Dravid has no qualms of the mankad dismissal, but reckoned that a warning should be given to the non-striker before whipping the bails off. @ BCCI

There’s a lot been talked about the ‘Spirit of the Game’ ever since Ravichandran Ashwin ‘mankaded’ Jos Buttler during the Rajasthan-Punjab match in the Indian T20 League on Monday. The dismissal proved costly for Rajasthan with wickets tumbling like dominoes after the England wicketkeeper-batsman, who was on song, had to walk back, quite furiously, for 69. (ALSO READ: MCC weighs in on mankad debate after Ashwin-Buttler spat in T20 League match)

Ashwin’s actions tore the cricket fraternity wide open with many questioning his character and credentials, especially after being the captain of the Punjab outfit.

Former India captain Rahul Dravid, a true gentleman of the gentleman’s game, feels Ashwin’s character cannot be questioned and his actions were in accordance with the rule books.

“I think some of the reactions were overblown. Questioning Ashwin’s character because he did that is totally wrong. He has every right to his view. You might not agree with it, but it was well within his rights to do it and that does not make him a bad person,” Dravid told the Times of India on Wednesday. (ALSO READ: ‘It’s too late to say sorry Mr. Ashwin, you will be remembered for that low act’)

The India A and U-19 coach, however, has no qualms of the mankad dismissal, but reckoned that a warning should be given to the non-striker before whipping the bails off.

“I don’t have a problem with someone deciding to do it. Ashwin was well within his rights to do what he did. However, personally I would prefer it if somebody warns someone first. That would be my personal choice, but I respect someone’s view to think differently. I might not agree with it necessarily, but I would just have to agree to disagree whether someone should run someone out without warning him,” he explained.

“It is not about being a gentleman or a non-gentleman. This is not a judgement on his character, but his reading of the law. He has not cheated anybody, nor is he a bad person because he did that.” (ALSO READ: Michael Vaughan, Jofra Archer slam R Ashwin’s ‘mankad’ dismissal of Jos Buttler)

The Karnataka veteran believes such actions will be tough for the team as it can polarise opinion.

“The interpretation of sportsman spirit is different for different people and I don’t think we need to go into that. You can decide in how you want to be. It’s a player’s personal choice. The toughest thing for Ashwin and his coach in Kings XI is that an issue like these can sometimes polarise opinion,” he said.

“Among the players and support staff, there might be some who feel he could have done things differently and that becomes difficult for the captain and coach going forward.” (ALSO READ: Ravi Ashwin ‘mankads’ Jos Buttler during T20 League match: Twitter goes wild)

Quizzed how he would look at it from a coach’s perspective, Dravid said: “When I coach teams, I suggest and I use the word suggest, to players that if they feel someone is trying to get undue advantage, then please warn him and if he continues to do that, you can maybe do that (Mankaded).

“But then people don’t have to agree with me. There is nothing in the laws that say you have to warn. He (Ashwin) has read the law in a particular way. You can agree to disagree with him, but you cannot question his character, this is wrong.” (ALSO READ: Rahane refrains from commenting on Ashwin’s ‘mankad’ dismissal of Buttler)

While many in the fraternity have made a clarion call to do away with the law, Dravid maintains that the controversial ‘Mankaded’ law should still remain.

“I don’t see any other way. Tomorrow if you don’t have the law, you can have somebody standing five feet outside the crease. So how do you make sure that someone doesn’t take advantage? The law is there for a reason and how you choose to use it is a tricky one,” he said.