Ravi Aswhin’s controversial Mankad in the IPL has caused widespread debate.
Some say it’s against the spirit of the game, while others say it’s perfectly legal under ICC laws.
But is that actually the case?
A 2017 update to law 41.16 reads: “If the non-striker is out of his/her ground from the moment the ball comes into play to the instant when the bowler would normally have been expected to release the ball, the bowler is permitted to attempt to run him/her out.”
The important part in this case being “would normally have been expected to release the ball.”
In this case, Buttler was still in his crease when Ashwin arrived to deliver the ball, only for the bowler to pull out of his action and wait for him to step forward before whipping off the bails.
Many fans and former players have pointed out that Ashwin actually affected the run out well after he would normally be expected to release the ball, and one social media user has proof.
An image of Ashwin delivering the ball in a previous match was superimposed over the top of an image of the Indian bowler at the exact same time as he would have been expected to release the ball on Tuesday.
Looks like Buttler still in his crease while Ravi's pulling a fast one… pic.twitter.com/63jdoMksn4
— Tim Part (@battingtim) March 25, 2019
As you can see, Butler was still in his crease and it wasn’t until moments later that Ashwin whipped the bails off.
The MCC – the game’s lawmakers – have since weighed in, somewhat supporting this theory.
In a statement the MCC have sought to clarify law 41.16: Non-striker leaving his/her ground early in relation to the Buttler controversy.
It said: “This law is essential. Without it, non-strikers could back up at liberty, several yards down the pitch and a law is needed to prevent such action.
“The crux of the issue is when the non-striker can safely leave his/her ground, and what the bowler can do to effect this form of dismissal without courting controversy.
“To clarify, it has never been in the laws that a warning should be given to the non-striker and nor is it against the spirit of cricket to run out a non-striker who is seeking to gain an advantage by leaving his/her ground early.
“Some feel that Ashwin delayed his action to allow Buttler the chance to leave his ground and that Buttler was in his ground when he expected the ball to be released.
“If it was a deliberate delay, that would be unfair and against the spirit of cricket. Ashwin claims this not to be the case.
“The TV umpire had to make a decision and, under the law, it was understandable how he opted to give Buttler out.”
Shane Warne led the criticism of Ashwin’s use of the ‘Mankad’, named after Vinoo Mankad who ran out Australia’s Bill Brown during India’s 1947-48 tour.
So disappointed in @ashwinravi99 as a Captain & as a person. All captains sign the #IPL wall & agree to play in the spirit of the game. RA had no intention of delivering the ball – so it should have been called a dead ball. Over to u BCCI – this a not a good look for the #IPL
— Shane Warne (@ShaneWarne) March 25, 2019
Here’s my 2 cents worth on THE run out. Should have been called dead ball cause at the point of release ⬇️ Buttler is in, but Ashwin waits until his momentum of “backing up” takes him out of the crease. Butler’s technique could be improved to limit this by being side-on = power pic.twitter.com/vOiYxLMTiI
— Lisa Sthalekar (@sthalekar93) March 26, 2019
This is an appalling mankad by Ravi Ashwin. Jos Buttler is still in his crease when he lands, so Ashwin should be expected to deliver the ball. Pretty poor effort from the captain. Certainly ain’t winning any ‘spirit of cricket’ awards. #VIVOIPL pic.twitter.com/roseIfLXYQ
— Matt Balmer (@MattBalmer7) March 25, 2019
My interpretation of the Law results in not out. Slow mo doesn’t look to me like Buttler was out of his ground at instant Ashwin would “normally have been expected to release the ball”. So dead ball. Difficulty is, Law relies on judging timing of s’thing that hasn’t happened
— AlisonMitchell (@AlisonMitchell) March 25, 2019