The first major controversy of this year’s Indian Premier League took place on Monday when Kings XI Punjab skipper R Ashwin Mankaded Rajasthan Royals opener Jos Buttler. The incident has led to widespread debate and now England Test skipper Joe Root has also given his two cents on it.
Rajasthan Royals were cruising along at 108 for 1 in their chase of 185 before the incident took place in the 13th over. On the penultimate delivery of the over, Ashwin stopped at the bowling crease, paused as Buttler left the crease, before turning to take the bails off. He immediately appealed for a run-out and eventually got the decision in his favour.
The dismissal completely changed the course of the game. Royals’ chase fell apart soon as they suffered an inexplicable batting collapse. Before departing, Buttler had slammed 69 off 43 balls with the help of 10 fours and two sixes. He had also added 78 runs with Ajinkya Rahane for the first wicket.
The Royals went on to finish the game on 170 for 9 despite being 108 for 1 and then 148 for 2 at one stage.
The incident had divided the cricketing world into two halves as many felt that Ashwin was right while many said that the act was against the spirit of the game. While Mankading is not against the rules, it is widely considered to be against the spirit of the game. Later, the MCC issued a statement which more or less settled the debate as they stated that Ashwin did nothing wrong.
Well, just like the majority Joe Root has also said he would be better off without being involved in this kind of incident. However, he made it clear that Ashwin did nothing against the law while asking his compatriot to take the dismissal in good spirits.
“It’s not something that I would like to be involved in. I wasn’t too impressed personally. But it’s within the laws of the game as a lot of people have said. Jos had to take it on the chin, unfortunately,” said Root as quoted by The Telegraph
He also said urged for more clarity on the controversial dismissal.
“Umpires being really clear on what is out and what is not out is going to be crucial, and making sure that everyone is on the same page with it so there are no inconsistencies is going to be really important and having the clarity there for everyone playing the game. I know it’s not a straightforward rule but as much as possible there is a way of working out what is out and what’s not,” Root said.
Ashwin, meanwhile, has said that his act was just instinctive as he played down the huge furore over it.