Former India fast bowler and current ICC match referee Javagal Srinath did not mince his words in opining on the ever-lasting Mankading debate urging non-strikers to not look for empathy on being mankaded and not invoke the spirit of cricket.
Srinath, on Monday, in conversation with India off-spinner R Ashwin, was asked about the aforementioned type of dismissal and he said that he was "perfectly fine" with bowlers running out non-strikers who in a bid to gain advantage left the crease a tad early before the ball is being released by the bowler.
"The bowler is focusing on the batsman [as he bowls]. For the batsman [at the non-striker's end] to stick to his crease till the ball is released is no big deal, because he's not batting, nor is he thinking of anything else." Srinath told Ashwin on his Youtube show 'DRS With Ash'. "So the batsman shouldn't leave the crease and the bowler should focus on just bowling and the batsman he's going to bowl to.
"If the batsman is taking undue advantage, and if he's involved in a run out, I am fine. I am perfectly okay with that. The rules have been set and reiterated many times. It is not about T20, but every format of the game. The onus is on the batsman to stick to the crease until the ball has been delivered. That's the best way to look into it.
"Don't look for any empathy. Don't invoke the spirit of the game. The spirit of the game is with the runner. He cannot move out of the crease. If he is doing it, he's not invoking the spirit of the game itself. I would believe that the batsman should stick to the crease."
The dismissal has seen a recent spike in debate after Delhi Capitals coach Ricky Ponting recently revealed that he would have a "hard conversation" with Ashwin about Mankading and that "this won't be the way we play our cricket."
Srinath further solidified his opinion by adding that even an inadvertent act of leaving the crease early would be considered unfair.
"Even if the batsman has inadvertently left the crease, and it happens to be the last ball of the match where there's a run-out [chance] with the batsman in by an inch, but he has already taken three foot forward before the ball has been delivered, the result is unfair.
"One of the teams will probably pay for it. I would like to see a balance here. I would want the batsman to stay, be more careful. Look into the arm of the bowler and let himself go only after the ball is released. It cannot be that he's gaining four to five feet advantage every ball. In T20, every ball matters. How many games go to the last ball?"