Chief Minister (5k+ posts)
Buttler stormed off the field fuming after he was the victim of a mankad for the second time in his career as the IPL season was ignited by controversy in Jaipur.
Buttler was seemingly in control of Rajasthan Royals’s run chase when he was run out backing up by R Ashwin, the Kings XI captain. Rajasthan were 108 for one at the time but collapsed losing eight wickets for 62 to be beaten by 14 runs. The incident completely overshadowed the IPL return of Steve Smith and reopened the debate about the spirit of cricket.
It was a marginal call with question marks over whether Buttler would have been in his crease at the point of delivery if Ashwin had gone through with bowling the ball. The law was changed last year to state the batsman has to be out of his crease at the moment the bowler would be “expected to release the ball.” Buttler looked to be in his crease when Ashwin paused briefly at the point of delivery before knocking off the bails.
Buttler was furious and exchanged words with Ashwin while the third umpire adjudicated, looking at just one replay before giving the England star out for 69 off 43 balls. Buttler shouted towards the Kings XI dugout and the team coach, Paddy Upton was angry after the game.
“I think R Ashwin’s actions tonight speak for him and represent him. When I looked in the eyes of his team-mates I’m not sure if it represented them and we will leave it up to the IPL fans to decide if that is what they want to see. We will leave it up to the cricket world to judge Ashwin’s actions,” said Upton.
SourceJofra Archer, Buttler’s team-mate, said the incident showed Ashwin’s desperation: “You show no confidence in yourself or your bowlers to get the job done so you resort to that.”
Ashwin was unrepentant afterwards. “No real argument. Pretty instinctive. I didn't even load. He left the crease. That's it... I didn't even load. He wasn't even looking at me. He just left the crease."
Buttler has been here before. He was mankaded in a one-day international at Lord’s against Sri Lanka in 2014. The mankad is one of the most controversial dismissals in cricket. There is no need as far as the letter of the law is concerned for a bowler to give a batsman a warning but it is one of the unwritten customs of cricket for that to be the case.
Shane Warne, a former coach and captain of the Royals, questioned Ashwin’s sportsmanship. “So disappointed in Ashwin as a captain and as a person. All captains sign the IPL wall and agree to play in the spirit of the game. Ravi Ashwin had no intention of delivering the ball - so it should have been called a dead ball. Over to BCCI - this a not a good look for the IPL.”
It is not a good look but the IPL thrives on controversy and this incident will ensure many front and back page headlines, and wall to wall coverage in India over the next few days in the first week of the tournament.
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