The gatekeeper of the rules of cricket, MCC has ended all the debate on the 'Mankad' controversy surrounding Ravichandran Ashwin and Jos Buttler, stating that the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) skipper was at fault in that incident, and that he paused for a bit too long which resulted in the Rajasthan Royals (RR) batsman leaving the crease and subsequently getting run out.
In an exclusive interview to ESPNcricinfo, MCC's cricket academy manager Fraser Stewart felt that the actions by the off-spinner were not within the spirit of the sport.
"Ashwin seemed to pause to allow Buttler to go out of his ground and then obviously he put the wicket down; Buttler did not really make much of an effort to get back into his ground. It is one where we just felt the pause was just too long and therefore not within the spirit of cricket," he said.
Fraser Stewart further explained as to why the batsman, in this case, wasn't really at fault.
"The key moment was when the ball would normally have been delivered, and we think Buttler was just within his ground at that point. It was only then he carried on with his wander out and the release was delayed then the wicket was put down," MCC's cricket academy manager added.
The incident, which later became a worldwide talking point, took place in the 13th over of RR's innings during their fixture against KXIP on Monday. In the midway of his run-up, Ashwin realized that Buttler, standing at the non-striker's end, was out of his crease, and he dislodged the bails, leaving the RR batsman stranded.
The KXIP skipper did not hesitate in claiming the wicket, and the decision was referred to the third umpire, who ruled it out, much to the disgust of Buttler and his teammates, coaching staff sitting in the dugout.
This very sequence of event sent ripples around the cricketing world. While some chose to side with Ashwin, stating whatever he did was within the rules of the game, others supported Buttler, suggesting KXIP skipper's action were unacceptable.