Ravichandran Ashwin opened a Pandora's box when he 'mankaded' Rajasthan Royals' batsman Jos Buttler in an Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 match in Jaipur on Monday. The Indian spinner's action did not sit well with the international cricket community as he was widely criticised in a mass social media tirade. Former Australia leg spinner Shane Warne was among the most vocal critics of Ashwin, taking to Twitter to describe the action against his former IPL team (Rajasthan Royals) for which he is currently serving as 'brand ambassador' as "a disgraceful and low act". Interestingly, legendary Australian cricketer Sir Donald Bradman, in his autobiography 'Farewell to Cricket', had labelled 'mankading' a legitimate part of the game.
The original 'Mankad' happened during India's second Test against Australia in Sydney in 1947.
Vinoo Mankad ran out Bill Brown at the non-striker's end for backing up too far. It was the second time this happened, the first instance being in a tour game.
From the Greatest of them all the Don himself ?? pic.twitter.com/p8Thpa0LjM— Kartik Murali (@kartikmurali) March 27, 2019
"For the life of me I cannot understand why," Don Bradman, Australia's captain during that Test, wrote in his book Farewell to Cricket, defending Mankad against the criticism he received for the action.
"The laws of cricket make it quite clear that the non-striker must keep within his ground until the ball has been delivered. If not, why is the provision there which enables the bowler to run him out?
"Mankad was an ideal type, and he was so scrupulously fair that he first of all warned Brown before taking any action. There was absolutely no feeling in the matter as far as we were concerned, for we considered it quite a legitimate part of the game."
However, the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), the cricket lawmakers, has released a statement regarding Ravichandran Ashwin's 'mankad' dismissal of Jos Buttler, insisting that the rule is essential.
"This law is essential. Without it, non-strikers could back up at liberty, several yards down the pitch and a law is needed to prevent such action," the MCC statement read on Tuesday.