Matchday 25 of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) saw the defending champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) attain their sixth victory of the season as they defeated Rajasthan Royals by four wickets at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on Thursday. The visitors displayed a good bowling effort to restrict Rajasthan Royals to a modest 151/7. However, the event that caught the attention was something rather controversial and incredibly rare – CSK skipper MS Dhoni lost his cool during the match.
The former Indian cricket captain had intervened the game of play to confront the match official Ulhas Gandhe for a ball by Rajasthan Royals’ Ben Stokes which he deemed as ‘no-ball’ but it wasn’t given by the umpire. The act was surely beyond his jurisdiction and although it was on the mind of all those who watched the incident, the official broadcast presenter Murali Karthik did not ask the question during the post-match interview.
The ball — a waist-high full toss — which led to the controversy was in the fourth ball of the innings, it was delivered by the English bowler to New Zealand international Mitchell Santner. Although it seemed like Gandhe would signal no-ball, he decided otherwise after a quick thought. Despite the protest by CSK’s Dhoni and Jadeja, they had to settle for the decision taken by the match umpire.
“It was a very good game. Need to give credit to Rajasthan. They were slightly few runs short on what would’ve been a good score. But they put pressure on our batsmen and they were able to build pressure right to the end. Once you win games like this, you learn a lot out of it. It’s important to enjoy the win but also learn from the mistakes. It’s about a few hits. Have to see the ground here. It’s a very big ground and the outfield is fast. At the end of the day, individuals do commit mistakes. But the team has to take the blame if you’ve lost. Doesn’t matter if it was Shardul’s over or someone else’s over,” said Dhoni at the post-match presentation.
The fans and critics alike were taken by surprise by the nature of Murali Karthik’s question which threw no light on the incident that stirred much controversy: “You again took the game deep?” asked Karthik and Dhoni in his typical witty fashion replied: “By being there at the end do you mean having a conversation with the umpires?” After this, the interviewer opted not to ask any follow-up questions almost as if he had received a cue.