Ashwin the Indian spinner is again in the news for his tactics. He has become the center of controversy for some time after his mankading incident in IPL 2019. In the game against Royal Challengers Bangalore, he was at it again. This time while bowling to Padikkal, he saw Finch leaving the non-striker’s crease even before the ball was released. He stopped and warned Finch of doing this. The camera cuts back to Ponting in the dugout who was understandably laughing at the whole incident. Ponting reportedly does not support this way of dismissal and has been vocal about it in the past. Here’s the video of the incident.
After the match, he went on twitter and made a warning to the non-strikers getting an unfair advantage in the game. The incident has given fire to the controversy that was started in 2019. The cricket purists say this way of dismissal should not be allowed in the gentleman’s game. A game where bowlers and umpires used to ask the batsmen if they had nicked the ball and would go with what they said. The times, however, have changed now. There is too much at stake to let the batsman do as he pleases. Leaving the crease early certainly falls into the unfair advantage category and this should not be a part of modern-day cricket.
Bowlers hardly get any advantage in the modern-day cricket with smaller boundaries, powerplays, restrictions of bouncers et al. The game is being strategically forced into batsmen’s favour all the time. A batsman leaving the crease early to get an unfair advantage and nothing being done about it certainly not fair to the bowlers. Ashwin taking a stand and doing something about it not only opens the issue for debate bit also gives the batsmen something to worry about while doing it.
The word Mankading comes from Vinoo Mankad who was the first person to run out a batsman when he was out from his crease way back in 1947. He run out Billy Brown in the second test and was lambasted by the Australian media for it. This way of run-out was called Mankading and has been termed by the English and Australian media as unsportsmanlike. Times, however, are changing and so is it’s acceptance.
Talking about Mankading, the great Australian batsman Sir Don Bradman has this to say, “For the life of me, I can’t understand why [the press] questioned his sportsmanship. The laws of cricket make it quite clear that the non-striker must keep within his ground until the ball has been delivered. If not, why is the provision there which enables the bowler to run him out? By backing up too far or too early, the non-striker is very obviously gaining an unfair advantage.” This should have been the end of discussion surrounding it, but for some reason, any bowler doing it is still subjected to criticism.