Unfortunately controversial incidents like this tend to leave a lifetime stigma and if you need an example of that then there's nothing better than the term "Mankading" which gives its name to this type of incident and dates back to Vinoo Mankad's controversial dismissal of Australian Bill Brown in 1947. Vinoo was the father of former Lurgan professional Rahul Mankad, but it would be difficult to imagine the genial Indian following his father's example as Rahul was a most gracious opponent and exemplary sportsman.
Will we ever think of Sri Lankan bowler Satchithra Senanayake in the same terms?
There's not much middle ground in this debate as you either feel the bowler is entitled to run out a batsman who is backing up or you don't. The Laws allow it and former Surrey and England batsman Alex Stewart hit the nail on the head when he said "Why have the Law if you don't enforce it?" Traditionalists will always cry foul because they feel it is not in the spirit of the game, but then is backing up not in the same category?
Backing up generally only happens in limited overs cricket and the worst examples are usually in Twenty20 games, especially close to the end of an innings. Bowlers don't like batsmen backing up and in many cases they don't like batsmen either, so it's unlikely there will be only sympathy for Jos Buttler from that department. Indeed most of the sympathy has come from his teammates and the partisan English commentators. England Captain Alastair Cook was particularly incensed, but his anger was probably more about the hammering his team took than one of the many incidents that take place in everyday cricket.
According to Angelo Matthews the Sri Lankan skipper Buttler was warned twice and reference was made to a similar incident in a previous game. That implies it was discussed amongst the Sri Lankan players and may explain why their captain had no hesitation in upholding the Appeal. It may not be in the spirit of the game as some pundits would want us to believe, but is it any different from claiming a catch when the batsman didn't hit it, sledging, not walking after snicking a catch to the wicketkeeper or claiming a catch when the ball hit the ground first? Cricket is full of incidents, which challenge a player's character and the Laws can't cover all the variables involved. But in this instance Law 41.11 is very clear and still we get a strong rebuke from the victim's side because it is deemed unfair and unsporting.
However, most people will agree the Law is needed and the challenge is how to implement it in a fair way. If Buttler was warned twice he can't have any complaints. And therein lies a possible solution. In much the same way that an errant bowler is warned twice before being "bowled out" by the umpire perhaps there should be formal warnings to an errant batsman who has been caught out of his ground by the bowler?
Hopefully somebody at HQ will address the issue and hopefully there will be no repetition in local cricket. We all know "what goes round come round!"