Starc was bowling in the third T20I in Canberra when he noticed that England captain Buttler was leaving the crease early at the non-striker’s end.
The Australian bowler then warned Butler, as he was going back to his mark, saying: “Joss don’t rush. I’m not Dipti but I can do it. That doesn’t mean you can leave your crease early.”
Butler replied: “I don’t think I did.”
Starc was referring to Indian bowler Deepti Sharma, who recently sparked widespread debate with the ‘Mankad’ dismissal of Charlie Dean in a Women’s One Day International.
Dean was dismissed at the non-striker’s end before Sharma bowled the ball – a dismissal that is commonly known as ‘Mankad’ and is highly controversial across the world.
The ICC recently moved to legalize the dismissal after years of controversy and confusion over his place in the game, but the reaction to Sharma’s actions proved that ‘Mankad’ is still highly despised.
Fans took to social media after hearing Mitchell Starc’s comments, criticizing the Australian bowler and defending Sharma’s actions within the rules.
Former Indian cricketer Hemang Badan tweeted: “Grown up Starc. It’s really poorer than you.
“If you just want to give a warning to a non-striker and not get him out, that’s fine and your decision but you want to bring in Deepti, which is not what the cricketing world expects from you.”
Cricket world still divided over ‘Mankad’
After the match, Australian captain Aaron Finch said that he was unaware of the incident between Mitchell Starc and Jos Buttler, but suggested that he is generally against bowlers performing ‘mankad’.
“I think if people get a warning, then it’s fair game after that,” Finch said.
“It would be for most teams, I think, if you give a warning to the batsman, because you feel they are gaining a little bit more ground before the ball is bowled. But I’m not a huge fan personally.”
Butler has been dismissed twice in the past, first by Sri Lanka’s Sachitra Senanayake in ODIs in 2014 and then by Ravichandran Ashwin in the Indian Premier League five years later.
While the MCC has recently moved the dismissal from ‘unfair play’ to just a run out, Buttler recently said he would withdraw the appeal if one of his bowlers hit ‘Mankad’.
“Nobody wants to see them in the game because they always talk like this when it should be about a fight between bat and ball,” Butler said.
England pacer Chris Woakes said: “I personally wouldn’t get anyone out (like), but a caveat – no problem to be honest. Happy to warn people.”
Last month Australian all-rounder Ellyse Perry described the dismissal as “the biggest flop of the wicket”, but joked: “I think overall not good, don’t do it, but if you’re going to do it, do it to England.”
Perry said: “I don’t like the jist at all. It doesn’t feel right.
“If someone is moving very clearly before the ball is bowled, you will probably say something to the umpire.
“You’d probably bring it up before a game if you know someone notoriously did it, but, no, other than that, I don’t think we’ve ever had a conversation about dodging a Mankad.”