The Marylebone Cricket Club – author and upholder of cricket’s on-field laws – has overturned its own interpretation of this week’s IPL ‘Mankad’ controversy and declared it contrary to the game’s spirit.
In the immediate aftermath of India spinner Ravi Ashwin’s opportunistic run-out of England international Jos Buttler, the MCC equivocated on the mode and the motive of the incident before accepting Ashwin’s view that it legitimately represented ethical behaviour.
However, after closer examination of footage from the match between Ashwin’s Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals (for whom Buttler plays), the game’s law-makers have now pronounced the action as “unfair” and contrary to the Spirit of Cricket.
“Having extensively reviewed the incident again and after further reflection we don’t think it was within the spirit of the game,” MCC laws manager Fraser Stewart told the UK’s ‘The Telegraph‘ newspaper.
“We believe the pause was too long between the time Ashwin reached the crease and the moment it was reasonable to expect the ball would be delivered.
“When Buttler could have reasonably expected the ball to be delivered, he was in his ground.
“It is also unfair, and against the Spirit of Cricket, for non-strikers to leave their ground too early.
“All these debates wouldn’t be necessary if non‑strikers remained in their ground until the ball is on its way down the pitch.”
The public backflip by the London-based custodian of cricket’s laws – to which the MCC retains sole right of addition and revision, albeit in consultation with the International Cricket Council – is likely to further inflame debate over the controversial practice.
This week’s incident sparked a blaze of social media commentary, with current and former players either arguing in defence of Ashwin’s decision (citing its clear vindication within the game’s law book) or howling that it breached the notion of fair play. (Courtesy cricket.com.au)