The Mankading incident between Jos Buttler and Ravichandran Ashwin in Rajasthan Royals' season-opener against Kings XI Punjab in Jaipur still haunts the England player and he has now conceded that the wrong decision was made by the third-umpire.
Buttler was Mankaded by Ashwin when the opener was batting on 69 with his team nicely placed at 108/2 in the 185-run chase against Punjab at the Sawai Mansingh stadium. Buttler's dismissal in the 13th over started a collapse and the hosts ended up with 164 for 9, to lose the match by 14 runs.
There were divided Opinions immediately after Ashwin's Mankading act. While the likes of Eoin Morgan, Jason Roy, Kevin Pietersen and Dale Steyn slammed the Indian off-spinner for his act and Shane Warne went one step ahead by terming it embarrasing and disgusting, some others like Sanjay Manjrekar, Harsha Bhogle and Murali Karthik felt there was nothing wrong with what Ashwin did.
The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) said batsmen should remain in their ground with the bat behind the crease until its fair for them to leave. But the question raised in several sections was whether Ashwin delayed his delivery stride on purpose and plotted the Mankading. Ashwin said he did not plan the dismissal and it was instinctive.
Buttler, though, is adamant that he was in his crease at the time Ashwin was expected to release the ball.
"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. At the time I was really disappointed with it. I didn't like the style of it. I just thought it was a bad precedent at the start of the tournament. For the tournament itself. It was a really disappointing way to start the tournament. So, I didn't like what happened and I didn't agree with it, but what can you do? After a day or so I was pretty relaxed about it and I'll make sure it never happens again. It won't happen again," Jos Buttler, who was also Mankaded in an ODI vs Sri Lanka in 2014, told ESPNCricinfo.
"What was more disappointing is that suddenly, over the next two games, I found myself being really conscious of it and it is quite distracting. It is so rare that you're not normally thinking about it. I must be the only person to get out twice in that way. It distracted me for the next couple of games which is why it was nice to get some runs in the win and get back to thinking about batting and not worrying about how I back up at the non-striker's end," the opener added.
According to Buttler, the Mankading law should remain in the rule books of the MCC even though the law has quite a few loopholes in it.
"Of course a Mankading has to be in the Laws of the game because a batsman can't just run halfway down the pitch trying to get a headstart. But I do think, the way the law is written, there is a bit of a grey area in that saying 'when a bowler is expected to release the ball'. That is a bit of a wishy-washy statement," Buttler said.