Jos Buttler vows ‘never again’ while calling for Mankad law overhaul
Jos Buttler was run out while backing up by R Ashwin during an IPL match. © BCCI

England wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler has broken his silence on his controversial dismissal during IPL 2019, when he was run out by Kings XI Punjab captain R Ashwin during Rajasthan Royals’ first match of the tournament last week.

Buttler started to leave the crease as Ashwin came into bowl, but was caught unaware that the offspinner had stopped in his delivery stride and removed the balls. Ashwin appealed for a run out, which left Buttler incensed as he was ruled out. The controversial ‘Mankad’ mode of dismissal created headlines, with many former players expressing disappointment as Ashwin’s action.

The MCC initially ruled the mode of dismissal as legal and within the ‘Spirit of Cricket’ but later condemned Ashwin for his action, in what was viewed as deception.

Buttler had not spoken on the matter until Wednesday, when he told English reporters he would “never again” wander out of his crease while calling for the law governing the dismissal to be tightened. (R Ashwin dupes Jos Buttler: Five times that ‘mankading’ made headlines)

“At the time, I was really disappointed with it. I didn’t like the style of it,” Buttler said. “What was more disappointing is that suddenly over the next two games I found myself being really conscious of it and it is quite distracting. That is why it was nice to get some runs in the win (earlier this week, when he scored 59) and get back to thinking about batting and not worrying about how I back up at the non-striker’s end.”

It was not the first time Buttler was dismissed in such a manner. In 2014, during an ODI against Sri Lanka at Edgbaston, he was similarly given out.

And while what Ashwin did in the IPL is legal according to Law 41.6 of cricket’s rulebook, ambiguity arose about manner in which he dismissed Buttler.

The laws state: “If the non-striker is out of his/her ground at any time from the moment the ball comes into play until the instant when the bowler would normally have been expected to release the ball, the non-striker is liable to be run out.”

Buttler called for the ‘Mankad’ law to be overhauled.

“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 head start,” he said. “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.

“I think if you look at the footage, probably the wrong decision was made because at the time he was expected to release the ball I was in my crease. I didn’t like what happened and I didn’t agree with it, but what can you do? I must be the only person to get out twice in that way as well. I’ll make sure it never happens again.”