All the talk within the cricket community has been dominated by the unsportsmanlike conduct of Kings Punjab XI captain Ravi Ashwin in the IPL yesterday.
The debate around the game between the Rajasthan Royals and the Punjab XI was supposed to be surrounding the return of former Australian captain Steve Smith who was making his first competitive appearance outside of Australia since his 12-month ban over the ball-tampering saga ended.
However, pantomime villain Ashwin stole the show last night.
If you’ve not seen the incident, Ashwin dismissed England and Royals batsman Jos Buttler by the way of 'mankading'.
Mankading is where the bowler takes the bails off at the non-striker’s end before a delivery.
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During the 13th over of last night's IPL Ashwin stepped into bowl like any other delivery, only to stop and appear to wait for Buttler to walk out of his crease before hitting the stumps.
The big-hitting Royals star, as he so often is, was in fine form on the night having ripped 69 off just 43 balls.
The problem is, despite mankading technically being within the rules, it is also considered extremely unsportsmanlike - especially when the batsman isn't previously warned - and the uproar will be leaving Ashwin possibly regretting his actions.
Among those in strong criticism of Ashwin was former Royals captain and now ambassador, Shane Warne who tore into the bowler on Twitter.
"So disappointed in @ashwinravi99 as a captain & as a person. All captains sign the #IPL wall & agree to play in the spirit of the game. RA had no intention of delivering the ball – so it should have been called a dead ball. Over to you BCCI – this is not a good look for the #IPL," the Aussie tweeted.
"Ashwin’s actions were simply disgraceful, and I hope the BCCI doesn’t condone this sort of behaviour in the #IPL ! #SpiritOfTheGame’
"Last point on the embarrassing & disgraceful act of @ashwinravi99 ! This win at all costs mentality has got to stop & the integrity of the game along with the spirit of the game must be of the most importance, as we need to set examples to the young boys & girls playing cricket!"
That wasn’t the last point from Warne though who continued his rant with two further tweets.
Warne also dragged England all-rounder Ben Stokes into the debate by posing the question on how people would have perceived the incident had Stokes done it to Virat Kohli in the World Cup final.
It's safe to assume the fall-out from Ashwin's controversial actions is far from over though.News Now - Sport News