On Thursday, Chennai Super Kings Captain M.S. Dhoni shocked cricket lovers when he took an unprecedented walk onto the field during the Rajasthan Royals vs Chennai Super Kings IPL match after the umpires failed to call a no-ball (or what looked like a sure-shot waist-high no-ball).
What’s even more shocking is that it has come from someone who is described as ‘Mr Cool’. Moreover, it wasn’t a crucial encounter for CSK as they are already on top of the points table.
Although Dhoni has been charged with 50 per cent of his match fee, the former Indian captain has been slammed for bringing the game to a standstill as he argued with the two on-field umpires.
His action left a bad taste in the mouth of several cricketers and analysts who agree that it was clearly not within the spirit of the game.
Cricket administrator and former third umpire M.R. Singh states that Dhoni should not have come on to the field, especially since calling ‘a no-ball’ is at the discretion of the main umpire.
“No player is allowed to invade the ground when the match is in progress, and I am surprised Dhoni did it. But if I were the umpire, I would have definitely asked him not to enter the field,” says M.R. Singh, adding that the square-leg umpire can be consulted if required.
Former Indian cricketer and commentator Aakash Chopra couldn’t have agreed more. He says, “The opposition captain has no right to walk on to the pitch after being dismissed, and Dhoni has definitely set a wrong precedent.” However, Aakash also cites the low umpiring standards in this IPL as one of the reasons for Dhoni to be miffed. “After a no-ball was given, it was reversed. But it is within the laws of the game for an umpire to revoke his decision if he feels he’s made a mistake,” he adds.
Expressing his concern and finding fault with Dhoni’s behaviour, former left-arm orthodox bowler Bishan Singh Bedi describes it as “not within the spirit of the game”.
Sportswriter and commentator Ayaz Memon also finds it surprising that Dhoni stormed on to the field in the last over to demand the no-ball. Sharing that the wicketkeeper and batsman would probably be upset with his own behaviour when he sees the visuals, he describes Dhoni’s behaviour as being totally out of character.
“It was a tense match, but still, that’s no excuse for the ugly flare-up. He is lucky to have got away with just a fine,” explains Ayaz.
Even as players and match officials continue to condemn Dhoni’s pitch invasion, former Indian cricketer and commentator Arun Lal agrees with Ayaz that the former Indian captain was lucky to escape with just 50 per cent of the match fee.
“I have to say it was a lucky escape for Dhoni, he should have been handed over a suspension. He got away in a light way,” says Arun Lal, adding, “He has no right to come on to the pitch. Tomorrow, if one of my team members gets a bad LBW decision, will I bring my whole team on to the field?”
While Dhoni (who is revered for his Captain Cool demeanour) uncharacteristically seems to have lost it, former Indian cricketer Suru Nayak believes that his issue is being zoomed in on too much.
“Dhoni has already been fined and he has accepted the sanction, so that’s the end of the matter. Why are you zooming in on his character? It’s a stray incident and I hope people will put an end to it soon,” says Nayak....