Ben Foakes stumping of Ireland’s Andy Balbirnie has left the cricketing world divided with some even claiming that it was worse than ‘mankading’.
Ben Foakes was caught up in a controversy on Friday during the one-off ODI game between Ireland and England in Dublin. He was terrific with the bat and played a match-winning knock of unbeaten 61 runs to guide his side to a comfortable 4-wicket win. However, the wicket-keeper stirred controversy while keeping during the Ireland innings with a clever stumping, which as per fans was ‘not in the spirit of the game.’
The incident happened in the 25th over of the Ireland innings when batsman Andy Balbirnie was sent back by Foakes after some clever work from behind the stumps. Balbirine missed a sweep shot off the bowling of Joe Denly and the ball went straight into the hands of Foakes, who held on to it, took his gloves near the stumps and waited for the batsman to lose balance and raise his foot in the air before whipping off the bails to complete the stumping.
Despite being comfortably inside the crease, Balbrine was stumped after he raised his foot a bit to create some balance and was given out by the third umpire. The stumping from Foakes, despite being well within the rules of the game was deemed by many as against the spirit of the game, who called it worse than Ravichandran Ashwin’s act of ‘Mankading’ to dismiss Jos Buttler in the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
The Kings XI Punjab skipper had run out Buttler on the non-striker’s end after the English batsman stepped over the crease before Ashwin could bowl his delivery. The controversial dismissal of Buttler had sparked huge debate in the cricketing fraternity and had mixed responses from fans and experts around the world. Several current and former England cricketers including the likes of Eoin Morgan, Jason Roy and James Anderson condemned Ashwin’s act, calling it disgraceful and unethical.
Morgan, who was captaining the game in which the incident took place, was among the first to tweet against Ashwin. Former England cricketer Michael Vaughan had slammed Ashwin’s actions while James Anderson was seen shredding a picture of Ashwin on a radio show. Interestingly enough, the England cricketers who had slammed Ashwin for not upholding the spirit of the game were nowhere to be heard of this time around, now that one of their own countrymen had done the same, if not worse.
Watch the video here:
Balbirnie scored 29 off 44 balls as Ireland were bundled out on 198/10 in 43.1 overs. In reply, England got off to a shaky start losing their openers early. James Vince and Dawid Malan were also sent back cheaply. The likes of Joe Root, Eoin Morgan and Joe Denly also failed to make any substantial contribution to the chase as Ireland looked favourites at one point in the game. Foakes’ unbeaten 61 on his debut, aided by David Willey’s 20 and Tom Curran’s 47 helped England recover from a top order collapse to beat Ireland by four wickets.