R Ashwin received a lot of flak on social media during the 2019 IPL after ex-players and fans went after him for his controversial dismissal of J Butler in the 2019 IPL. To those who are unfamiliar with the mankad term, it means the bowlers effects a run out before delivering the ball when he sees the non-striker out of his crease.
Ex-Cricketers Weigh In On Mankading
With the 2020 IPL set to start on Sep 19 in the UAE, the mankading debate has once again surfaced. R Ashwin does not believe he did anything wrong and is pretty clear that he would mankad any other non-striker who leaves his crease when he is bowling.
The rules of the game make it perfectly acceptable for a bowler to mankad a batsman. However, the controversy over the mankad dismissal comes from the fact that cricket is known as a gentlemen’s game and the mankad dismissal violates the spirit of cricket and breaks the gentlemen’s code.
Shane Warne who will go down as the greatest spinner in history was livid with R Ashwin over Butler’s dismissal. Warne labelled R Ashwin as an embarrassment and called his actions as disgraceful. Warne went after R Ashwin because he was the captain of the Kings XI Punjab franchise during 2019 and set the trend for the rest of the side.
D Karthik who captains the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) said that while the dismissal is within the laws of the game, if one of his players effects a mankad dismissal, he will overrule the dismissal because that is not how he wants KKR to play the game.
Ricky Ponting Says No Mankading At Delhi Capitals
R Ashwin is no longer the captain of Kings XI Punjab as he has now been picked by the Delhi Capitals. The head coach of the Capitals is Ricky Ponting who is yet to arrive in the UAE for the 2020 IPL. However, Ponting has already told the media that he will not allow any of his players the option to mankad a batsman during the 2020 IPL.
Ponting who is the most successful captain in Australian cricket has confirmed that he will have a chat with R Ashwin when he arrives and lay down the rules. Will he be able to change R Ashwin’s mind? Even if Ponting does not change R Ashwin’s mind about the mankad dismissal, this time around it will be up to the captain Shreyas Iyer to make the final decision on the dismissal.
R Ashwin Weighs In On Mankading For 2020
R Ashwin stood by his mankad decision during the 2019 IPL and sees no problem with mankading any batsman during the 2020 IPL. The veteran off-spinner believes that the game is totally in favour of the batsmen today and bowlers need to take advantage of every opportunity they get to effect a dismissal.
R Ashwin said he had already spoken to Ricky Ponting over the phone regarding mankading and said it was an interesting chat. However, it looks like the two have not reached an agreement on the matter as R Ashwin said that the two will need to sit down face-to-face and continue their discussions on mankading.
Approve Free Ball Instead Of Mankading
R Ashwin is not going to give up on the mankading issue so easily as it would effectively mean him conceding and admitting he was wrong. He has come up with a solution to get rid of mankading. If the non-striker is caught outside his crease, the bowler should be given a free ball, just like the batsmen get a free hit of a no-ball.
The free ball means that the batsmen cannot score any runs from this ball but if he gets out with the free ball, then the team must give up 5 runs.
While Ashwin’s suggestion is interesting, it is highly unlikely at this point in time that the ICC will amend its mankad rules to implement such a solution. We need to wait and see if Ponting changes his stance or if R Ashwin concedes and gives up his mankading ways.