Matthews regrets Butler’s mancading

Rex Clementine

In an interview with a sister paperDivina OnlineFormer captain Angelo Matthews has admitted he regretted Mancuding of England batsman Jos Butler at Edgbaston in 2014. It was a winning tour. The team went into the final ODI with everything to play, with the series 2-2 squared. Butler fell short on 21 after being set back too far at the non-striker’s end by off-spinner Sachitra Senanayake.

The referee asked Captain Matthews if Sri Lanka was taking their appeal seriously. Matthews answered in the affirmative and Butler had to go. However, in England there was a storm of protests that Sri Lanka violated the spirit of cricket. Many believe that mancading is unsportsmanlike because the hitter is unknowingly leaving the crease and not trying to gain an undue advantage.

Matthew had vowed at the time that he wouldn’t hesitate to try again, but now, seven years older and a veteran of the 100 Test, the former captain regrets the decision.

“It was a spur of the moment. I warned him several times, not just with Edgbaston, but in his previous game at Lords,” Matthews said.

There was more that night than anyone witnessed. Sri Lanka manager Marvan Atapatu was meticulous in his plans and had observed Butler turning many singles into 2s and 2s into 3s in the previous game. Butler had been observed to have run 2 for 10 in his last 10 overs of the previous game. Marvan was giving the thumbs up to Butler’s mankading.

The case was not well received in England. Matthews was a public enemy and a greatly despised figure. Not even David Warner and Steve Smith after Sandpapergate received such a hostile reception in England during the Australian Ashes campaign.

Matthews and England captain Sir Alastair Cook exchanged words during the match, with Cook not saying a word in the post-match media briefing. “There is a line, but that line has been crossed here. I’ve never seen it in a game before and it’s pretty disappointing. As the captain of your country, there’s a certain way you want to run your team.” Yes, and obviously he’s fine with it, he says he’ll do it again.”

Sri Lanka’s manager at that point was the equally eloquent Michael de Zoisa, who asked, “Who will mark those lines?”

Michael was also careful to protect the captain. Instead of sending Matthews to the post-series media briefing as is customary, he beat Mahera Jayawarden. MJ was diplomatic. “I warned Butler at Lords and I warned him in his 42nd over of this game. When he warned again in his 44th over I was out of options,” he said.

Butler was a serial offender who was fired for backing down too far in the IPL, causing Ravichandran Ashwin to cause a runout.

The MCC, guardians of the rules of cricket, put an end to this debate in 2017 by tweaking the rules. But now non-strikers can only take off after the bowler has released the ball and a deal has been made. The MCC Cricket Board that introduced this change included some of the best minds in the game such as Kumar Sangakkara, Ricky Ponting and Brendon McCullum.

What does the term Mankading mean? Indian cricketer Vinu Mankad ran out Australia’s Bill Brown in Sydney in 1947. Despite controversy, Australian captain Sir Don Bradman defended Mancado’s actions. Matthews regrets Butler’s mancading

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