‘Sport’ive spirit

The controversial Mankading of Rajasthan Royals’ Jos Buttler by Punjab skipper Ashwin has let loose a debate among the sporting fraternity. This is the first instance of Mankading in the history of IPL. Ashwin won brickbats from cricketers and commentators after running out Buttler when the Rajasthan Royals batsman was backing up at the non-striker’s end, instead of completing his delivery.

What is surprising is that MCC, custodian of cricket’s laws, said initially that there was nothing wrong in Ashwin’s act. Call it an U-turn now, when Fraser Stewart, the MCC manager of the laws of cricket, said having extensively reviewed the incident again and after further reflection, the MCC doesn’t think it was within the spirit of the game.

Though the rules were changed in 2017 with regard to Mankading and a section say that what Ashwin did was within the rules of the game, many question his intentions. When Buttler was going steady and threatened to take the match away from Punjab, Ashwin chose to ‘Mankad’ him. Ashwin should have displayed spirit of sportsmanship. He should have warned Buttler first. A few from the fraternity said Ashwin set a terrible example for young kids coming through.

NT Bureau