Rajasthan Royals off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin said a bowler should not be a victim of character assassination if he opts to run out batters at the non-striker’s end. Recently, the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) drafted some new amendments to the game which included the contentious law to run out of batters at the non-striker’s end.
Originally classified under Law 41 (Unfair Play), whenever a bowler dismisses a batter at the non-striker’s end when he/she is short of the crease before the bowler is about to bowl, has always created divided opinions across the globe. Ashwin himself faced the wrath of people for being involved in the aforementioned dismissal.
Jos Buttler felt deflated about the incident: Ravichandran Ashwin
In an IPL 2019 match between Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings), Ashwin was leading the Punjab outfit. England player Jos Buttler was leading Rajasthan’s chase of 185 against Punjab on a sluggish track of Jaipur. Buttler hit 10 fours and a couple of sixes to race his score to 69 from 43 balls at the strike rate of 160.46.
At that point, it seemed like the England wicketkeeper-batter would take Royals to the finish line only before Ashwin ran him out at the non-striker’s end.
Just before Ashwin was about to deliver the penultimate ball of the 13th over to Sanju Samson, the then Punjab skipper dislodged the bails before releasing the ball as Buttler was out of the crease. The England player was adjudicated out by the third umpire.
The dismissal brought back the Mankad act and experts across the globe were divided with their opinions, some encouraged the Indian off-spinner for his bold step while others slammed him to play against the ‘spirit of the game’.
Ashwin went down memory lane and said Buttler was upset with the dismissal and it was very tough for everyone to accept it. The Tamil Nadu spinner wants bowlers to hold their own choice in regards to non-strike run-outs and expects the viewers to not ridicule them for their act.
“When the incident happened, I think it was Jos who felt deflated about it and quite upset. Rightly so, because it’s not accepted practice. It’s not something that happens day in and day out. I can totally understand that,” Ashwin told Times of India.
“Whether it’s going to be accepted or not accepted widely by different quadrants of the cricketing community is something that we’ll have to wait and watch. But the pace at which the game is going, the professionals are evolving and how the players are perceiving the game, I just hope and wish that it is looked upon as a legitimate form of dismissal.
“But whether somebody chooses to do it, or not to do it, is entirely up to them and it’s not a question of character assassination,” he added.
I’ve learned my lesson now: Jos Buttler
Buttler, who is now a teammate to Ashwin at Rajasthan Royals in IPL, appealed to batters to not leave their crease before the bowlers launch the delivery. The England star batter admitted that he learned lessons from that infamous dismissal.
“If the batter just holds his ground till the ball is released, then there’s never any issue. I’ve been run out that way twice in my career. So hopefully, I’ve learned my lesson now. It’s hard sometimes to describe the emotion,” Buttler told Times of India.
“You’re trying hard for your team and you’re always desperate to win. Of course, it’s a surprise when you get out like that. It doesn’t bother me what people’s opinions are about it. If you just stay in the crease, then there’s never going to be a talking point,” he added.
Rajasthan Royals will play their first match of IPL 2022 against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Tuesday at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune.