As the fans and experts cannot wait for the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), the past debates or controversies have once again started making the rounds on several social media platforms. There is one such incident from last year’s edition of IPL which is once again in limelight and is being discussed widely – ‘Mankading’. In 2019 IPL, India’s senior off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who was playing for Kings XI Punjab, sparked a huge debate in the cricket circles around the world when he dismissed Rajasthan Royals batsman Jos Buttler during a league match. Also Read - Dream11 IPL Highlights KXIP vs MI: Rohit, Pollard Star as Mumbai Beat Punjab by 48 Runs to go Top of The Points Table

The mode of dismissal, known as Mankading, not only created a furore but also triggered an age-old ‘spirit of the game’ debate. In the 2020 edition of the IPL, Ashwin will represent Delhi Capitals. On Monday, the 33-year-old Ashwin suggested the introduction of a ‘free ball’ for bowlers if non-strikers back up too far, sticking to his stand that there was nothing wrong with running such batsmen out. Also Read - IPL 2020 Updated Points Table: Mumbai Dethrone Capitals; Mayank Pips Rahul For Orange Cap, Shami Surpasses Rabada For Purple Cap

While what Ashwin did was well within the rules of the game, his new IPL team coach Ricky Ponting of the Delhi Capitals doesn’t agree with this particular mode of dismissal. Also Read - CSK vs SRH Dream11 Team Hints, Tips And Predictions, Captain And Vice-Captain, Probable XI Fantasy Cricket IPL 2020: Chennai Super Kings vs Sunrisers Hyderabad, Match 11 Dubai International Cricket Stadium at 7:30 PM IST Friday October 2

“Make it a free ball for the bowler. If the batsmen get out of that ball, the batting team will be docked 5 runs. Free hit adds to the drama for a batter, let’s give a chance to the bowlers too,” Ashwin tweeted in response to Dinesh Karthik’s assertion that it was unfair to link the dismissal to spirit of the game or call it ‘Mankading’ as it is permitted by laws of the game.

“As of now everyone watches the game hoping that ‘the bowlers will get smacked today’,” the off-spinner said.

His suggestion is similar to the concept of a free hit, which allows the batsmen to score the maximum without the fear of being dismissed if the bowler delivers a front-foot no-ball.

When a twitter user asserted that the game is primarily for batsmen, Ashwin retorted, “Then take the run out on your chin and stay in!!!!”.

What followed after Ashwin’s tweet was a discussion on his timeline with former India cricketers WV Raman, S Badrinath, Rohan Gavaskar and commentator Harsha Bhogle providing their opinion on the issue.

“Echoing the famous line of Eli Wallach, ‘when you have to shoot, shoot, don’t talk’. Similarly, ‘when you have to stay in the crease, stay in, don’t walk out’,” Raman said quoting from Hollywood classic ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’.

Kolkata Knight Riders CEO Venky Mysore, however, feels that ‘Mankading’ is a “harsh” dismissal and docking runs can be tried out.

“Rules vs. spirit cannot settle the issue. To me, Mankading dismissal is too harsh & jarring to everyone. So change rule? Reduce a run like in the case of ‘one short’? Would that be fair?,” Mysore tweeted.

Bhogle wants the rule to be simplified where it clearly states that batsmen should stay inside the crease. “I think the rule should be simple and take away any subjective element like ‘normal delivery position’ and just say ‘non-striker stays in till the ball is released’,” the celebrated commentator said.

However, Karthik had a counter-argument. He said that TV umpires can check if batsmen are backing up too far and no runs could be allowed.

“…the cameras used to see the no ball can be used to monitor this. No runs allowed for that delivery, the ball is legitimate and dismissal accepted.”

Badrinath, who has played for India in 2010-11 and was an integral part of Chennai Super Kings in the early years of the IPL, said the dismissal should stay but shouldn’t be called ‘Mankading’.

“…the batsman leaves crease early because he is 1) ignorant of the rule, 2) careless 3) taking unfair advantage, so only thing they need to change is the name Mankading.”