Cricket / controversy

Let the debate begin! I'll pin my colours to the flag early on and it should be fairly obvious where I stand on the issue given the title of this post. Ravi Ashwin is a disgrace! He is a disgrace to himself, to his team, to the IPL and to the spirit of cricket. At a time when cricket is already having to struggle with high profile stars stepping over the line of what is right and wrong in the game, this is not what we should be talking about after the 1st round of matches in the world's highest-profile T20 league. People pay to watch to the kind of excitement generated by the likes of Chris Gayle smashing it around for 79 from 47 balls and to see a player like Buttler use all of his innovation, skill and power in trying to chase down KXIPs imposing total. To me the fact that Ashwin had to resort to such tactics clearly demonstrates that he has no idea as either a captain or a bowler of how to get Jos Buttler out and as with most decisions that come with from a place of fear I would imagine that on reflection he is regretting his decision to 'Mankad' Buttler last night. Buttler has scored 4 consecutive 50s against KXIP in the IPL and also finished as England's leading run-scorer in Tests against India last summer, a series in which Ashwin struggled to make an impact source But it's within the laws of the game, I hear you say! Yes, it is in the laws of the game to be able to run a batsman out if he leaves his crease prior to the ball being delivered and for good reason because otherwise, every non-striker would be halfway down the pitch as the bowler was turning at the mark his run-up. However, the video evidence from last night clearly shows that Buttler remained in his ground as Ashwin approached the crease and only left it at the point that he believed Ashwin was delivering the ball. Buttler is well within his rights to do this and anyone who has played the game of cricket at any level knows that this is what ALL batsmen are coached to do from a very young age. The above clearly shows Buttler is well in his ground at the moment he believes that Ashwin will be going through his delivery stride. What Buttler doesn't know is that Ashwin has decided to stop his bowling action and instead just wait for him to leave his crease before running him out! This is more like the moves of a pantomime villain than a world-class cricketer. Should we now all be reduced to shouting "here's behind you" when the bowler enters his run-up? Ashwin has claimed that what he did was "instinctive" but again, I'm talking to anyone here who has actually played the game of cricket here, there was nothing instinctive about what Ashwin did! That was a pre-planned move and he never intended to release the ball. Look at his position in the screenshot above! I don't care whether you're a Sunday league cricketer or a decorated international, you wouldn't bowl the ball from that position. Where's his front arm? Why has he landed 8 inches short of the crease? In my opinion, if a bowler has no intention of bowling the ball (and it seems clear that Ashwin didn't) then the ball is not in play and at the point of appeal the umpires should have called "dead ball". That's my view of the incident, here's what some others in the game have been saying Rubbish! Ashwin appealed in the first place and while we can't hear what the umpire said to him on the field, I would imagine that he asked him to confirm that he was actually appealing for a decision to be made. When the umpire asks you a question like that it suggests that they don't think you should be appealing in the first place! Here's my troll of Ashwin on twitter and reddit via the evil toddler meme I'd also be interested to hear what former India captain MS Dhoni has to say on the issue given that it was he in 2011 that called back England batsman Ian Bell after a controversial run-out decision. That was sportsmanship! Or how about Courtney Walsh who famously warned Pakistan batsman Salem Jaffar rather than running him out in Mankad style despite it being the very last ball of the match and West Indies needing just 1 wicket to win and Pakistan only 2 runs. That is sportsmanship, that is cricket! It doesn't need to be written down in the rule books because everyone who loves the game understands that when you step onto the field to play you abide by a universal set of laws known as the spirit of cricket. Ashwin's actions have broken that code and as such he has brought the game into disrepute. Please feel free to comment and tell me what you think about the incident. You may well disagree with me but that's ok, I'd like to hear all sides of the argument.

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