Controversies revolved around Indian cricketers right from the start of 2019. Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul faced heavy criticism for their sexist remarks on popular talk show ‘Koffee with Karan’. The year also saw former India skipper MS Dhoni failing to control his emotions as he stepped on the pitch to intervene during an IPL match.
The ODI World Cup also saw some cricketers get embroiled in some controversies.
Let us have a look at five of the biggest controversies that surrounded the cricket pitch in 2019:
Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul landing in hot coffee
The bromance between Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul landed the duo into trouble when the cricketers appeared on TV series Koffee with Karan hosted by Bollywood director Karan Johar. The duo faced criticism for objectifying women, as the duo recollected incidents of sending flirtatious texts to multiple women.
— hardik pandya (@hardikpandya7) January 9, 2019
The two cricketers were immediately suspended from the tour of Australia and later in April, a hefty fine of 20 lakhs each was imposed on them. Both the cricketers also issued apologies for their comments.
Sarfraz Ahmed’s racist slur
Former Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed was handed a four-match suspension by ICC for breaching the Anti-Racism Code for Participants. During the second ODI against South Africa in Durban, the wicketkeeper-batsman passed a racist remark against his South African counterpart Andile Phehlukwayo.
This morning I apologised to Andile Phehlukwayo and he was gracious enough to accept my apology .and I hope the people of South Africa also accept my apology. pic.twitter.com/bco00dGumR
— Sarfaraz Ahmed (@SarfarazA_54) January 25, 2019
The Pakistani cricketer later apologised. The Pakistan Cricket Board too expressed regret over the alleged racist remarks made by the captain.
‘Captain Cool’ loses his cool
Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni was fined 50 per cent of his match fees for stepping on to the field midway during their thrilling last-ball finish against Rajasthan Royals in the last edition of IPL.
With the equation getting tighter for CSK and three deliveries remaining in the contest, Dhoni was seen losing his usual composure. The episode began when umpire Ulhas Gandhe ruled out a clear waist-high no-ball to Santner after trying to raise his arm.
This provoked a furious Dhoni to enter the ground and argue animatedly with Gandhe before leg umpire Bruce Oxenford calmed him down and sent him back to the dugout.
World Cup snatched from Kiwis
The Eoin Morgan-led England unit lifted their maiden ICC World Cup trophy after securing a hard fought victory against New Zealand, which was decided on the superior boundary count. Despite both the teams being on level terms after the regular 50 overs as well as after the Super Over, the hosts were deemed as winners, sparking a worldwide debate over the boundary count rule.
The two teams were tied on 241 runs at the end of the match, which led to the Super Overs. However, both the teams failed to edge out each other as the Super Over ended with both sides scoring 15 runs each. However, England went on to win the contest, as they had hit 26 boundaries, against New Zealand’s 17.
The boundary count rule was later scrapped by ICC in October earlier this year.
Doping halts Prithvi Shaw
Prithvi Shaw was suspended from taking part in cricketing activities for eight months when the then 19-year-old was tested positive for a doping violation. According to a BCCI release, the 19-year-old Indian batsman had “inadvertently ingested a prohibited substance, which can be commonly found in cough syrups.
Shaw admitted that the suspension had “shaken him” and the Mumbai opener vowed to come out stronger from the setback.
Since returning to the sport, Shaw has been in sublime touch as he notched up a double ton in Mumbai’s Ranji Trophy-opener against Baroda. He also slammed three half-centuries for Mumbai in the Syed Mushtaq Ali tournament. He scored 63, 30, 64, 30, and 53 respectively on the five occasions.
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