Controversies are a part and parcel of every sport and cricket is no exception. The year of 2019 had several notable and game-changing controversies. While the degree and impulsion of the incidents have varied over the years, the one thing that remains constant is the impact of the controversies.
The incidents have led the authorities to look into the rule books at times and while the efforts are being put in to reduce these instances, the existence of these instances crank up the heat more often than not which draws more attention to the game.
Last year brought upon several controversies that went on to change the dimension of the game which will go on to have an impact for years to come. Some were eyebrow-raising, some were unexpected and some were downright shattering. These are the 5 biggest cricketing controversies to hit in 2019.
5. Manjrekar’s brain fade moment
Former Indian cricketer turned commentator Sanjay Manjrekar has earned the wrath of the fanbase with his regular mishaps in the commentary booth.
Firstly, Manjrekar shot the first bullet by branding Ravindra Jadeja as a “bits and pieces” cricketer. This obviously didn’t go well by the all-rounder who proceeded to call Manjrekar on Twitter and claiming that he had enough of the commentator’s “verbal diarrhea”.
It is safe enough to say that Jadeja won the battle when Manjrekar went on to admit that the all-rounder ripped him apart by “bits and pieces” after his heroics against New Zealand in the World Cup semi-final.
Manjrekar took things up a notch when he decided to take a dig at Harsha Bhogle during the first-ever Day-Night test in India.
Bhogle mentioned on-air that the day-night test should be evaluated after obtaining the feedback from the players regarding the visibility of the ball.
The former cricketer, however, proceeded to vehemently disagree with Bhogle’s opinion and claimed that he knows there is no issue with the visibility of the ball since he has played cricket and Bhogle has not.
4. *Cough Cough*
In a completely unexpected bit of news, Prithvi Shaw was handed an eight-month ban over failing a drug test last year. The U-19 World Cup-winning skipper was found to have a banned substance, terbutaline in his urine sample.
The budding cricketer accepted the ban while adding that he inadvertently ingested the substance which is apparently present in cough syrups. Shaw’s ban is still in place after already having missed the home series against South Africa and Bangladesh.
The suspension takes out almost a year of the prodigal cricketer who is touted for big things in the future. This bit of controversy does set him back a bit though in his career as well as in the eyes of the Indian faithful.
3. Captain Cool no more
Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni is often the epitome of cool and in a high octane atmosphere with other competitors, tempers are bound to flare, except for Captain Cool though.
But even the best falter at times which was evident when MS Dhoni lost his cool during an IPL bout between the Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals in Jaipur.
The former Indian skipper was unhappy with a close no-ball call in the fourth ball of the over with the game heading to a last-ball finish. The skipper, clearly displeased with the square leg umpire’s call, proceeded to make his way onto the pitch from the pavilion which left the umpires dead to their spot and spellbound.
Things escalated to an extent where players such as the likes of Ben Stokes had to play the peacemaker by calming Dhoni down. As the saying goes “All’s well that ends well”, while the battle was won by the Royals, the Super Kings won the war with a last-ball six from Mitchell Santner.
2. Rahul and Pandya’s living nightmare
KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya became the first-ever cricketers (and probably the last) to feature on Koffee with Karan. The episode became a topic of national interest as several questionable details were revealed by the duo.
The situation got so bad that the episode was taken down from web platforms the duo were handed a brief ban for their actions on national television.
While Kl Rahul was rather subdued, the Mumbai Indians all-rounder did not hold anything in as he proceeded to make misogynistic comments which flared the BCCI.
Pandya rendered an apology but it was too little, too late for the all-rounder as BCCI sent him home from Australia and replaced him with Vijay Shankar. In another blow, Gilette decided to terminate their deal after his antics on the show.
1. Lament In The Lord’s
The 2019 ODI World Cup was arguably one of the greatest matches of all time but on its way to the conclusion, it was tarnished with a moment that brought sympathy, anguish, and anger all at the same time.
After a topsy-turvy afternoon at the “Mecca Of Cricket”, the hosts required 15 off the last over and while the Black Caps began it well, the game swerved again after a six from Ben Stokes. The moment of controversy arrived when Stokes guided the ball to deep midwicket and the resulting throw from the deep hit Stokes’ bat while he was diving his way into the crease.
The deflected ball went on to make its way past the keeper and helped itself to the boundary. On-field umpire Kumar Dharmasena awarded six runs for the delivery which actually should have been five as the fielder threw the ball before Stokes left the crease for the second run.
The extra run eventually mattered as England managed to tie the game and forcing it to the super over. In a rare instance, the super over could not separate the teams as well which helped England to win their maiden World Cup crown via the rule of boundary count.
After this barrage of controversies, there have been changes made to the rule books to avoid such an instance ever again.