After Ricky Ponting, last week, stated that he would have a ‘hard conversation’ with Ravi Ashwin over mankading, the duo settled their differences over the dismissal today in a YouTube video posted on Ashwin’s channel. Ponting, in the video, suggested that teams should be penalized if batsmen cheat.
One of the boon’s of the lockdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has been heart-to-heart conversations between cricketers, enabled by social media platforms, and one person who has capitalized on the booming social media market for sportsmen is India’s Ravichandran Ashwin. During lockdown, Ashwin launched his own YouTube channel and has since had riveting talks with a plethora of sportsmen and actors on a vast variety of topics. Ashwin, in his channel, has also occasionally touched upon ‘uncomfortable’ topics and today, the 33-year-old decided to address the elephant in the room by inviting Ricky Ponting to his show.
In a seven-minute video posted on his YouTube channel, Ashwin specifically addressed the mankading comments made by his new franchise Delhi Capitals’ head coach, Ricky Ponting, which created a slight tinge of controversy. Last week, speaking in the Grade Cricketers podcast, Ponting stated that he wouldn’t allow Ashwin - a serial mankader, by his own admission - to mankad under his watch and the comment divided opinions, with many fans chastising the Aussie for his alleged ‘hypocrisy’. However, today, Ashwin clarified that he had talks with Ponting and shed light on the duo’s conversation about the voodoo topic.
"I asked Ponting about his comments (In the Grade Cricketer podcast), for which he replied that he just gave his honest 'Aussie' opinion on a podcast show. He told me that it would be good if mankanding is prevented as he feels it's unfortunate for a batsman to get out at the non-strikers' end.
"I then asked him if it was fair if bowlers, like non-strikers, transgressed the crease and used it to their advantage, for which he admitted that such a thing would be wrong. He, in fact, told me that he was in the committee which upheld the mankading rule but insisted that it is not an offence which demands a batsman getting dismissed,” Ashwin said in Tamil in his YouTube channel in a chat show named ‘Oru Mellisaana Kodu’ (a fine line).
Ashwin then revealed that ahead of KXIP's clash versus Delhi last season, both Ponting and Shreyas Iyer (DC coach and captain) had a chat with him and verbally promised that none of the Delhi batsmen would look to wander out of their crease whilst they are at the non-striker's end.
Moments later, the 33-year-old off-spinner then played a snippet of his actual conversation with Ponting, in which the Capitals head coach suggested punishments for batsmen trying to ‘cheat’ by gaining an unfair advantage at the non-strikers’ end.
"Yeah, I totally get where you are coming from," Ponting told Ashwin when asked for his views on the run-out. "I wasn't trying to say that you were [not] justified because it is actually in the laws of the game. You can do it. So if a batsman is cheating, and trying to steal a couple of yards.
"I just think that we have got to find a way around. Trying to stop the batsman cheating. We have had this conversation already. I don't want to see anyone running two or three yards down the wicket [before the ball is delivered]. Because that basically is cheating.
"I think there should be some sort of a run penalty. If you are to get to the top of your bowling action and stop, and it shows that the batsman is cheating and is out of his crease, I think put a run penalty on them. And do it right from the start, because that will stop him right away. Imagine taking 10 runs off a team total because you have taken yards... those sort of things need to be looked at,” the former Aussie skipper said.
Ashwin then concluded the topic by joking that he could not find any “Spirit of Cricket” books in the market and urged the people sitting on their high horses and criticizing cricketers to take it upon themselves to write and publish an official ‘Spirit of Cricket’ book. These comments from the 33-year-old come on the back of the nuclear heat he received during IPL 2019 after mankading England’s Jos Buttler during a group game between KXIP and RR.