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England captain Alastair Cook believes the tourists “crossed a line” on Tuesday when Sachithra Senanayake ran out Buttler, who was backing up at the non-striker’s end.
Law 42.11 from the International Cricket Council’s playing regulations for international cricket states that “the bowler is permitted, before releasing the ball and provided he has not completed his usual delivery swing, to attempt to run out the non-striker”.
In only the eighth similar incident in international cricket history, Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews enforced the dismissal.
Mathews and experienced batsman Mahela Jayawardene later made it clear they have no regrets - having been convinced Buttler was trying to steal yards unfairly.
The tourists hope there will be no remnant ill-feeling, but Cook expects otherwise.
Asked if that might be the case in a Test series starting next week, after Sri Lanka had won the Royal London Series 3-2 with a six-wicket success in the decider, Cook said: “Probably, yes.
“It will spice it up a bit - nothing wrong with that.”
He added: “It’s just important you let your cricket do the talking as well, and you back up words.
“If he [Mathews] says he’s going to do it again, it’s up to him.
“As captain of your country, there are certain ways you want your team to operate.”
Whether it is in the spirit of cricket is open to discussion, and Michael Vaughan made it clear he does not believe it is.
“Wow.... Not so sure that’s the way I would want to be playing the game... Angelo Matthews as captain should have stopped that...!” Vaughan wrote.
Shortly afterwards, he added: “Totally blame the Captain... He is the man who makes the decisions and should have over turned the decision... No way to play the game...”
Vaughan’s ex-England team-mate Graeme Swann has a similar opinion, and in a series of Tweets he began by making reference to the fact Senanayake is already a controversial figure at present after being reported for a suspect action in Saturday’s one-day international at Lord’s.
“I think if I’d been called for chucking I’d try to keep a low profile for a while rather than pull out the mankad!!! Incredible scenes!” said Swann.
He added too that he had once done the same thing as Senanayake, but lived to regret it.
“I did a ‘mankad’ on Marc Snell against middx u11’s.
“It was given out, but my dad told me he wished I was adopted - he was that disgusted!”
Angelo Matthews said: “I would stick by it. What we did was completely within the rules.”
England coach Peter Moores said: “Angelo has made his decision. It’s not for me to comment why he did it. I was disappointed in it.
“That’s all I can really say. He’s made his choice and obviously he’s happy with it.”
Pundit Phil Tufnell said: “Senanayake’s gone through his action. Buttler was out of his crease, but then everybody would be.
“There will be feeling in that England dressing room that they had some injustice done to them.”
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