AB de Villiers, the Royal Challengers Bangalore batsman and former South Africa ace, has asked for a clarification of Law 41.16, pertaining to the Mankad mode of dismissal.
Controversy erupted after Jos Buttler was run out at the non-strikers’ end by R Ashwin in IPL 2019 on Monday, March 25. In the 13th over of Rajasthan’s chase, Ashwin broke his delivery stride as Buttler strayed past the line, and flicked off the bails. Buttler was furious, but the third umpire ruled it to be a legitimate dismissal, sparking a huge ‘spirit of cricket’ debate on social media and elsewhere.
Some said Ashwin had gone too far in breaking his stride and waiting for Buttler to cross the line. Others pointed out that Buttler had no business leaving the crease till the ball was released.
De Villiers weighed in on the matter in his column in the Times of India, and while he didn’t take anyone’s side, he called for the authorities to provide clarity on the law. “R Ashwin’s run-out of Jos Buttler at the non-striker’s end provided controversy and a major talking point,” he wrote.
“I felt sorry for Buttler because he wasn’t trying to steal a run, and Ashwin did nothing wrong because he was operating within the laws. It’s still a grey area, and Law 41.16 needs to be clarified. Either running a batsman out at the non-striker’s end is legal or it isn’t – can somebody please decide.”
The MCC had initially ruled the dismissal to be within the laws and in the spirit of the game, but on Wednesday, it stated that, upon further inspection, the decision was reversed. “Having extensively reviewed the incident again, and after further reflection, we don’t think it was within the spirit of the game,” the MCC cricket academy and laws manager Fraser Stewart told the Telegraph.
“We believe the pause was too long between the time Ashwin reached the crease and the moment it was reasonable to expect the ball would be delivered.”