The IPL 2019 game between Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals saw one of the most controversial and fraternity dividing incidents when R Ashwin, KXIP captain mankaded RR opener Jos Buttler. The resulting outrage saw some supporting the bowler, while others calling for the rule to be scrapped.
Former England captain and now commentator David Gower gave his opinion on the same.
“I was in India at the time when all of this happened. I saw all the coverage. So all the media coverage, all the newspapers, the reactions, it caused a storm as well. It might and I looked at it very closely because people were asking me for my opinion as well. Now I looked at that footage thinking how far Jos Buttler has gone down the pitch. And the answer is virtually nowhere,” Gower said.
Ashwin took off the bails and ran Buttler out and despite protests and both on-field umpires discussing the matter, the RR wicketkeeper had to go back into the pavilion.
“I think it’s a good thing to make a point as a bowler. If you think someone’s about to steal ground or has already stolen ground, make your point the first time. And if they do it again, then I think you’re entirely entitled to get on with the Mankading. I just thought at the time, but it was a misjudgment,” Gower further said.
Gower, who played 117 Tests and 114 ODIs for England from 1978-1992 and made 8231 Test and 3170 ODI runs, said that he would advise players from all age groups to give that warning before committing to run them out.
“For me, my advice to anyone of any age whether they be 15, 18, 20, 25, 35, 40 whatever it is, give that warning! Because it just feels so much better. It still makes the point, still gives you the chance to carry it later if that is required, but give that warning! That’s my advice,” he said.
Ashwin received a lot of flak from his fellow cricketers, especially from England, with James Anderson even shredding a photo of the Indian off-spinner in protest of his deed against Buttler.