It is that time of the year when everything else takes a back seat and our nation gets engulfed by the fever of cricket. Yes, it is the IPL season. Just like in all previous editions, the 12th edition - happening this year too, got off to a great start, a couple of days ago. The very first match saw defending champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) comprehensively defeat Virat Kohli's Royal Challengers Bangalore. There have been a couple of closely contested matches and the IPL 2019 has also gotten its first piece of major controversy. In yesterday's match when Kings XI Punjab took on Rajasthan Royals, the latter team was cruising to a win with Jos Buttler expertly guiding the chase. However, chaos erupted when Kings XI captain Ravichandran Ashwin 'Mankaded' Buttler!
While bowling the penultimate ball of his spell, R Ashwin noticed Buttler to have backed up way too far outside the crease and stopped midway through his delivery stride and broke the bails at the non-striker's end. The appeal was taken up to the third umpire and he gave it to be out! This sparked off a major controversy as following this Rajasthan Royals crumbled in a heap and lost the game to Kings XI. Many stakeholders of the game expressed their opinions on this issue and they were highly polarised. Many current and former cricketers, commentators, analysts and prominent celebrities came out both in support of as well as in opposition against Ashwin. There has been an equally high response from within the Tamil cinema industry as well.
Director Rathna Kumar of Meyaadha Maan fame, posted a tweet expressing his opinion on this 'Mankading' issue. His tweet gave the whole issue a new slant. Rathna Kumar seemed to be stating that negative publicity was needed to promote such a huge event like the IPL. He also mentioned that the original attractions like Mandira Bedi, Cheergirls, SRK and Preity Zinta were no longer crowd-pullers like they used to be.
Amidst all the support and criticism, this is indeed a new take on this controversy and judging by the way this issue has been raging, it doesn't seem to be settling down anytime soon.