Ravi Ashwin 'Mankads' Jos Buttler. Picture: David Mariuz/AP
Ravi Ashwin 'Mankads' Jos Buttler. Picture: David Mariuz/AP

Buttler did it: Why Ashwin’s Mankad was fair play

I'm trying hard to shed a tear for Mankad victim Jos Buttler - but I just can't get there.

You know why?

It's because the quirky old spirit of cricket which we all love and cherish does not treat batsmen and bowlers equally.

If, in a Test match, Ravi Ashwin breaches the no-ball line by so much as a millimetre, a no-ball is called and there are no questions asked.

Yet batsmen just wander down the crease like Brown's cows, taking massive liberties which traditionally go unpunished because that's the way we play the game.

As Jason Gillespie said today: "If you don't go over the speed limit in your car, you don't get pinged.''

How much of the game do batsmen want in their favour?

They already have flat decks, heavy bats, short boundaries and rules which say the ball cannot be too high or wide.

How are they off for socks and undies?

Ravi Ashwin left Jos Buttler furious after a 'Mankad' run out during the IPL.
Ravi Ashwin left Jos Buttler furious after a 'Mankad' run out during the IPL.

Buttler has been Mankaded before.

Ashwin has obviously done his research and realised he is a serial "wanderer.''

In a sense it is still a surprise Ashwin would try it because he loves the heritage of the game.

He wrote a diary for Cricinfo at age 16 (proof read by his mother), has read every major cricket biography that comes on the market and loves watching cricket documentaries on television.

He is, in every sense, an old fashioned cricket "nuffy'' who knew precisely what he was getting in to.

He would have read about how Indian all-rounder Vinoo Mankad ran out Australia's Bill Brown twice in Australia and copped heaps from Australian crowds thereafter.

The irony was the dismissal brought Steve Smith to the crease who might well have wanted to say something about the spirit of cricket but thought … "actually, I might just say nothing.''