Kapil Dev backs Ashwin’s ‘Mankading’ of Buttler

“He did it within the rules of the game... Why blame the bowler when the batsman was trying to steal a run?” Kapil Dev asks about the Kings XI Punjab captain’s run-out of Rajasthan Royals’ Jos Buttler.

Kapil Dev was livid that Ashwin was being targeted by one and all.   -  PTI

Kapil Dev strongly supported Kings XI Punjab captain R. Ashwin for his ‘Mankading’ run-out of Jos Buttler in the Indian Premier League (IPL) match against Rajasthan Royals in Jaipur on Monday.

“Ashwin did the right thing. You can always argue if it was ethical or not. He did it within the rules of the game and that’s it. Why blame the bowler when the batsman was trying to steal a run? I will see how many people blame Ashwin if these two points help his team qualify,” Kapil told The Hindu.

‘Mankading’ is a run-out where the bowler dismisses the non-striker by hitting the bails before bowling when the latter is outside the crease. Though this is a legally permissible dismissal, it is considered against the spirit of the game.

Kapil was livid that Ashwin was being targeted by one and all. “I know one thing. It is fine to say that he should have warned the batsman. That may have been an ethical thing to do in a gentleman’s game. It is not so any more. The game has become professional. The IPL is a very intense competition and what Ashwin did was to ensure the opponent stuck to the rules,” said Kapil, who had also pulled off a similar run-out in 1992 in a One-Day Internationals at Port Elizabeth.

“At that time, I thought I was ethically wrong, but then I had warned him three times. The explanation he gave was that he was trying to match the speed of Jonty Rhodes at the other end. Was it fair? Don’t you call no-ball when the bowler over-steps? Why should the batsman then not be penalised?” asked Kapil.

When told that Ashwin was receiving lot of criticism for this act, Kapil respondent, “Do these batsmen ‘walk’. Hardly any. Is it not unethical then? Do they say don’t count the extra run or runs when the ball gets deflected (by their bat or body) from a throw. They don’t. Would any batsman refuse to accept such gifts when the team stands to win? He won’t. Let this spirit of the game business apply to batsmen, too. Why should only bowlers take the responsibility of maintaining the spirit of the game when they are not breaking any rule.”

Kapil concluded by insisting that Ashwin was not cheating. “It is the batsman who was trying to steal. Such a batsman, in my opinion, is a thief.”