London: Some of cricket's greatest names insisted England's Jos Buttler had only himself to blame for his 'Mankad' dismissal against Sri Lanka.
The issue of players being run out backing up was in the spotlight when Buttler was dismissed in such a fashion by bowler Sachithra Senanayake during Sri Lanka's 3-2 series-clinching victory in the fifth and final one-day international at Edgbaston. However, the world cricket committee of Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), whose chairman is former England captain Mike Brearley and whose members include Australia greats Rodney Marsh and Steve Waugh, as well as India's Rahul Dravid and Pakistan's Majid Khan, insisted Buttler, not Senanayake, was at fault.
MCC still retains worldwide responsibility for cricket's rules, or Laws as they are known, and following their latest meeting at the club's Lord's headquarters in London, the committee issued a statement Wednesday saying: "The unanimous view of the committee was that if the non-striker is out of his ground earlier than allowed in either the Laws of Cricket or the International Playing Conditions, then he can have no complaints should he be dismissed in this manner.
"Furthermore, the committee believes it was not against the Spirit of Cricket to uphold such an appeal, and urges batsmen to ensure they do not try to gain an unfair advantage by moving out of their crease before the appropriate time." Even though 'Mankading', the term coined after India's Vinoo Mankad ran out Australia non-striker Bill Brown during the 1947 Sydney Test, remains a valid dismissal, some regard it as underhand.
England captain Alastair Cook, speaking immediately after the Edgbaston match, said: "I was pretty disappointed with it to be honest with you. I hope I wouldn't do it." However, Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews said afterwards: "We gave him (Buttler) two warnings, and I don't know what else you can do to stop him doing that, so we had to go for it." During a wide-ranging meeting, the committee also backed the International Cricket Council's crackdown on illegal bowling actions.
Off-spinner Senanayake, coincidentally, was suspended by the ICC after being reported for a suspected illegal action during the same ODI series with England. "The world cricket committee is supportive of the ICC's continued efforts to deal with the issue of illegal bowling actions," the statement said. "While it is unfortunate for Sri Lanka's Sachithra Senanayake that he has been suspended from bowling, it is a credit to the system that he was reported and tested promptly."