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Rules Vs Spirit Of The Game - The Saga Of Mankading | Ipl 2019
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The Mankading Saga IPL 2019: It was a bright sunny day of March 3rd 2004. 2 arch rivals faceoff each other on a cricket ground in Hyderabad. One could see the desperation for a win in the eyes of players, even from far away. The umpire signals to start the game, the captain throws me the ball, I start my run-up, and just when I am about to release the ball, I see something, that I thought, would change the course of the match – the batsman at the non-striker end was outside his crease! As I go past the umpire, I slow down my action and knock the bails off at the non-striker end. The ground erupts at once. Everyone from the dugout came running to the pitch. My team half-heartedly supported me, while the opposition was united, stating it was an unethical move. After a lot of argument, we listened to the one who owned the bat and were forced to dismiss the ball. The tough life of a gully cricketer. Or so I thought.
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ASHWIN MANKADS BUTTLER AND THE INTERNET ERUPTS(IPL 2019)
Cut to March 25, 2019. It was Rajasthan Royals’ opening match against Kings XI Punjab. Chris Gayle had finished his magic with the bat and was back on the ground with his fielder’s hat. It was now Jos Buttler to entertain the crowd. And boy did he get the crowd all excited. He seemed unstoppable. At 69 off 43, one could only think of a miracle to stop him from scoring his maiden century. The crowd was convinced it was Rajasthan Royals’ game, the fans who placed their bets on RR on FanFight had twice the reason to be joyed. And then happened the incident, everyone is busy talking about in the past few days: The Mankading Controversy.
Buttler was at the non-striker’s end and R Ashwin, who was all set to bowl the final delivery of the 13th over, stopped, turned back and knocked the bails off at the non-striker’s end to send Buttler back to the pavilion. The umpire consulted the third umpire, who ruled Buttler out, given he was well short of his crease. It is at this moment, that the cricketing fans were divided. It was no longer RR V/S KXI, it was rather those who supported Ashwin V/S those who didn’t.
Not just the fans, the experts were divided too. While few backed Ashwin stating that Mankading is indeed part of the rule book, a majority was against Ashwin’s actions. Kevin Pietersen, Eoin Morgan, Jason Roy and Stuart Broad were all spewing venom against the Indian Off-break sensation.
The harshest comments came from the mighty Shane Warne, who called Ashwin embarrassing and disgraceful. Anderson took it a step further. He shredded Ashwin’s photo, in protest of his ‘Mankading’ act and recorded himself while doing so.
The custodians of the laws of the game, the Marylebone Cricket Club, defended Ashwin one day and changed their opinion the next day. “Having extensively reviewed the incident again and after further reflection, we don’t think it was within the spirit of the game,” MCC’s manager of the Laws, Fraser Stewart said.
Ashwin stood firm on his decision stating that he did something that is legal and is part of the game’s playbook.
KRUNAL PANDYA LETS THE BATSMAN GO
Just when the internet was going to put this issue to rest, Krunal Pandya comes to spoil the party further for Ashwin. The episode is pretty similar to that of the Ashwin Vs Buttler incident, just with one major twist: Krunal lets off the batsman with a warning. What’s more, Krunal did this against the team captained by Ashwin. The internet was on-board once again on the mankading train, this time though, praising the Senior Pandya. Ashwin was dragged into the storm once again.
This isn’t the first mankading incident. In the past, there had been multiple such incidents, one even including the legendary Kapil Dev, who mankaded Peter Kirsten, who was warned by Kapil Dev once before he resorted to mankading.
Fans have always been divided over this and the rule makers are to blame. Some argue, why have a rule when you do not want it to be used, while others argue as to why rules and spirit of the game applied only to the bowlers and not the batsmen, further fuelling the idea that cricket is batsman’s game.
The only way to avoid such controversy and ambiguity in the future is if the rule-makers revisit the law and make it clear for all.
The IPL 2019 has created a massive swirl as far as controversy is concerned & the pompous tournament has only begun. What’s in store for the remainder of the IPL T20 League? Only time will tell.
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