Needless to say, the majority of the outrage came from English journalists and former players, while more neutral commentators landed on the side of the Sri Lankans.
The issue of England's Jos Buttler being Mankaded by Sri Lanka in the fifth ODI prompted the usual flurry of outrage, mostly on Twitter, as old-school 'Spirit of Cricket' fans blathered on about the unfairness of it all.
Factually, Sri Lanka were well within their rights to send Buttler packing, as he had been warned numerous times previously for backing up too far. He was not owed that courtesy, and thus Sachithra Senanayake and Angelo Mathews were correct in not withdrawing their appeal.
Needless to say, the majority of the outrage came from English journalists and former players, while more neutral commentators landed on the side of the Sri Lankans, arguing that Buttler had himself been out of order, if we're going to get technical.
<b>In favour of Sri Lanka:</b>
Cricinfo head honcho <b>George Dobell</b>: "Such a dismissal is unusual, unpopular and creates a good deal of confusion. But it is not illegitimate and none of the umpires, Mathews or Senanayake deserve criticism. Indeed, you could argue that any other decision would have been illogical and, in an age where the game is on its guard against match-fixing, highly dubious. It might be compared to allowing a batsman a life after he had been stumped."
Former England coach <b>David Lloyd</b> in the Daily Mail: "The running out of Jos Buttler at Edgbaston was absolutely fine. I have no problem with it. There is no 'Spirit of Cricket' issue for me. Sachithra Senanayake had clearly warned Buttler about backing up too far – and according to the laws he doesn't have to do that – and it doesn't matter that he wasn't charging down the pitch. The England man was out of his ground."
The Independent's <b>Stephen Brenkley</b>: "This is wholly legitimate under both the laws of cricket and the ICC regulations governing one-day internationals but it is an action that has always been considered somehow to be not quite cricket. Buttler was barely stealing an advantage as he was dawdling from his crease when Senanayake reached the end of his short run-up and was about to enter the delivery stride. But he had already warned both Buttler and Chris Jordan in his previous over about such transgressions, which made Buttler's wandering seem a little bit dozy for such a patently alert cricketer."
Former England captain <b>Mike Atherton</b>, one of the more objective former players, wrote in the Times: "The cat-calls, boos and whistles that accompanied Jos Buttler's return to the England dressing room, having been 'Mankaded' by Sachithra Senanayake, illustrates just how far the woolly notion of the spirit of cricket has confused things. Sri Lanka were well within their rights to send Buttler on his way. You could even argue that they had been extra courteous by affording the batsman a warning."
<b>Dean Wilson</b> in the Daily Mirror: "The issue is whether the move, which is designed to stop batsmen 'stealing' too much ground for a run, should be used when a player wanders out of the crease as Buttler did. The usual practise is for the batsman to be warned first of all, which Senanayake did very clearly, and then the next time he is fair game and with 19 to his name the England man simply ignored the warning and paid the heavy price."
<b>In favour of England:</b>
Bumble's colleague at the Mail, <b>Paul Newman</b>, was against it all: "It leaves an unsavoury taste in the mouth and is just about as unedifying a manner in which to dismiss a batsman as there is in cricket. The running out of Buttler was legal but it is not something anyone would want to see a youngster repeat. Yes, Buttler was guilty of dozy cricket, just as Bell was at Trent Bridge. Yes, Sri Lanka were within their rights to do what they did. But if ever a dismissal was against the almost mythical but still important Spirit of Cricket, this was it."
former England captain <b>Michael Vaughan</b> was incensed, writing in the Telegraph: "I blame the captain of Sri Lanka, Angelo Mathews, for the run out of Jos Buttler. He could have called him back and set the tone. An international captain should say to his bowler, 'let's just get on with the game'. But the incident reflects poorly on the Sri Lanka team and Sachithra Senanayake. I know he was out of his crease but Jos Buttler was not trying to steal a single. He was only a few inches out of his ground."
<b>On the fence:</b>
The BBC's <b>Jonathan Agnew</b> was carefully on the fence, though leaning towards England: "I don't think I've ever seen Alastair Cook so angry. He was careful with what he said – and rightly so because legally Buttler was out – but with a two-Test series coming up, memories tend to be long. To avoid any more incidents like this, I would rather see such decisions taken out of the hands of the bowler – and I think that's something the International Cricket Council should look at."
The Guardian's <b>Vic Marks</b>: "At Edgbaston on Tuesday, Buttler was not cheating. He was dawdling out of his crease and he was dozy, having already been warned of backing up too early. The Sri Lankans were within their rights to run him out (though the old regulation of being allowed to leave the crease only when the ball has been released by the bowler might be easier for everyone to interpret). As for the 'spirit of cricket', it remains a beloved concept but we are no nearer understanding what it means or whether it has ever really existed."
The Telegraph's <b>Scyld Berry</b> warned of future bad blood: "What Sachithra Senanayake did in running out Jos Buttler, while backing up, was entirely within the letter of the law. Buttler had been warned not to leave his crease prematurely, and he did so before the bowler entered his bowling stride, thus rendering himself liable to be run out. But wherever Sri Lanka's captain Angelo Mathews goes during these two Tests, an England player will be telling him that – after sanctioning the run-out or 'Mankading' of Buttler – he is Devil-o Mathews."
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