Keemo Paul courted controversy for 'Mankading' a Zimbabwean batsman in Under-19 World Cup in 2016, while he feels he did the right thing, Paul said he won't repeat it due to the fear of the criticism.
'Mankading' as form of dismissal is often seen as against the spirit of cricket. Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) skipper R Ashwin, who recently dismissed Rajasthan Royals' Jos Buttler in a similar fashion in the IPL 2019, courted severe criticism with RR coach Paddy Upton even saying that Ashwin's actions "speak for him and represent him".
While the form of dismissal is permitted by the laws of the game, the stigma attached to 'Mankading' has often led to rebuke and resent. Keemo Paul, the West Indian who is currently playing in IPL for Delhi Capitals, was in the eye of the storm in 2016 for doing something similar.
Paul, who was at that time representing Windies in the 2016 Under-19 World Cup, 'Mankaded' Zimbabwe's Richard Ngarava in the last over of a thrilling match, helping his side to reach the knockouts. Windies later went on to win the U-19 World Cup as well.
However, the scars of the backlash that Paul received for his action are still fresh. And despite him thinking he did the "right" thing, Paul in an interview with ESPNCricinfo said he won't do it again because of the criticism he received.
“Definitely I believed what I did was right. I was only 17, I came down hard on myself, kept wondering if I did the right thing. That was just instinct. Now I have matured more and I don’t think I will probably do it again," Paul added.
On asked why he wouldn't do it again, Paul replied: "I would say it is the fear of criticism. I got a lot of backlash for it. I would probably not do it. The criticisms and harsh comments. In my heart I definitely believe it is right but because of the how the game is today and because of the criticism you face, it is tough. I probably wouldn't do it again."
Paul added that he "devastated" back then after reading people's reaction and "locked himself away" to avoid the backlash, however, it was their bowling coach Corey Collymore and then captain Shimron Hetmyer who supported him during the episode and helped him to recover.
On the recent controversy, Paul said it would give him "more confidence and belief" if a senior player like Ashwin backs up his action.
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