Ravi Ashwin’s controversial “Mankad” dismissal of Jos Buttler has been described as contrary to “the spirit of the game” by MCC, just 24 hours after the sport’s lawmakers had seemingly given it the green light.
Buttler was run out by Ashwin during an Indian Premier League match between Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals on Monday, with the spinner pulling out of a delivery and removing the bails at the non-striker’s end while the England batsman was backing up.
The rare dismissal, named after the former India all-rounder Vinoo Mankad who effected it in a Test against Australia in 1947, falls within the laws of the game and works as a deterrent against non-strikers trying to gain an unfair start when setting off for a run.
MCC had originally cleared the latest occurrence, albeit noting the wicket was a marginal call for the third umpire, Bruce Oxenford, given it was touch and go whether Buttler was out of his ground at “the instant when the bowler would normally have been expected to release the ball”.
Fraser Stewart, the MCC’s laws manager, has since reviewed the footage further and declared Buttler was in his ground at the expected point of release but for a pause by Ashwin before the removal of the bails.
“Having extensively reviewed the incident again and after further reflection we don’t think it was within the spirit of the game,” Stewart told the Daily Telegraph. “We believe the pause was too long between the time Ashwin reached the crease and the moment it was reasonable to expect the ball would be delivered. When Buttler could have reasonably expected the ball to be delivered, he was in his ground.
“It is also unfair, and against the Spirit of Cricket, for non-strikers to leave their ground too early. All these debates wouldn’t be necessary if non‑strikers remained in their ground until the ball is on its way down the pitch.”
Speaking after the match, which Kings XI won, Ashwin claimed the dismissal was “pretty instinctive” but faced criticism from a number of current and former players. Eoin Morgan, the England one-day captain, dubbed it a “terrible example to set for young kids” while Shane Warne, a mentor to Buttler’s Royals side, labelled it “disgraceful and embarrassing”.