Delhi Capitals head coach Ricky Ponting has expressed his disagreement with the controversial method of running out batsmen backing up at the non-striker's end and said he will have a "hard conversation" with Ravichandran Ashwin on this matter.
Ashwin was the center of a controversy in last year's IPL when he stopped in his delivery stride to run out Jos Buttler during the clash between Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals.
With Ashwin now set to represent Delhi Capitals this season, Ponting has voiced his eagerness to have a chat with the 33-year-old and convince him how 'mankading' is against the spirit of the game.
“I’ll be having a chat with him about [mankad], that’s the first thing I’ll do,” Ponting said in a session of The Grade Cricketer podcast.
“Obviously, he wasn’t in our squad last year, he’s one of our players that we tried to afford to bring in this year. Look, he’s a terrific bowler, and he’s done a great job in the IPL for a long period of time now, but I must admit watching that last season, as soon as it happened and he did that, I actually sat our boys down and said ‘Look, I know he’s done it, there’ll be others around the tournament who’ll think about doing this well but that’s not going to be the way that we play our cricket. We won’t be doing that’.”
The anti-mankading policy advocated by Ponting may put him at loggerheads with Ashwin but the two-time World Cup-winning skipper believes he wouldn't want his franchise to be associated with an act that is frowned upon.
“So, that’s going to be a conversation and that’s going to be a hard conversation I will have to have with him, but I’m pretty sure he’ll take it on the chin.
"I think, even him, looking back now, probably he’d say it was within the rules and he’s right to do it, but this is not within the spirit of the game, not in the way I want, at least with the Delhi Capitals anyway.”
Ponting also offered a solution to prevent batsmen from gaining an undue advantage at the bowler's end by suggesting the imposition of a penalty on the culprits.
He revealed to have discussed this option with match referees in the previous IPL edition as well and hoped to see its implementation in some form to avoid any untoward incident.
“I think there are ways that you can actually stop batsmen cheating like that,” he said. “If the bowler was to stop, and the batsman was a foot out of his crease for instance, why don’t you just penalise him some runs or something? Then they won’t do it again," Ponting claimed.
“You’ve only got to do that once at the start of a tournament, and then all the players see it, and you can guarantee the players won’t be fudging any ground from then on. I chatted to some of the match referees about it during last year’s IPL as well. If the umpires make a stance and do something to warn the batsman that they might be cheating, then that’s better than having the ugly incident of a mankad.”