Former India captain Rahul Dravid, who is widely regarded as one of the most gentlemanly players to have played cricket, threw his weight behind Kings XI Punjab skipper Ravichandran Ashwin for ‘mankading’ Jos Buttler in the fourth match of the IPL 2019.
According to Dravid, ‘mankading’ is within the laws of the game and he doesn’t have a problem with someone doing it. However, he personally would have preferred a warning.
“It’s within the laws of the game and that’s pretty clear. So 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,” Dravid was quoted as saying by Times of India.
England cricketers Eoin Morgan and Jason Roy also took to Twitter to express their shock over Ashwin’s act and called the event “terrible and disappointing”.
Dravid, however, feels that some of the “reactions were overblown” and that according to the laws of the game, Ashwin was within his right to run out Buttler.
“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. Like I said, I would rather he had warned first, but if he chose not to do it, then that’s his interpretation and you can’t have issue with that.
“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,” Dravid further said.
Although Dravid feels ‘mankading’ is the personal choice, he reckons such acts might divide the opinions in the dressing room of the team and that will be the challenge for the captain and coach.
“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 sometimes polarizes opinion. 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,” he remarked.
When asked if the ‘mankading’ mode of dismissal should stay, Dravid said if the law would cease to exist, batsmen may take undue advantage.
“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 concluded.