A blistering Jos Buttler innings came to an end in controversial fashion in his first IPL appearance of the season.
England batsman Buttler registered his sixth half-century for Rajasthan Royals as they chased Kings XI Punjab’s total of 184 for four in Mohali.
The 28-year-old had reached 69 off 43 balls when he was ‘mankaded’ by India bowler Ravichandran Ashwin.
With Buttler at the non-striker’s end and marginally out of his crease, KXIP captain Ashwin – who had run in to bowl – stopped and whipped off the bails.
It was a legal dismissal but one seen by many as going against the spirit of the game.
The incident was all the more contentious as Buttler was in his crease when Ashwin arrived, only for the bowler to pull out of his action and wait for him to step forward.
Ashwin defended his actions after the match, telling Star Gold: “It was pretty instinctive. I actually didn’t even load. He left the crease, that’s it.
“That’s always been my take on it because that’s my half of the crease.”
Buttler was clearly furious as he walked back to the pavillion while players, pundits and viewers waded in on social media.
England one-day captain Eoin Morgan wrote on Twitter: “I can’t believe what I’m seeing!! @IPL Terrible example to set for young kids coming through. In time I think Ashwin will regret that.”
“That is terrible,” said England batsman Sam Billings, who added: “Well the fair play award isn’t going to Mohali this year….”
Former England captain Michael Vaughan said Ashwin’s actions were unacceptable and called for a change in the laws of the game.
He wrote: “If @josbuttler had been warned well that’s fine … if he hasn’t and it’s the first time I think @ashwinravi99 is completely out of order … watch how often this happens from now on !!!!!!!
“The more you see this the worse it looks .. @josbuttler is still in his crease as @ashwinravi99 is in his delivery position .. Warning or not this is very very Poor from the Skipper … in time I think he will look back and regret this.
“Will teams now start monitoring players in opposing teams to see which ones back up out of the crease etc etc and use it as a tactic to get them out !!!?????? Surely the game hasn’t come to this.
“It’s the Laws that need to change … Officially it’s OUT but it concerns me that many others will follow suit.”
Buttler’s Rajasthan team-mate Jofra Archer, who will soon qualify to play for England, also took to Twitter to express his anger.
Archer wrote of Ashwin: “You show no confidence in yourself or your bowlers to get the job done so you resort to that ? #greatcaptaincy”
Buttler’s England team-mate Ben Stokes hit a six off his first ball but was caught in the deep off his second as the Royals fell to a 14-run defeat.