Kapil Dev strongly supported R. Ashwin in run-out episode involving Jos Buttler on Monday.
“Ashwin did the right thing. You can 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.
Kapil was livid that Ashwin was being targeted.
“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 pulled off a similar run-out in an ODI at Port Elizabeth in 1992.
“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.
“Do the batsmen ‘walk’. Hardly any. Is it not unethical? Do they say don’t count the extra run/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 batsman, in my opinion, is a thief.”