‘Free hit’ for batters, ‘free ball’ for bowlers: Ravichandran Ashwin calls for even contest

Ravichandran Ashwin (File photo)

New Delhi [India], Aug 24 (ANI): Amid the ongoing Mankad debate, Indian bowler Ravichandran Ashwin has come up with a new idea saying that there should be a 'free ball' for bowlers just like 'free hit' exists for the batsmen.
A free hit is awarded to the batting side when a bowler bowls a no-ball. After the no-ball, the subsequent delivery is called 'free hit' and the batsman cannot be dismissed on that delivery other than run out.
Ashwin said there should be a 'free ball' if the batsman on the non-striker end leaves the crease before the ball is bowled. Also, if the batsman gets out on the 'free ball', batting side 'will be docked five runs.'
"Make it a free ball for the bowler. If the batsmen get out of that ball, the batting team will be docked 5 runs. Free hit adds to the drama for a batter, let's give a chance to the bowlers too. As of now, everyone watches the game hoping that 'the bowlers will get smacked today'," Ashwin tweeted.
The topic of Mankad came into discussions again since the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Delhi Capitals' head coach Ricky Ponting said he will talk to Ashwin about not resorting to Mankad in the upcoming edition of the league.
Last year, Ashwin, who was with Kings XI Punjab at the time, had Mankad Buttler when the batsman went out from his crease. The dismissal sparked a huge debate on social media as to whether the dismissal is in the spirit of the game or not. In the 2020 edition of the IPL, Ashwin will represent Delhi Capitals.
"I will be having a chat with him about Mankad, that's the first thing I'll do. Obviously, he wasn't in our squad last year, he's one of our players that we tried to bring in this year. Look, he's a terrific bowler, and he's done a great job in the IPL for a long period of time now, but I must admit watching that last season, as soon as it happened and he did that, I actually sat our boys down and said -- Look, I know he's done it, there'll be others around the tournament who'll think about doing this well but that's not going to be the way that we play our cricket. We won't be doing that," the Grade Cricketer's Podcast had quoted Ponting as saying.
The 13th edition of the IPL will be played from September 19- November 10 and it will be staged across three venues (Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah) in the UAE. (ANI)