The IPL 2019 clash between Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab was marred by the mankading controversy which involved Ravichandran Ashwin and Jos Buttler. In the 13th over of the second innings, Kings XI skipper Ashwin mankaded Buttler when he was batting on 69 and till that point, the Rajasthan Royals were in a great position to maintain their unbeaten run over Kings XI in Jaipur. Chasing 185, the Royals were off to a solid start with Buttler and Ajinkya Rahane stitching a solid opening partnership.
When Ashwin sent back Rahane, Rajasthan Royals were still in a good position but when Buttler was mankaded, Rajasthan Royals lost eight wickets in four overs and they lost the game by 14 runs. Kings XI Punjab had broken their jinx at the Sawai Mansingh stadium on the sixth attempt but the focus was on the mankading issue. The entire cricketing fraternity were divided over the matter and Rajasthan Royals coach Paddy Upton lashed out at the actions of the offspinner. Speaking at the post-match conference, Upton said the Royals wanted to hold their heads up and high after the incident before praising his players for their reaction to the incident.
“Jos Buttler was amazing while he was batting and for a lot of the game we batted as we wanted and really set ourselves up for victory,” he said. “I thought the players were able to stay focussed and reset themselves after that run-out. I was very happy with the players themselves, the way they acted and responded to that situation. And our conscious decision was to hold our heads up high and maintain our dignity as a team,” he added.
Upton further took a shot at Ashwin, saying that the action ‘speak for him and represent him’. He left it for the cricket fraternity to decide Ashwin's action..
“I think R Ashwin’s actions tonight speak for him and represent him. When I looked in the eyes of his teammates, I’m not sure it represented his teammates. We’ll leave it up to the IPL fans to decide if that’s the kind of thing they want to see, and we’ll leave it up to the cricket world to judge R Ashwin’s actions tonight. But for us, we certainly are here just to play cricket and entertain the fans and just be good role models for people who love the game,” Upton concluded.
Rajasthan Royals will next take on Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Rajiv Gandhi International stadium in Uppal on March 29 while Kings XI Punjab will take on Mumbai Indians in Mohali on March 30.