R Ashwin said he had no argument to offer after a controversy erupted over his decision to Mankad Jos Buttler in Jaipur. Rajasthan Royals were cruising along at 108 for 1 in their chase of 185 before the incident – by the end of the night, RR had fallen short and KXIP had won their opening game of the 2019 Indian Premier League by 14 runs.
Opinions were divided after Ashwin’s Mankading but the man himself did not offer anything more to the debate and said it was an instinctive decision.
“It was pretty instinctive. I actually didn’t load and he (Buttler) left the crease,” Ashwin said at the post-match presentation ceremony. “That’s always been my take on it because it’s my half of the crease. I was not even at the crease, he wasn’t even looking at me and he just left the place,” Ashwin said.
Ashwin said he was not sure if Buttler’s controversial decision was the turning point of the game: “We ended on the right side of the coin, but I definitely think that those are game-changing moments,” he said.
Later in the press conference, Ashwin said he was thinking of the rules of the game and not the spirit. “It was instinctive. It wasn’t planned. I don’t know where the spirit of the game things comes because if it’s within the rules, it is. I don’t understand the point of sporting spirit because it is within the rules.”
R Ashwin was severly criticised by Jos Buttler’s England teammates Eoin Morgan and Jason Roy while South Africa pacer Dale Steyn felt Ashwin was not going to win any Spirit of Cricket Awards.
“I can’t believe what I’m seeing!! @IPL Terrible example to set for young kids coming through. In time I think Ashwin will regret that,” Morgan tweeted while Roy kept it short and said: “Ashwin, that’s shocking behaviour! Very disappointed to see that.”
Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen said the Mankading was against the spirit of the game. “It’s not on, it’s an absolute shocker,” he said.
Pietersen felt it would have been okay had Ashwin warned Buttler about his tendency to leave the crease at the non-striker’s end.
However, Aakash Chopra said the Law of the game was above the “Mythical Spirit of The Game.”
Snehal Pradhan said Ashwin resurrected a mode of dismissal that should be applied against all batsmen “who look to gain an extra centimetre.”