Generally, I’d narrate the incident and follow it up with the required perspective but in this case, I will have to make an exception. Here it goes.

Cricket is not real life, it’s a part of real life where winning has to be done. This is why it has stricter, more specific rules which need to be followed. As long as someone is within those rules, they can’t be called a cheater. And if they are not a cheater, they can’t be called a “disgrace”. 

The Indian Express

A word like that, in real life, would come from a place of subjective perception, and one could discuss the legitimacy of the claim. However, in cricket, things become much more objective, and it’s easier to decide whether or not one should use such terms because there is a rulebook they can refer to.

Now, the incident: Delhi Capitals’ R Ashwin yesterday went for a run after the ball hit his partner, Rishabh Pant during the 19th over of the side’s match against Kolkata Knight Riders. This agitated Tim Southee and Eoin Morgan, and the latter called Ashwin a “disgrace”, by the Indian’s own admission.

In the commentary box, the overwhelming opinion was that he shouldn’t have run. On the field, there was an altercation. And on Twitter, a barrage of opinions.

One such opinion came from former Australian pacer, Shane Warne, who went as far as saying, “It’s pretty simple – it’s disgraceful & should never happen”.

As for the Australian publications, one of them termed Ashwin a “villain”, who broke the “spirit of cricket”, “AGAIN”.

They are referring to the two mankading incidents, but everyone knows that already. 

Fox Sports

Without giving too much importance to the unnecessarily outrageous headline, let’s discuss the “spirit of cricket” it mentions. 

This is where cricket and real life come close. Arguably the closest. What is the “spirit of cricket”? Who defines it? 

Is there a book on it? No. So we can call someone a “villain” for not observing the said “spirit”? Yes, in exceptional cases – but Ashwin going for the run was not one of them.

As the cricketer puts it himself.

You can read the entire thread, here.

After this, Ashwin took to other social media platforms to let his displeasure be known. 

As I write this, the opinions continue to pour and we can safely say that is not going to change any time soon. All we hope is that people introspect before they talk.

So, to conclude, while one can have opinions on whether he should have run or not, to call him names is not just disrespectful but also probably dangerous. We are all for morals, but their policing? That’d be a no.