release Buttler is in, but Ashwin waits until his momentum of ‘backing up’ takes him out of the crease’.”

The argument boils down to Ashwin’s desperation to dismiss Buttler, having hesitated on his action to enact the Mankad.

The bowler stopped in his tracks, kept his bowling arm down, looked at Buttler and removed the bails.

Ashwin defended his actions after the match, saying his play was “very instinctive”.

“I didn’t even load and he left the crease,” he said.

“It’s always been my take on it, because it’s my half of the crease. We ended on the right side of it but those things are game-changers and batsmen need to be wary of it.”