Be it politics or cricket, winning at all costs seems to have become the motto of the day.
The phrase, “All’s fair in love and war” may be over a century old, but take a closer look at competitive spheres like sports or politics, and you will find that it still rings true even today. Take the case of off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, currently the skipper of Kings XI Punjab, who will go down in history for the manner in which he got the wicket of, Jos Butler — by ‘mankading’, a term used to describe a scenario when a bowler runs in to bowl and instead of bowling, removes the bails when the non-striker is out of the crease. In such cases, ideally, the bowler should first warn the non-striking batsman instead of running him out, which is what the convention used to be. While this permissible as per ICC Rule 41.16 of playing conditions, it’s widely regarded as unsporting for a bowler to do so.
Ashwin is however, unapologetic. Speaking at the post-match press conference, he said, “It was very instinctive. It wasn’t planned and it’s within the rules. I don’t know where the understanding of the spirit of the game comes from.”
The cricket world is aghast. Shane Warne, slammed Ashwin in a series of tweets. “So disappointed in @ashwinravi99 as a Captain & as a person. All captains sign the #IPL wall & agree to play in the spirit of the game. RA had no intention of delivering the ball — so it should have been called a dead ball. Over to u BCCI — this a not a good look for the #IPL,” Shane tweeted. Has Warne forgotten that “fairplay” has never been a trait of many Aussie players too.
Cricket expert Harsha Bhogle, tweeted in Ashwin’s defence while Rahul Mankad, son of cricketer Vinoo Mankad, said,“Ashwin and Buttler are accomplished cricketers. Ashwin did what he felt was appropriate. The third umpire ruled that Buttler was out.”
When history repeats itself
R. Ashwin’s controversial dismissal of Jos Buttler, is not the first time such an incident has happened.
Kapil Dev vs Peter Kirsten
In 1992, during the ‘Friendship Series’ between India and South Africa, Kapil Dev ‘Mankaded’ South African batsman Peter Kirsten. But Kapil was gracious to caution the batsman for three times before he took off the bails.
Senanayake vs Buttler
In 2014 during a Commonwealth Bank series, Sri Lanka off spinner Sachithra Senanayake dislodged the bails when the batsman (Jose Buttler) wandered out of his crease. Apparently Senanayake earlier cautioned Buttler about baking up too far.
Vinoo Mankad vs Bill Brown
During India’s tour of Australia in December 1947, Vinoo Mankad had run out Bill Brown when the latter had left the crease before the ball was delivered.