Jos Buttler has finally opened up on the Mankading incident between him and Ravichandran Ashwin in Rajasthan Royals’ season-opener against Kings XI Punjab and conceded that the wrong decision was made by the third-umpire.
Buttler was Mankaded by Ashwin when the Royals opener was batting on 69 with his team cruising in the 185-run chase against Kings XI Punjab at the Sawai Mansingh stadium in Jaipur.
The Royals were 108 for 2 when Buttler got out in the 13th over. The run chase completely collapsed after the controversial dismissal as they ended up with 164 for 9, losing the match by 14 runs.
The incident however, left a bad taste in the mouth of everyone who played and watched the game on March 25.
Opinions were divided immediately after Ashwin’s Mankading act. Eoin Morgan, Jason Roy, Kevin Pietersen and Dale Steyn slammed Ashwin while Shane Warne said it was embarrasing and disgusting. However, the likes of Sanjay Manjrekar, Harsha Bhogle and Murali Karthik felt there was nothing wrong with what Ashwin did.
The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) said batsmen should remain in their ground with the bat behind the crease until its fair for them to leave. But the question raised in several sections was whether Ashwin delayed his delivery stride on purpose and plotted the Mankading. Ashwin said he did not plan the dismissal and it was instinctive.
But Buttler is adamant that he was in his crease at the time Ashwin was expected to release the ball.
“If you look at the footage, probably the wrong decision was made because at the time he was expected to release the ball I was in my crease.
“At the time I was really disappointed with it. I didn’t like the style of it. I just thought it was a bad precedent at the start of the tournament. For the tournament itself. It was a really disappointing way to start the tournament.
“So, I didn’t like what happened and I didn’t agree with it, but what can you do? After a day or so I was pretty relaxed about it and I’ll make sure it never happens again. It won’t happen again,” Jos Buttler, who was also Mankaded in an ODI vs Sri Lanka in 2014, told ESPNCricinfo.
“What was more disappointing is that suddenly, over the next two games, I found myself being really conscious of it and it is quite distracting. It is so rare that you’re not normally thinking about it. I must be the only person to get out twice in that way.
“It distracted me for the next couple of games which is why it was nice to get some runs in the win and get back to thinking about batting and not worrying about how I back up at the non-striker’s end.”
Buttler is of the opinion that the Mankading law should remain in the rule books of the MCC even though the law has quite a few loopholes in it.
“Of course a Mankading has to be in the Laws of the game because a batsman can’t just run halfway down the pitch trying to get a headstart. But I do think, the way the law is written, there is a bit of a grey area in that saying ‘when a bowler is expected to release the ball’. That is a bit of a wishy-washy statement,” Buttler said.