Ravichandran Ashwin has been a major talking point in the world of cricket recently because of his 'Mankading' dismissal of Jos Buttler and leveraging this, Kolkata Police has launched a campaign asking people to stay within their designated lines.
The controversial incident happened on March 25 during the fourth game of the 2019 edition of the Indian Premier League when Kings XI Punjab was playing Rajasthan Royals. Punjab had posted 184-4 batting first and in pursuit of the tall target, the Royals were cruising at 108-1 in 12.5 overs. This is when KXIP skipper noticed Royals wicketkeeper had drifted out of the crease at the non-strikers' end. Seeing this, he proceeded to dislodge the bails in front of the umpire instead of bowling his delivery.
Buttler looked bemused but Ashwin did not withdraw his appeal and the third umpire eventually gave him out. The Englishman was livid at the entire incident and walked off letting out a few expletives. The incident divided the cricketing world as one school of thought said that by the laws of the game, Ashwin was well within his right to 'Mankad' Buttler. But the opposing opinion stated that the KXIP skipper did not adhere to the unsaid code which is often referred to as the 'spirit of the game'.
Never too far away from pop culture, the Kolkata Police tweeted a collage of two pictures from their official Twitter account and captioned it, "Crease ey hok ba rastay, aage porle postay" which roughly translates to "Be it on the road or on the crease, if you cross the line, you will regret the outcome" in English. Of course, the Bengali version was scripted in a rhyming couplet.
"No really argument to that (Mankading incident) and it's pretty instinctive. I actually didn't load and he left the crease. That's always been my take on it because it's my half of the crease. I was not even at the crease, he wasn't even looking at me and he just left the place," Ashwin said in the post-match prize distribution ceremony.
The Marylebone Cricket Club, custodian of the laws of cricket defended Ashwin. "To clarify, it has never been in the Laws that a warning should be given to the non-striker and nor is it against the Spirit of Cricket to run out a non-striker who is seeking to gain an advantage by leaving his/her ground early," read a statement from the MCC.
Meanwhile, this is what the experts had to say about the incident on Twitter.
Dean Jones: Don't blame Ashwin here. As it's allowed in the Laws of the game.. how is it disrespectful or against the spirit of the game if it's allowed within the Laws of game? Blame the administrators for making the Law.
Eoin Morgan: I can't believe what I'm seeing!! Terrible example to set for young kids coming through. In time I think Ashwin will regret that.
Michael Vaughan: If Jos Buttler had been warned well that's fine ... if he hasn't and it's the first time I think Ashwin is completely out of order ... watch how often this happens from now on !!!!!!!
Mohammad Kaif: It's within the laws of the game but Jos Butler should have been warned by Ashwin before that. Very Surprised ! Remember Ashwin doing the same in an international game where Sehwag withdrew the appeal.
RP Singh: Ashwin was completely within his rights to dismiss butler there. Don't understand how Spirit of Cricket can be questioned. How many times have u seen a batsman wait for Umpires decision when he knew he was out?