The 2019 Indian Premier League is not even one week old and it is already been remembered for the controversial mankading incident involving Ravichandran Ashwin and Jos Buttler at the Sawai Mansingh stadium in the clash against Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab on Monday. At the Feroz Shah Kotla on Tuesday, in the encounter between hosts Delhi Capitals and Chennai Super Kings, there was another potential mankading incident but it did not get executed and the game carried on. The incident took place in the eighth over of the Delhi Capitals innings where Harbhajan Singh was bowling to Delhi Capitals captain Shreyas Iyer.
After conceding two runs in three balls, Harbhajan was preparing to bowl the fourth ball of the over to Iyer when he stopped in his delivery stride and looked at the Delhi Capitals captain who was at the non-striker’s end. The look suggested that Harbhajan could have mankaded Iyer but he chose not to go ahead, unlike Ashwin who mankaded Buttler and it resulted in controversy after the game.
Iyer was on strike for the fifth ball and he played out a dot but on the sixth ball, he mistimed a flick to deep midwicket but luckily the ball fell short of Ambati Rayudu who ran in but could not get there.
The Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab clash witnessed a controversial moment when Ashwin mankaded Buttler when the England batsman was batting on 69 and guiding Rajasthan Royals towards victory. However, in a flash, Ashwin removed the bails at the non-striker’s end and appealed for a run-out. The third umpire had a look and gave him out. This resulted in a fiery exchange between Buttler and Ashwin and when the batsman was given out, he was livid. In the post-match greetings, there was no eye contact between Buttler and Ashwin while Rajasthan Royals head coach Paddy Upton exchanged some terse words with the offspinner. Rajasthan Royals suffered a dramatic collapse and they went on to suffer their first loss to Kings XI Punjab in their home turf of Sawai Mansingh.
The incident fueled plenty of criticism on social media, with the England players having a go at Ashwin. Many former players believed that Ashwin’s action went against the Spirit of the Game and that it was unwarranted. Some former Indian players and commentators supported Ashwin’s actions while even Australian players, notably Rajasthan Royals mentor Shane Warne, who had some harsh words for Ashwin’s action.