R Ashwin’s controversial run-out of Jos Buttler in the Indian Premier League against Kings XI Punjab has nothing to do with violating the spirit of cricket, former elite international umpire Simon Taufel has said.
Buttler, playing for Rajasthan Royals in the IPL, was run out for 69 in the team’s season-opener by Kings XI Punjab skipper Ashwin as he backed up.
The method of dismissal, named after former India player Vinoo Mankad, is legal but is seen by many as going against the game’s values, with former cricketers blasting Ashwin for not warning first.
In a column for ESPNCrincinfo, Taufel, who was part of the discussions with Marylebone Cricket Club over the interpretation of the law, has said that it was wrong to slam Ashwin for doing what was within the laws.
“The intent of the law is that the non-striker should not leave their ground at the bowler’s end before the ball is delivered. This is why the ICC has stipulated within their regulations and interpretations that the bowler can dismiss the non-striker run out up until the bowler’s arm reaches the top of the delivery swing,” Taufel, arguably the greatest modern day umpire, wrote.
“People also accused Ashwin of premeditation. My response to that would be: well, so what? Bowlers attempt to get batsmen out lbw, bowled, caught, or by any other form of dismissal. Aren’t all these premeditated? So I don’t see how that is a relevant argument at all.”
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For his part, Buttler had said that, while he would never be dismissed that way again, the laws sounded wishy-washy.
“Of course a Mankading has to be in the Laws of the game because a batsman can’t just run halfway down the pitch trying to get a headstart,” Buttler had told ESPNcricinfo. “But I do think, the way the law is written, there is a bit of a grey area in that saying ‘when a bowler is expected to release the ball’. That is a bit of a wishy-washy statement.”
Taufel said that the law was an incredibly difficult one for the umpires to implement on the field and that is why the third umpire had to be called in to resolve the dismissal. “It is subjective as to whether or not he actually got to the normal point of release. So it is very understandable that Buttler was given out run out,” Taufel added.
Regarding another big controversy involving the umpires in the ongoing IPL season, Taufel said Dhoni ‘crossed a line’ when confronting the umpires regarding the no-ball no-call against Rajasthan Royals. Taufel admitted that the umpire at the striker’s end should not have second-guessed his original decision of giving a no-ball but players or staff confronting officials on the field of play was not a good thing.