It was a night full of drama at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur during the fourth game of the Indian Premier League in its twelfth season. While we got to see some brilliant shots being played and powerful innings being carried out by Chris Gayle and Jos Buttler, there was that one instance that sucked all the charm right out of the game.
After the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) were able to put forward a more than respectable score of 184-run total in 20 overs behind Chris 'Universe Boss' Gayle's thunderous 79-run innings, it was up to Ajinkya Rahane's Rajasthan Royals (RR) to make the run-chase happen successfully, otherwise this will be Punjab's first victory in Rajasthan ever, in the history of the league.March 25, 2019
From the get-go, Rahane and Co. looked determined to keep things the way they were with no intention of letting Punjab get a one up early in the tournament. With the skipper returning to the dressing room after scoring just 27 runs, it was the second opener and English cricketer Jos Buttler who took the command and thrashed anyone and everyone who came his way, while scoring 69 in just 43 deliveries which included 10 4s and two 6s.March 25, 2019
With loss in sight for KXIP, they looked desperate to get Buttler's wicket. They tried spinners, pacers and bowled a couple of googlies as well but the Englishman remained unfazed.
This is when R. Ashwin decided to do the unthinkable. In the 13th over, when Buttler was standing in the non-striker's end and was out of the crease (which all runners tend to do in order to complete the run more quickly), Ashwin went half-way into his bowling routine, stopped in the middle, turned around and knocked the bails right off the wickets right next to him.
Spirit of cricket thrown out of cricket, Some1 just tell @ashwinravi99 is not playing in streets but an International game @ICC must abolish Mankad rule. If u want to get @josbuttler Out then get him "OUT". Don't use silly ways to get rid of Best player @awais_hameed #Ashwin pic.twitter.com/kgdubqBhMG— Naveed Qaiser Rana (@journalist4871) March 25, 2019
This move is infamously known as 'mankading' based on the name of one of the most controversial bowlers in the history of Indian cricket, Vinoo Mankad, who started out this unholy, unsportsmanlike practice all the way back in 1947 when he dismissed Aussie batter Bill Brown twice (once in a practice session and then again in a Test match).
Anyhow, Ashwin's appeal after 'mankading' Buttler led the umpire to take the decision upstairs where the third umpire gave a decision in favour of the bowler and asked Buttler to leave the pitch.
Make no mistake, 'mankading' is not an illegal move. A bowler is well within his rights to get the non-striker run-out anytime he is found to be outside of the crease.March 25, 2019
“No real argument on that and it was pretty instinctive. 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,” Ashwin told Harsha Bhogle in the award distribution ceremony after the game.
Even though the official books of cricketing rules don't deem 'mankading' as illegal, it has been frowned upon ever since Mankad carried out this practice for the very first time. It makes the bowling side look weak, desperate and it most certainly does not help them look like the gentlemen of the game.
Ravichandran Ashwin has been out of action for the Indian cricket team for quite some time now and the fact that he can resort to something this grave, especially in the golden era of Indian cricket in which stars like Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah are making their country proud, says a thousand words about his spirit as a sportsman.
Clearly, the millions of fans of the true nature of cricket did not like the taste of Ashwin's desperate attempt to win the game, left in their mouth:
Harsha you are missing the point completely & I'm disappointed in you as you always push the spirit of the game - now you condone this behaviour ? Ashwin's actions were simply disgraceful, and I hope the BCCI doesn't condone this sort of behaviour in the #IPL ! #spiritofthegame https://t.co/BsIKDBN51X— Shane Warne (@ShaneWarne) March 25, 2019 March 25, 2019
Ashwin waited for him to get out of the crease. It is obvious for batsman to consider the ball is been released at that given moment when he completed the bowling stride. He just set a bad example as a captain! #mankading pic.twitter.com/4LXDzMcJhl— Chowkidar Devendra singh (@Devendra5611) March 26, 2019
Ashwin is very arrogant and oversmart too .... for me he is just another chutiya nothing more than that I m praying for disaster 4 kxip .... ashwin dog#Ashwin— ANNA (@iamtusharrai) March 26, 2019 March 26, 2019 March 26, 2019
Is this is what we want to teach our kids. @ashwinravi99 Nvr had the intention to deliver the ball.Shame on u.Lost all respect for u. History will teach you lesson. Also shame on third umpire for his decision. It should have been a dead ball #Ashwin. Spirit of cricket died pic.twitter.com/lRRYfVDc3j— à²à³à²à²¿à²¦à²¾à²° à²à²¶à³à²µà²¥à³/Chowkidar Ashwath (@AshwathK) March 26, 2019
Shame player ashwin #Buttler— à®¤à¯à®¤à¯à®¤à¯à®à¯à®à¯à®à®¿ à®¤à®¿.à®®à¯.à® ... (@allaneben24) March 26, 2019
Sorry @bhogleharsha IMHO you are wrong on this one. Ashwin allowed his competitive instincts to get the better of his judgement. A good night's sleep,maybe both of you will feel otherwise. As someone pointed out on my timeline,imagine Stokes Mankading Kohli in WC final! #Ashwin https://t.co/aoNTU8MdB9— Citizen/à¤¨à¤¾à¤à¤°à¤¿à¤/Dost Rajdeep (@sardesairajdeep) March 25, 2019