Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Sri Lanka batsman Mahela Jayawardene has announced that spinner Sachithra Senanayake was right to Mankad England wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler during the fifth ODI at Edgbaston.
The incident immediately became the talking point of the match, but Jayawardene noted that Senanayake had warned Buttler on two previous occasions during the match.
“We gave him a fair chance,” Jayawardene said. “Twice. Before the first warning, we told the umpires that he was taking too much of a lead and then he was warned again. We had to do that, because they kept doing it.
“We analysed our game after Lord’s. They took 22 twos in the last 12 overs. Ravi Bopara and him ran riot. And most of the time they were taking starts that are not legal by the written laws. We just wanted to make sure we got a fair chance. We warned them and we warned the umpires, but they didn’t listen to us, so we had to take the right steps.
“We always try to play in the right spirit, but if the other team is not playing in the right spirit and not going with the law, then unfortunately we had to take the law into our hands. It was the third time. It is fair enough, I think. We all need to play by the rules.
“If the other sides are not going by the rules, then they’re not playing by the spirit, so what can you do?”
However, England captain Alastair Cook was less than impressed with Senanayake’s actions and captain Angelo Mathews’ decision to uphold the appeal.
“I thought it was disappointing,” Cook said. “There’s a line and that line was crossed here. I’ve never seen it before in the game and I was pretty disappointed by it. As captain of your country, there are certain ways you want your team to operate. And obviously he is fine with it. He has said he will do it again.
“You don’t know what you would do if you were put in that situation, in the heat of the moment, until you are. I’d like to think I wouldn’t do it, but I suppose you just don’t know.
“I haven’t been in the situation, as captain of England, where I have had to make a ‘spirit of cricket’ call. Paul Collingwood had one a few years ago and admitted afterwards that, in the heat of the moment, he probably made a mistake.
“If he was properly trying to steal a single, I could possibly understand it. But he was half a yard out of his crease. It’s pretty disappointing.”