Ponting also Thought I Should Have “Mankaded” Aaron Finch, But He’s a Good Friend: R Ashwin

Ravichandran Ashwin

Ravichandran Ashwin is certainly one of the smart voices in cricket. His understanding and opinions on the game are genuine. He started the 2020 IPL season with a blow and scalped two wickets in a single over before injuring his shoulder while trying to save a single against Kings XI Punjab.

He was recently in the news after choosing not to open the scoring of ‘Mankad’ Aaron Finch in a game against the Royal Challengers Bangalore. The Australian was almost a meter and a half on the track before Ashwin even let go of the ball from his hand. Ashwin came to a halt in the middle of his bowling action as Finch continued to charge. It was only after a while that Finch, who was watching his batting partner Devdutt Padikkal during the act, realized what had happened and came back sheepishly in the crease.

Speaking about the incident, Ashwin revealed:

“I tagged Ponting in the tweet. He said he went too far; I wanted you to kick him out. He said he was talking to the ICC committee about a point penalty to keep his promise. I’m not a leader in spreading messages. I don’t want to talk about it and make it a problem.

When we played, one side of the field was big. I knew 100% that a batsman would come off the field because the limits weren’t that easy. The game, I knew someone would come out, and I could get a wicket. I entered my jump, and a gold helmet floated in front of me without stopping. I stopped for a second and thought whether to run or not. Even when I was thinking, he looked at me and didn’t go into the crease. I don’t know why he was staring at him.

But he’s been a good friend since the KXIP days. He’s a very nice guy. We sat together in the evenings and passed the time. So I let him slip as the last warning. I feel stern that punishment should be harsh. Dock 10 runs to back up. No batsman would come out then.

Bringing out a batsman like this is not a skill. But there is also no option for the bowler if you keep going out. I can’t stop the thefts until the thieves repent. I can’t be the police forever”.