The off-spinner believes he is not the villain
Indian star Ravichandran Ashwin has insisted that he has no regrets over his controversial 'Mankad' dismissal of England batsman Jos Buttler, which sparked a worldwide debate.
The Kings XI Punjab skipper has been at the centre of a major cricket controversy for using the ploy made famous by India player, Vinoo Mankad in 1947. Mankading, as it has become known, is legal but frowned upon by purists unless the batsman has been warned.
Ashwin, who seemed to have waited for Buttler to leave his crease before clipping off the bails, insisted his "conscience was clear" over the incident.
"You can't say that Ashwin is a villain," he said. “People can say that they believe it is right or wrong, that is their opinion, but you can't say that Ashwin is a villain. That is not in my character."
The off-spinner believed that there was no need to defend his actions since the were within the rules of the sport.
"There is nothing to defend. It was instinctive. I didn't plan to wait for Buttler to go out and I will hit (the bails). He had done that four or five times," Ashwin said. "It is in the rules; if the batsman goes out of his crease then you can whip the bails off. Nobody told the batsman to stay in the crease, but it his responsibility to stay inside the crease.”
Ashwin insisted that his conscience was clear and he would never indulge in acts that were illegal.
"And most importantly my conscience was clear. People who know me well, know that I will never do anything illegal."
Ashwin has been criticised by Cricketers and pundits for the incident. Even the MCC, the arbiter of cricket laws, released a statement saying that if Ashwin had deliberately waited for Buttler to be out of his crease that would be "unfair".
Buttler, who walked back to the dressing room after a heated exchange with Ashwin, still feels aggrieved.
"I think if you look at the footage, probably the wrong decision was made because at the time he was expected to release the ball I was in my crease," Buttler said.
Multan Sultans' all-rounder Shahid Afridi spoke to Cricket Pakistan in an exclusive interview23/Feb/2020