'Hasn't affected me one bit' – Ashwin has no regrets over Buttler Mankad - International Cricket Council

R Ashwin copped a lot of flak for his Mankad dismissal of Jos Buttler in the IPL 2019 last week, but the India off-spinner has said he has no regrets.

Buttler was run out at the non-strikers' end by Ashwin, sparking a 'spirit of cricket' debate. That Ashwin chose not to warn the England wicket-keeper batsman before effecting the dismissal didn't help matters, but the 32-year-old was least concerned, and was happy that his team-mates stood by him.

"Everybody who know me, it is very clear [to them] that I didn't do anything that is illegal," Ashwin told India Today. "Even my team has stood behind me since then. A lot many players have come to me and said whatever I did was absolutely right.

I definitely do think that my countrymen have also stood up for me. And it is only fair that your peers stand up for you.

R Ashwin

"It hasn’t affected me one bit at all. I am very happy for the fact that they [former and current England players] are standing up for their fellow countryman. I definitely do think that my countrymen have also stood up for me. And it is only fair that your peers stand up for you."

According to the law, if the non-striker is outside the crease at the point the bowler would "normally" be expected to release the ball, then it is within the rules to run him out. Buttler, however, believes that the Mankading law is a bit 'wishy-washy' and asked for it to be clarified. Ashwin, for his part, said he played by the book, and defended his decision.

"There have even been debates about whether I waited for him to walk out of the crease," he said. "But what people don’t understand is that I hadn’t even reached the crease and he started walking away. Once your action is complete, you cannot go down and hit the stumps. I have to wait and then flick the stumps off.

"We can keep on arguing about the same case again and again but I just feel by the whole criticism, the way people have reacted, some experts – who have been bang-on too – that it is just going to throw chills down the spine of a lot of bowlers about not wanting to do it again."

He also believes debating about the 'spirit of cricket' is pointless, and asked the authorities to make a decision on the law. "I actually think that if you bring in the ‘spirit of the game’ into this and keep on talking about it again and again, it is up to the authorities to decide that whether you want to continue this as a rule of the game or not," he said.

"I think you can debate till the cows come home about whether what I did was right [or] wrong, and it is up to people's perception what they believe it is. To me, as I said, it is all about my conscience.

"About 10 years ago, there was probably a rule, or it used to be said, that you warn somebody and then do it again. That was for a 50-over game and this is a T20 format, so even the warning space is lesser

"What about the spirit of the game when it comes to bowler’s psyche? To me, as I said, it is all about my conscience."

Lead image – AFP

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