Taunton, England: Indian spinner Murali Kartik was at the centre of an unsavoury "Mankading" episode as he ran out an opposition batsman who backed up too far down the pitch during an English county championship match here.
Kartik was bowling for Surrey in their game against Somerset on Thursday when he ran out 20-year-old batsman Alex Barrow by suddenly stopping in his run-up and removing the bails with the batsman out of his ground.
It has traditionally been seen as unacceptable to dismiss a batsman in this way, known in cricket as "Mankading" --named after former Indian batting great Vinoo Mankad's run out in Sydney in 1947 -- unless he has been warned previously.
Kartik said he had already warned Barrow two balls earlier.
"Everyone get a life please...if a batsman is out on a stroll in spite of being warned, does that count as being in the spirit of the game?" Kartik tweeted.
Umpire Peter Hartley offered Surrey captain Gareth Batty the option to withdraw the appeal but the latter refused.
By the letter of the law Barrow was out, but via a method of dismissal long considered against the spirit of the game and rarely witnessed on the county scene.
As Barrow walked off, having made 12 in a Somerset total that then read 191 for six, boos rang out across the County Ground. Angry spectators continued to jeer Kartik.
There were angry scenes below the Surrey dressing room balcony at tea, with supporters of both sides directing abuse at Batty and Kartik, who joined Surrey when Somerset opted not to offer him a new contract at the end of last season.
Surrey's team director, Chris Adams, later conceded that the dismissal "challenged the spirit of cricket" but backed Batty over a decision made "in the heat of battle during a very difficult season".
"I went to see the umpires at tea and asked them for their account of what happened. It appears that Barrow was warned two or three deliveries before by Kartik about leaving his ground," Adams was quoted as saying in Guardian newspaper.
"When it happened again Kartik stopped before his delivery stride, which is important, then took the bails off and appealed. The umpire then went to Gareth and asked him if he wanted to uphold it," he said.
"After a few moments consideration and a discussion with Kartik, Gareth said 'yes'. His reason for that was that within the laws of the game it was the right decision."
Batty said he had not intended to breach cricket's traditional sense of fair play.
"People obviously think that the spirit of the game has been brought into disrepute. That was not my intention and I thoroughly apologise for that," he said.
After the match Somerset captain Marcus Trescothick said, "I'm very disappointed. It's not something you want to see in cricket. I have never witnessed anything like it before at any level. Theoretically, Alex was out, as we all know, but it was against the spirit of the game."
In February, stand-in India captain Virender Sehwag withdrew an appeal after one of his bowlers ran out Sri Lanka batsman Lahiru Thirimanne during a one-day international.