London: The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), a guardian of cricket laws, has changed its stand on the controversy surrounding the dismissal of Joseph Buttler of Rajasthan Royals by Kings XI Punjab captain R Ashwin. The MCC reviewed the footage of the IPL match and said Ashwin’s act was against the spirit of the game.

Earlier, the MCC had supported the Indian player’s way of dismissing Buttler. A day later, it changed the stand in the case. Ashwin ran Buttler out at the non-striker end in the IPL match on Monday.

It is considered courteous in cricket to call the non-striker back if he leaves the crease before the ball is delivered. However, if the bowler chooses to strike off the bails, the umpire has to declare the non-striker out.

MCC manager of the laws Fraser Stewart has said, after reviewing the case, the body does not think the act was in accordance with the spirit of the game. “We believe the pause was too long between the time Ashwin reached the crease and the moment it was reasonable to expect the ball would be delivered,” Stewart said, referring to Ashwin’s halt in the crease before changing his idea of delivering the ball and running out Buttler.

“When Buttler could have reasonably expected the ball to be delivered, he was in his ground,” said Stewart.

“It is also unfair, and against the spirit of Cricket, for non-strikers to leave their ground too early. All these debates wouldn’t be necessary if non-strikers remained in their ground until the ball is on its way down the pitch,” Stewart said.

Earlier MCC had said on Tuesday, “The wording of the Law needs to be examined to understand it further.”

England’s ODI captain Eoin Morgan described Ashwin’s Mankading of Buttler as a “terrible example for young kids”.

But MCC went on, “This law is essential. without it, non-strikers could back up at liberty, several yards down the pitch and law are needed to prevent such action.” This was an implicit criticism of Buttler for backing up too soon.

What is Mankading?

If the batsman standing at the non-striker’s end comes out of the crease before the ball leaves the hand of the bowler, and the bowler turns around to strike the bails off, the non-striker is declared out by a process called Mankading.

Kapil Dev among Indian players and Peter Kirsten of South Africa were declared out by Mankading during the 1992-93 series.

In domestic cricket, spinner Murali Kartik was dismissed in the same manner in the Ranji Trophy match by Bengal’s Sandeep Das.