Controversy erupted in the clash between Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab in Jaipur after Ravichandran Ashwin mankaded Jos Buttler. Chasing 185 for victory, Royals were well-placed at 105/1 after 12 overs with Buttler leading the charge with a half-century.
Ashwin, who then came onto bowl his final over of the game, saw an opportunity off the fifth ball to mankad the batsman. R Ashwin was about to bowl the last ball of his spell and Buttler was at the non-strikers’, backing up.
The offspinner saw it, turned around and calmly broke the stumps. The event sparked visibly heated exchanges between the two players, and prompted outrage, Ashwin paused and waited for Buttler to leave crease which goes against the spirit of the game but it was, technically, within the laws of the game.
The batsman was agitated and was involved in a heated argument with the bowler who appeared to say ‘you are not in the crease and you’ve been upsetting my rhythm’.
This is the first time a player is out in this fashion in the Indian Premier League.
The question here, though, was whether Buttler would have been inside his crease had Ashwin not stopped at the point of delivery?
The updated law 41.16 says: “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.”
The wording “expected to release the ball” leaves room for subjectivity, which is where Ashwin’s assertion that he hadn’t even loaded becomes critical. If the bowler hadn’t even loaded, as Ashwin said, is it possible to estimate a time when he was “expected to release the ball”?
Cricket World was very angry and against Ashwin’s decision, while few also argued that the action was within the laws of the game.
Here’s how they react:
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) March 25, 2019
I can’t believe what I’m seeing!! @IPL Terrible example to set for young kids coming through. In time I think Ashwin will regret that.
— Eoin Morgan (@Eoin16) March 25, 2019
Ashwin, that’s shocking behaviour! Very disappointed to see that.
— Jason Roy (@JasonRoy20) March 25, 2019
So disappointed in @ashwinravi99 as a Captain & as a person. All captains sign the #IPL wall & agree to play in the spirit of the game. RA had no intention of delivering the ball – so it should have been called a dead ball. Over to u BCCI – this a not a good look for the #IPL
— Shane Warne (@ShaneWarne) March 25, 2019
He ain’t winning any spirit of cricket awards is old ashwin
— Dale Steyn (@DaleSteyn62) March 25, 2019
Bet Ashwin is that bloke who would take your last chicken nugget
— Jordan Clark (@Clarksy16) March 25, 2019
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) March 25, 2019
It’s within the laws of the game but Jos Butler should have been warned by Ashwin before that. Very Surprised ! Remember Ashwin doing the same in an international game where Sehwag withdrew the appeal.
— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) March 25, 2019
Very very poor wasn’t it
— Chris Lynn (@lynny50) March 25, 2019
— Mitchell McClenaghan (@Mitch_Savage) March 25, 2019
— Alexandra Hartley (@AlexHartley93) March 25, 2019
Hi Tom.. my belief is that Ashwin did not even raise his left arm to bowl the ball.. he just stood there. Sorry bud.. my interpretation is out..
if he raised his left arm..then you have a point . https://t.co/TxmWQYWzbM
— Dean Jones (@ProfDeano) March 25, 2019
After careful consideration of the footage and in-depth reading of the official laws of the game, we have reached the conclusion that Ravi Ashwin is a distinctly average bloke.#IPL2019
— England’s Barmy Army (@TheBarmyArmy) March 25, 2019
Nothing in the laws though about warning. Just as there is nothing in the laws about a wicket keeper warning a batsman for being out of the crease and not stumping him https://t.co/OqYypMiRIQ
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) March 25, 2019
— SJ.Harry (@SJ_Harry19) March 25, 2019