The 2019 Indian Premier League game between Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals in Jaipur rekindled the “Spirit of Cricket” debate with Ravichandran Ashwin running out Jos Buttler for backing up too far at the non striker’s end.
While looking to deliver the fifth ball of his final over, Ashwin stopped in his delivery stride, with the side-on view appearing to indicate Buttler was still inside the crease. The wicketkeeper-batsman then took a few steps out of the crease, with Ashwin turning around to whip the bails off at the bowler’s end. As Buttler walked back to the hut, there was a heated exchange of words between the two players.
The offspinner, later on Monday (March 26) noted that he instinctively mankaded the batsman. “Look, it was very instinctive. On my part, it was very instinctive. It was not planned or anything like that. It’s there within the rules of the game. I don’t understand where the spirit of the game comes, naturally if it’s there in the rules it’s there.
“I don’t understand the point of sporting or sportive in that point because it’s rules. What applies for one man does not apply for everyone else. Neither was Jos Buttler playing there nor was I played so it’s very pertinent to just not compare two people..”
It raises the point whether Buttler would have stayed inside the crease if Ashwin hadn’t stopped in his delivery stride. The law 41.16, that was tweaked in April 2017, notes: “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.”
Incidentally, the wicketkeeper-batsman, was run-out in a similar fashion in the Edgbaston ODI against Sri Lanka in 2014. In that case, Sachithra Senanayake, the bowler, had mankaded the aforementioned batsman after giving a couple of warnings. It had resulted in a war of words between Sri Lanka’s skipper, Angelo Mathews and his counterpart Alastair Cook.
Meanwhile, Ajinkya Rahane, Royals’ captain, preferred not to comment on the controversial run out at the presentation ceremony. “Sadly we are not allowed to comment on controversial issues. I am sure the match referee will take a call. We take these decisions sportingly.”
Despite Buttler’s fine innings, Royals couldn’t chase down the total of 185 as they slipped to a 14-run defeat.