Sir Ian Botham: Jos Buttler run-out row with Sri Lanka should be forgotten
Last Updated: 04/06/14 10:55am
Sir Ian Botham believes England should shake off any resentment over Jos Buttler's controversial dismissal at Edgbaston and focus on the first Test against Sri Lanka.
The England batsman was run out by Sachithra Senanayake as he wandered out of his crease at the non-striker's end, in a move which is perfectly legitimate but perceived to be against the spirit of the game.
Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews said the batsman had been warned, but Alistair Cook was upset by the incident during the six-wicket defeat - which meant the tourists won the ODI series 3-2 - and suggested it will cause some friction between the two sides when they meet up for the first Test at Lord's on June 12.
But Sky Sports pundit Botham said after the match Buttler only had himself to blame, and believes the incident should be left behind with Tuesday night's result.
"He'd been warned on numerous occasions it appears," he said.
If you continually warn someone, then it's just common sense to stay in your ground until the ball is bowled.
Sir Ian Botham
"It was soft - it's a silly dismissal. He's been warned and he walks out again. It's daft. I can see it from both angles, but what is the first offence? The first offence is leaving your crease, and the bowler reacts.
"If you continually warn someone, then it's just common sense to stay in your ground until the ball is bowled.
"OK, it leaves some feelings behind. I thought there was a bit of over-reaction - yes, initial anger, but then just get on with it. At the end of the day you've just been hammered, so England really just need to start thinking about moving on.
"It's not the hardest thing to do, and that's the point I think everyone's trying to make. Everyone says it's not in the spirit of the game - so if you nick it and you don't walk is that in the spirit of the game? Where do you draw a line in the sand?
"He had warnings - not one, but two in this innings - and he had warnings in the previous game, so they react. How many times do you tell someone before they do something?"
Buttler couldn't secure a series win for England in the fourth ODI on Saturday at Lord's, but his dazzling innings of 121 off just 74 balls prompted suggestions he could be ready to step in for the longer form series.
Botham praised the impact made by Buttler during the series, but believes Matt Prior is still first choice for the England selectors, who he feels have several decisions to make down the order
"Prior, if he's fit, is an automatic [pick]," he added. "He's done an exceptional job. The only hiccup he had was in Australia but he wasn't on his own there - about another half a dozen or so went down that route.
England v Sri Lanka
First Test - Day 1
June 12, 10am, Sky Sports 2.
"Buttler is obviously one who will be talked about. They've had a couple of key players out - [Ben] Stokes and [Stuart] Broad - so they've got some to come back in.
"It'll be interesting to see - now there's no Graeme Swann - where they go with that. Samit Patel is the form man with the bat, and I think he's more likely to get wickets than, perhaps, someone like Moeen Ali in Test match cricket. Stokes, if he's fit, should play. He did well in Australia - one of the few who did.
"The top order's going to be interesting. I didn't think [Michael] Carberry did much wrong - he hung around there, gutsed it out in Australia. He didn't get the big scores, but then who did?
"He did hang around a lot more, and faced a lot more bowling, so I don't see any harm in Carberry. I like his attitude - he's gutsy."