The 2019 IPL match between Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab will always be remembered for a controversial reason. KXIP skipper and off-spinner Ravi Ashwin ‘mankaded’ non-striker Jos Buttler.
At that time Buttler was batting on 69 and the Royals were cruising towards the given target. But the controversial incident changed the entire scenario. It resulted in Rajasthan’s batting collapse and eventually resulted in Punjab’s win.
Ashwin received heavy backlash from most of the cricketing community. But veteran cricketers like Rahul Dravid and Mitchell Johnson spoke in favour of the spinner. They said that Ashwin was well within his rights to do so.
Later the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) also released a statement regarding the controversial incident. In their statement they spoke in favour of the experienced bowler.
“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. Whether the attempt is successful or not, the ball shall not count as one in the over,” the statement read.
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MCC does a total U-turn
But now it seems that MCC has changed their stance regarding the incident. In their recent statement they said that Ashwin took a pause before delivering the ball. The statement also said that Ashwin gave Buttler time to move out of the crease. As a result it is against the Spirit of the Game.
“We now have had a chance to review it in more detail and we think that Buttler was in his ground as Ashwin got into a position when the non-striker could reasonably have expected the ball to have been delivered,” Frazer Stewart, MCC’s cricket academy manager was quoted as saying in ESPNcricinfo.
“Ashwin seemed to pause to allow Buttler to go out of his ground and then obviously he put the wicket down; Buttler did not really make much of an effort to get back into his ground. It is one where we just felt the pause was just too long and therefore not within the spirit of cricket,” he remarked.
“We think on this particular delivery, Buttler was within his ground until the right moment, the key moment was when the ball would normally have been delivered, and we think Buttler was just within his ground at that point. It was only then he carried on to wander out and the release was delayed when the wicket was put down.”
In their second match KXIP faced Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens. Ashwin’s men lost the game by 28 runs, after being asked to chase down a mammoth total of 219 runs.