Kolkata, April 11: When R Ashwin 'Mankaded' Jos Buttler during a game in the IPL 2019, the cricketing world was divided. While some felt Ashwin hadn't done anything wrong as such a dismissal is allowed under the rules, while a few others felt the off-spinner violated the spirit of the game.
One person who also felt that Ashwin's action was not in a good taste is Saleem Jaffar, a former Pakistan fast bowler. Jaffar himself was involved in a similar episode during a World Cup match in 1987 though the bowler on that occasion had chosen not to dismiss Jaffar and let him off with a warning. The bowler was Caribbean great Courtney Walsh and his refusal to dismiss Jaffar cost the Windies the match and also a spot in the semifinals.
It was the third match in the group and the two-time champions were playing hosts Pakistan in Lahore. Led by Sir Vivian Richards, the Caribbeans were not a formidable side as they were in the earlier three tournaments but yet were in the race to make the last four. They lost the first match by 2 wickets to England but hammered Sri Lanka by 191 runs. Winning the toss and electing to bat, the Windies failed to impress and were all out for 216 with captain Imran Khan taking four wickets and Jaffar three.
After the break, the Windies came back hard at Pakistan, picking nine of their wickets for 203 runs with no established batsman left in the middle. The match went down to the final ball and Pakistan needed two runs to win with Abdul Qadir on strike. Walsh was the bowler and as he steamed in, he noticed the non-striker, Jaffar, standing outside the crease as he was eager to pick the winning runs.
Walsh could have easily ran the batsman out and that would have meant the end of Pakistan's innings and a West Indian win but he chose not to take the extreme action. The Caribbean giant, who took four wickets in the match, only asked Jaffar to come back and later saw Qadir hitting the winning runs. Had the Windies got the four points from that game, they would have definitely made the semifinal as they had a good net runrate but it was not to be.
Walsh though did not face a backlash and his gesture was applauded even by the Pakistan government. Thirty-two years since that incident when the cricketing world was found debating Aswhin's 'Mankading', even Jaffar said in a talk to Sportstar: "Walsh did not want to win a game by unfair means. He was a great bowler, he did not want to win it this way."