After becoming IPL’s official ‘Mankading’ mascot last season, R Ashwin stopped short of his run-up in the game against RCB on Monday, to warn Aaron Finch about stepping outside the crease a little too early.
Delhi were playing Virat Kohli’s RCB and before the fourth delivery of the third over, Ashwin held onto the ball and did not complete the delivery, instead pointing out to Finch at the non-striker’s end that he could have gotten him out.
Following replays of Ashwin’s move, there was a shot of Delhi Capitals’ coach Ricky Ponting in the dugout, where he was seen with a wry smile across his face.
Ashwin had courted controversy in the 2019 edition of the Indian Premier League when he ran out Rajasthan Royals' Jos Buttler at the non-striker's end while captaining the Kings XI Punjab.
It drew varied reactions from the cricket fraternity but Ashwin has said, on numerous instances since then, that he would do it again so as to not allow batsmen to gain an advantage by stepping out too far onto the pitch.
Ponting had said before travelling to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the IPL that he would be having a discussion with Ashwin about Mankading, a topic on which the coach and player had expressed radically opposing views.
While Ashwin had said that he would do it again, Pointing was against running out the batsman in that fashion.
"He (Ashwin) made me get on a podcast with him when I first arrived here, to have a good open chat about it. I think we're both on the same page. He feels he did everything in the rules and laws of the game and he's absolutely right,” the former Australia skipper said.
“He’s saying, ‘What if it’s the last ball of the IPL, what if I’m bowling and the batting teams needs two runs to win and the non-striker is charging halfway down the wicket? What do you expect me to do?’,” he added.
To this, Ponting said he believed that the bowler shouldn't resort to Mankading the batsman in that situation, but he did concede that it shouldn't even happen in the first place.
"There's an argument there as well, but as I said to him, I would expect that he would hold on to the ball and not Mankad and tell the batsman to stay in his crease next time and see if he's good enough to try and close the game out for us," he said.
“It shouldn’t get to that stage anyway, batsmen shouldn’t be cheating. That’s what batsmen are doing, batsmen are actually cheating by trying to steal a yard or two here or there. It’s something that needs to be addressed,” he added.
"I think something has to happen with the laws of the game to make sure batsmen can't cheat and there certainly shouldn't be the rule the way it is. I think if you bring in some sort of run penalty for the batsman if they're deliberately leaving their crease and pinching ground that might be the way to go about it," Ponting said.
(With inputs from IANS)