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Ravi Ashwin's IPL howler might not be that bad

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26th March, 2019

Ravi Ashwin may just have overtaken Virat Kohli a most cricket fans’ most hated player, after a farcical performance.

Jos Buttler was run out – or ‘Mankaded’ – at the non-strikers end by Ashwin, overshadowing Steve Smith’s return to the IPL.

The Mankad is a controversial way to run someone out, often regarded as unsporting unless the bowler has warned the basman before.

Shane Warne led the social media bashing of Ashwin, calling him “embarrassing” and “disgraceful” across a series of half a dozen tweets this morning.

England’s limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan called it a “Terrible example to set for young kids”, while Michael Vaughn denounced it as “completely out of order”.

On the other side of the fence, Harsha Bhogle defended the dismissal as well within the laws of the game. Later, he seemed to soften his position by saying that the third umpire gave it out, so that constituted it as being within the rules.

The ‘spirit of the game’ argument will be had time and again, but it seems like, even under the rules, Buttler has been hard done by.


Law 41.16 states: “If the non-striker is out of his/her ground from the moment the ball comes into play to the instant when the bowler would normally have been expected to release the ball, the bowler is permitted to attempt to run him/her out.”

The purpose of the rule is obviously to prevent batters from trying to ‘steal’ a run, as in baseball, or to gain an unfair advantage.

The photo of the incident clearly shows Ashwin within his delivery stride and fully ready to deliver the ball. Buttler has taken his eyes off Ashwin and is looking down the wicket ready to react. He isn’t backing up egregiously, and he certainly isn’t trying to gain an unfair advantage.

The best rebuttal to this came from Dean Jones, who pointed out that Ashwin never entered his delivery stride because he “he didn’t even get his left arm up to bowl it.”

Ashwin’s left arm didn’t go up, which makes the question of whether or not who would “normally have been expected to release the ball” twice as muddy.


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Pundits will say what they want, but whoever runs the Barmy Army Twitter account probably put it best: “After careful consideration of the footage and in-depth reading of the official laws of the game, we have reached the conclusion that Ravi Ashwin is a distinctly average bloke.”