In their 8th fixture of the ongoing IPL 2020, Chennai Super Kings emerged victorious by a margin of 20 runs against David Warner’s Sunrisers Hyderabad, who were restricted at 147/ in chasing a target of 168. But an incident that had happened 11 balls earlier, with 24 runs required by Hyderabad, had caught eyes of all experts and fans across the globe.
Shardul Thakur was delivering to Rashid Khan and bowled a full-length delivery that had floated away from the batsman, and demanding to be called a ‘wide’ as it was just past the tramline and the umpire declared it a wide. The following delivery, full and wide again, by Shardul Thakur invited a similar reaction from the umpire and as evident from the movement of his hand, umpire Paul Reiffel was just about to declare it a ‘wide’.
But one look at the CSK skipper MS Dhoni, who in full-power frustration put his arms out in the air in anger and glared at Reiffel until the umpire was forced to go against the wide and revoke it completely. Many CSK fans, on social media, have claimed that it wasn’t a revoke since the umpire had not signalled anything but it can be a lot about a matter of perception, based on facts. Nonetheless, a social media fire started out calling out the ‘bullying’ of the umpire by Dhoni.
Former India cricketer Sunil Gavaskar came ahead to defend the CSK skipper and said that these things happen in T20, leaving thing open-ended. Gavaskar seemed to be unswayed by reactions from everyone else and decided to defend Dhoni’s inexplicable act.
“I don’t think he was rattled but obviously he a little concerned about what had happened with the last delivery from Karn Sharma which went for a boundary because he didn’t expect him to bowl that delivery,” Sunil Gavaskar said on Star Sports.
“And there it is again, for the wide he called that the batsman had moved or maybe the batsman got a bit to it. Whatever it was, the last two overs were thrilling to watch. That’s what the T20 is all about, that’s what the IPL is all about.”
This wasn’t the first time Dhoni has reacted as angrily in the recent IPL years as last year, in Jaipur, the CSK captain left everyone in a shock as he was seen walking out to have an argument with umpires over a no-ball call in a game vs Rajasthan Royals. With 8 needed off 3, Ben Stokes bowled a full-toss to Mitchell Santner after which the on-field umpire appeared to raise his hand to signal a no-ball but did not call it in the end. An angry Dhoni had walked out to the middle to have an argument with the umpires that created a tumult across the cricket fraternity, especially on social media.