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‘Forget spirit, I believe in…’: Ravi Shastri opens up on Spirit of Cricket | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: Former India head coach Ravi Shastri took a swipe at the concept of the Spirit of Cricket while discussing on veteran Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin‘s YouTube channel, suggesting that he prioritises adherence to rules over the “spirit of cricket.”
Shastri’s remarks come in the context of incidents during India’s Test series in England in 2021, during which India secured a historic victory at Lord’s in the second Test.One notable incident involved England’s James Anderson engaging in a heated argument with Indian players, particularly Jasprit Bumrah.
During the match, Bumrah delivered a series of bouncers to Anderson, resulting in him being struck on the helmet, ribs, and left hand. This led to a tense exchange of words between the players involved.
Reminiscing on the argument, Shastri said on Ashwin’s channel, “What is wrong with that? You got a bat in your hand. There is no rule that tail-enders you should not(bounce). Then declare the innings, no? If it gets too hot in the kitchen and you do not want to be there, then stay inside, be clear, your fingers are fine, everything is fine, and you can bowl as much as you want so that you are not injured.”
Shastri continued to discuss the concept of the ‘Spirit of Cricket,’ which has garnered significant attention recently, particularly concerning incidents of batters being run out at the non-striker’s end. Although this mode of dismissal is entirely legal within the rules of the game, it has been viewed by many experts and fans as going against the spirit of cricket.
One notable incident involved Ashwin, who famously dismissed England batter Jos Buttler in a similar manner during an IPL game. Ashwin’s action attracted criticism, with many fans and experts calling for bowlers to warn the non-striker before executing such a dismissal.
Several other players, including Indian women’s cricketer Deepti Sharma, have also employed this mode of dismissal, resulting in criticism from ex-cricketers and fans alike. Critics argue that the ‘spirit of cricket’ should take precedence over strict adherence to the rules in such cases.
Shastri said that he is a believer in rules, rather than the spirit.
“Forget spirit. I believe in rules. You (Ashwin) mankaded a guy, it rules, there’s a rule book, observe the damn rules. A guy running two steps ahead, ‘It’s not fair, you should warn me.’ For what warn? The rule says you’re cheating. I hate warnings. I’ll take the bails off straightaway. On your bike now! Rule book page 33. Don’t whinge and moan after the event. It’s there. It is the same for both teams,” the 61-year-old added.
(With ANI inputs)

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